GARY, INDIANA, Feb. 6 — A mistrial was declared today in the trial of the racist cop who murdered Vincent Smith. In near zero degree weather, a group of protestors again held a demonstration at the courthouse to keep this struggle alive. The judge declared the mistrial because supposedly some jurors had “contact” with some of the workers and youth who came to protest the racist murder and demand justice. This has fired up the community and the campus. A new trial is set for July — more time for members of PLP and friends to build a bigger movement and recruit to communism.
Vincent Smith, who was a freshman in high school, was shot in the back while running from the killer cop three years ago. The police claimed that young Vincent was a criminal because he was once arrested for shoplifting! As a result of the demonstrations organized by community groups, a local campus organization and PLP, the state had to charge this cop.
When a Gary cop admits to shooting a fleeing, unarmed teenager in the back of the head, and is indicted by the prosecutor for murder, he is assigned to desk duty with full pay until the trial! That’s the racist, capitalist “justice” system at work! The phony internal police investigation concluded that the killer cop did everything right, and the city is asking the state to drop the charges – basically saying that it is legal for cops to hunt children in Gary.
Gary is among the most depressed, oppressed cities in the USA, where the steel mills sucked the life out of the working class for a hundred years and capitalist chaos has left much of the city abandoned or in deep racist poverty. The Gary police force is known for corruption and brutality. A past chief was just convicted of breaking into someone’s home and brutally beating him. Young people often talk about which cops are brutal and which cops work with drug dealers and gangs.
The bosses need vicious cops to control the working class that does not buy into the empty promises as our lives get worse day by day. So there will be more police terror and more innocent young lives will be lost. Organizing protests against police terror are one way to build a movement that can grow and bring anti-racist, communist ideas to life.
Beyond these courthouse demonstrations, we will continue to publicize and organize workers on the job, students and teachers in school, and other members of the community to fight back against these racist attacks—to take this killer cop off the streets forever, to send a message to other cops that we will not let these racist killings just pass by, and to build a movement and a Party for communist revolution, workers’ power!