Monday, April 8, 2013
Contact: Kali Akuno / 404.567.5938 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release: New Annual Report reveals that 313 Black People were killed in 2012, averaging one every 28 hours.
Every 28 hours in 2012 someone employed or protected by the US government killed a Black man, woman, or child! This startling fact is revealed in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes.
“When we started this investigation in early 2012, we knew a serious human rights crisis was confronting the Black community”, says Kali Akuno, an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). “However, we did not have a clear sense of its true depth until we compiled and examined the annual figures. We have uncovered outrageous rates of extrajudicial killings–rates, that when they are found in countries like Mexico or Brazil, are universally condemned. The same outrage inside the U.S. also demands immediate action.”
Given recent revelations in the case of Floyd et al v New York City that challenge “stop-and-frisk”, our study demonstrates that NYPD violations of human rights are endemic throughout the U.S. For example, racial profiling that singles Black people for looking, driving or behaving “suspiciously” leads to at least 43% of Black peoples’ fatal encounters with police. Only 13% of those who were killed were involved in allegedly violent criminal activity that physically threatened others’ lives. These and many more of the Report’s findings reveal the deadly impact of systemic racism in the U.S.
Akuno further points out, “Operation Ghetto Storm follows the trail of extrajudicial killings to the rise of militarized police forces and their occupation of Black communities. And explores how systemic racism has led to increased militarization and militarization, in turn has exacerbated the human rights crises devastating Black communities.”
He added, “This Report breaks new ground by going beyond reliance on police department press releases and investigating as fully as possible the context and consequences of each killing. This investigative journalism serves as an example of respect for Black life so often neglected in public conversations.”
Arlene Eisen, member of the Malcolm X Solidarity Committee and the author of the Report, explained, “Any one of these people killed could have been my son or your husband or daughter. Regardless of education, class, behavior or dress, nowhere is a Black person safe from potentially-fatal racial profiling, invasive policing, constant surveillance and overriding suspicion.”
Based on a year of research, Eisen concluded, “police departments and government agencies throughout the United States go to great lengths to hide the data on extrajudicial killings, particularly the race of the murder victims. I am quite sure that there were more than 313 Black people killed by the police in 2012. Social movements in the United States must demand this information and must demand an end to these killings.”
Operation Ghetto Storm is issued by the Every 36 Hours Campaign and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and can be downloaded at www.mxgm.org.
Please share this report with comrades and friends.
Operation Ghetto Storm:
2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 313 Black People by Police, Security Guards, and Vigilantes
Preface by Kali Akuno
The Context for Operation Ghetto Storm
The facts presented in OperationGhetto Storm: 2012AnnualReport on the Extrajudicial Killing ofBlackPeople present us with a deeper understanding of the utter disregard held for Black life within the United States. Operation Ghetto Storm is a window offering a cold, hard, and fact‐based view into the thinking and practice of a government and a society that will spare no cost to control the lives of Black people. What Operation Ghetto Storm reveals is that the practice of executing Black people without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation.
In July 2012, in the tradition of “On Lynching” by Ida B. Wells‐Burnet and “We Charge Genocide” by William L. Patterson, the Malcolm XGrassroots Movement released a critical report that exposed the fact that in the first six months of the year a Black man, woman, or child was summarily executed by the police, and a smaller number of security guards and self‐appointed vigilantes, Every 36Hours! But, the July 2012 report did not tell the whole story. Further investigation revealed a more accurate and gruesome number of extrajudicial killings during the first six months of the year. And true to form, the assault on Black life stayed consistent for the last six months of the year, resulting in the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in 2012, or one Every 28Hours!
Setting the Record Straight
If not for our investigation, this gruesome reality would largely be ignored. The United States government has no interest in revealing these facts and police unions actively suppress them. The corporate media is so permeated with white supremacist and capitalist assumptions and rationalizations that reporters and editors deem these killings unworthy of note. With one important exception: They use the stories of “officer‐involved killings” to reinforce a stereotypical, but strategic depiction of the most dispossessed sectors of the Black working class as criminal commodities, fit for disposal.
This demonization of Black “targets” reinforces the insidious propaganda of the United States government and its supporters, that the United States is the most democratic and socially liberated country on Earth. But, any critical observer and thinker must ask, how can the supposedly “most democratic” country on Earth be the largest jailer on the planet? What types of “legitimate” democratic processes result in nearly half of the countries prison population being Black, while Black people only comprise 13% of the total population of the United States? What types of resources, planning, coordination and programmatic Any critical observer and thinker must ask, how can the supposedly “most democratic” country on Earth be the largest jailer on the planet?
“Operaton Ghetto Storm”, issued by mxgm.org, was last updated on April 4, 2013 3 of 130 Preface: The Context for Operation Ghetto Storm implementation go into arresting, convicting, imprisoning or deporting over 10 million people annually? And what can possibly justify the extrajudicial killing of at least 313 Black people in one year? Genuine and healthy democracies do not spend more than 50% of their budgetary resources on their militaries, domestic “law enforcement” agencies, and prisons.
The fact that the United States government spends this amount demonstrates that the United States is neither a genuine democracy nor a “healthy” society in any form or fashion. The United States is a European settler‐colonial project that has erected a racial state to enforce and maintain a rigid order of white supremacy, colonial occupation, and capitalist exploitation. As the facts presented herein attest, the United States is one of the most repressive and brutal societies in the world, particularly to oppressed peoples like Blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos. The rates of extrajudicial killings on the US rival only those perpetrated against the Indigenous people of Palestine, Mexico, Guatemala and the Amazonian region, and African‐descendants in Brazil and Colombia.