imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Devin Was 13...and the Police Killed Him

by duko Friday, Feb. 18, 2005 at 9:05 PM
darbycrash1965@yahoo.com

In the quiet of 4:00 on a Sunday morning, in the darkness, alone in the front seat of a car, the short, sweet life of Devin Brown was ended in a violent burst of gunfire. A night-riding Los Angeles police officer stood near the car he was in. It took him seconds to draw his gun and fire: Five shots. Then five more. Half of them struck and killed the boy in the car. Devin Brown was 13.

Los Angeles: Devin Was 13...and the Police Killed Him | rwor.org

Los Angeles

Devin Was 13...and the Police Killed Him

Revolutionary Worker #1268, February 20, 2005, posted at rwor.org

In the quiet of 4:00 on a Sunday morning, in the darkness, alone in the front seat of a car, the short, sweet life of Devin Brown was ended in a violent burst of gunfire. A night-riding Los Angeles police officer stood near the car he was in. It took him seconds to draw his gun and fire: Five shots. Then five more. Half of them struck and killed the boy in the car. Devin Brown was 13.

The whole incident that ended with murder of this Black 8th-grader took less than five minutes from start to finish. Cops started chasing the Toyota Camry that Devin and another boy were in during the early hours of Sunday, February 6. They said later they thought maybe it was a drunk driver. A chase lasting three or four minutes and covering a few miles ended when the small car crashed onto the fence of a used tire place at 83rd and Western in South Central L.A. The police say that one youth got out of the car and ran, leaving Devin alone. Within seconds, a cop got out of his car and started shooting. He was so trigger-happy that five of the bullets hit his own car. The police said that the small compact backed into the police car, and the cop fired "in fear of his life."

"They assassinated him twice," a friend of the family of Devin Brown told the RW . They not only murdered him, but tried to make him sound dangerous. They said the car was stolen, though they didn’t know it at the time the shot him. LAPD Chief William Bratton talked about a "high-speed chase," when the top speed they cited was 40 to 50 miles per hour. When speaking of the bullets the cop fired into his own car, Bratton said there was a danger of police being caught "in a crossfire," when Devin had no kind of weapon.

Devin Brown’s life was stolen by the police without a moment’s hesitation. It was almost commonplace, routine: chase, stop, shoot. "Another senseless killing by the police," Rev. Andrew Robinson-Gaither of Faith United Methodist Church called it. "They just like to take out young people’s lives. They don’t value us."

But the people who met him, his family, cherished the life of Devin Brown. "There was a sweetness about him," one of his teachers later said. "I saw an innocence and a sweetheart." She said he was her favorite student in her history class, though as a 13-year-old he was sometimes more interested in girls and sports than in his class work. He loved the movie Remember the Titans , and could recite whole scenes. She started calling him "Rev" after his favorite character.

The mother of Devin Brown’s cousin told the RW about him. "He was real nice. He was mannerable. Every kid has their times when they’re going through what they’re going through. He just lost his father last year. Every kid goes through their trials and tribulations. Nobody’s perfect. He was on the honor role at the middle school right here."

Devin’s father, Charles Brown, had quit a construction job to go to work for the school system in order to spend more time with his family. When he died of respiratory disease, Devin was devastated. At first he missed a lot of school, but he had recently started back improving.

He could do impressions, and he made his whole class laugh at his renditions of TV commercials. Other kids called him, "Willie B," a name they inscribed on a banner that they all signed and hung by the memorial that people made at the corner of 83rd and Western. One message said, "Now you rest, and we’ll do the rest." Many wrote short notes: "I love you." "It’s fucked up."

The corner of 83rd and Western became the focal point of the anger and outrage that burst forth all over Los Angeles. Beginning Sunday, people came with signs and flowers. Over 200 candles were placed on the corner. There were stuffed animals, toys and messages. As folks gathered at the spot on Monday—when you could still see Devin’s blood staining the street—they shouted their anger at any police car that drove by.

A boy and girl, both 13, came by on Tuesday. "It’s not good that they keep killing little kids. They’ve got to stop," the girl said. "I feel sad and angry. Only 13, my age." Classmates of Devin’s came by, along with older kids.

People in the neighborhood disputed many aspects of the police version, casting doubt on whether Devin was ordered to get out of the car before the police opened fire, and even whether he was driving. Rev. Meri Ka Ra Byrd, of the nearby KRST Center for African Spirituality, told the RW , "I’m outraged that a policeman following a car for miles would not be able to see that it was a child driving the car. Instead, they took it as an opportunity to open fire and to kill, to take someone’s life. It is indicative of the racist society we live in."

There are lies the police tell that are so familiar that anyone can recite them: "Reached for the waist band"; "Pointed their hand at the police in a threatening manner." Another one—"Backed the car toward the officers"—was used a year ago when the LAPD shot and killed Nicholas Killinger outside Santa Monica High School, a shooting they just decided violated department guidelines for shooting and killing people. In November 2002, two weeks after William J. Bratton became police chief of the LAPD, his cops killed four people in two days in several incidents. At that time, cops twice claimed there was a vehicle backing toward them, even though there were witnesses who said they were cold-blooded killings.

"What were they there to do? You know, fuck all this ‘serve and protect’ bullshit. If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene, they could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power, has handled and would again handle this kind of thing—valuing the lives of the masses of people—as opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses."

—Bob Avakian, on the police murder of Tyisha Miller
("Valuing the Lives of the People vs. Wanton Police Murder, RW #1255)

"All the people that’s out here representing for my little brother, they’ll put their lives on the line for him before these officers will."

The brother of Devin Brown, speaking at a protest of his killing

A protest rally was called for Tuesday by ministers in the area and others. Three or four hundred people came, overwhelmingly Black people, from all walks of life. There were truck drivers, students, family members, people from the neighborhood and from Devin’s school, Audubon Jr. High. One Black woman described herself as an executive assistant to the CEO of a company in West L.A. She said she had to come. Norma and Norberto Martinez, the parents of Gonzalo Martinez, attended. Gonzalo was murdered three years ago this month by Downey police. Looking over the crowd, one neighbor said, "There’s a strong force out here and they been hit in the gut."

As people got off work, the protest got bigger, spilling off the sidewalks. Chanting "No justice, no peace," and "Stop killing our children," they took over the street, marching to the Bethel AME Church four blocks to the north.

When this happened, the cops cordoned off the streets for several blocks in each direction and kept out of sight, even though the protest had no permit. It showed how nervous the authorities are about the anger they have unleashed.

A young Black woman was holding some artwork she made that morning: two photos of lynching victims, one hanging from a tree, the other from the Statue of Liberty, with the words, "Kill or Be Killed/Made in Amerikkka." She explained, "They’re trying to show us, ‘Now you stay in your place, or look what happens.’" Then she added, "Nothing changes without revolution, and I’m a peaceful person."

"The system don’t work," a Black man in his 30s told the RW. "We tried going through the system. It just don’t work . When it get caught on tape, and you don’t get no justice out of the system—what the hell?! What else can you do?! It’s war!"

After slandering Devin at first, the authorities in L.A. have made a big show of "apologizing." The head of the Police Commission apologized. The mayor apologized. They call it a "tragedy." They have promised to change LAPD policy to end the practice of shooting at vehicles. But there has been no move to charge any of the cops who murdered Devin Brown. In fact, LAPD officials have made the sick statement that this is a tragedy for the killer cops who carried it out.

The police chief and the mayor tried twice tried to get more money from the L.A. City Council for more cops to clamp down on the people. "At each incident we risk this city going up in flames once again," Chief Bratton told them, "which has happened twice in recent history." The 1965 Watts Rebellion and the 1992 L.A. Rebellion were both triggered by police brutality. Even after the LAPD announced it was changing its policy, Chief Bratton said, "All of a sudden these incidents are not going to go away."


This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
http://rwor.org
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Devin killed by cops Duko Saturday, May. 07, 2005 at 8:53 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy