Mumia Abu Jamal: 137 shots

(Photo credit: Daniel Lobo on Flickr)

Cleveland became the latest see to witness demonstrations after the acquittal of a white police officer in the deaths of unarmed black men. Officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the November 2012 shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The pair died in a hail of 137 bullets, 15 of which came from Brelo after he jumped on the hood of the car in which they were traveling.

Protests after the verdict was announced resulted in 71 arrests. Most of those arrested were arraigned on misdemeanor charges Monday and released with time served as their punishment.

Many in Cleveland watched the proceedings closely as an indication as to what may happen in the case of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by another Cleveland officer last November.

Mumia Abu Jamal has this commentary.

Download Audio

A man drives his companion down a Cleveland street and before he knows it police sirens bite into the night air, sending a chill down his spine. He pushes his foot down on the accelerator trying to avoid this madness. Little does he know that within minutes he and his companion will be shown their last vision in life, 137 shots fired into them courtesy Cleveland police. This happened in 2012.

On Saturday, a judge there acquitted a cop involved in that shooting for leaping atop the car’s hood and emptying his semi-automatic,15 shots into the bullet ridden bodies of the two occupants of the car.

One-hundred-thirty-seven shots into a car of unarmed people, said to be sparked by a car’s backfire. Legal, justifiable. The two had traces of drugs in their system, the judge noted. They were thus expendable. One-hundred-thirty-seven shots. It’s okay, no biggie. Boys will be boys, right?

The law is naught but opinion, whether a judge’s or anyone else’s for that matter. In the season of Ferguson when youth are in the streets yelling “Black Lives Matter,” we learn that this is more aspiration than reality. It is a bitter hope in the cold kingdom of the law, for today black lives don’t matter a bit.


These commentaries are made  possible by Prison Radio.

You may also like...