|Demonstration outside of courthouse.|
Abbey's parents were landlords in the Modesto area and used the former Sheriff to evict and harass tenants that were renting from them. Abbey was known to show at tenants homes in uniform and demand late rent and physically assault them if they were not able. As the Modesto Bee wrote:Former Detective Kari Abbey, 34, is accused of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of Rita Elias, 31, who was living in one of the rental homes Abbey managed for her father.
The investigator testified Abbey and her husband, Bennie Taylor, harassed the tenants at a home in the 700 block of South Santa Cruz Avenue in Modesto’s airport neighborhood. Victor Quintana, who lived at the home from January to August 2010, told Hermosa he was behind on rent payments.
Abbey and her husband went to Quintana’s home to ask for the late rent. Hermosa testified that Quintana tried to avoid arguing with Abbey, but he was punched and knocked unconscious by Abbey’s husband.
A Modesto police officer, who knew Abbey from when they both worked at the Sheriff’s Department, responded to a 911 call from Quintana’s wife. Hermosa said the officer later admitted he knew Abbey and hugged her when he arrived at Quintana’s home.
Quintana, with a swollen jaw and some of his teeth knocked out, asked the officer to arrest Taylor. Hermosa testified that the officer told Quintana that he could not arrest Taylor for assault, because the officer perceived it as “mutual combat.”
Abbey also has been charged with criminal conspiracy, embezzlement, cultivating marijuana, receiving stolen property and child endangerment.According to the Bee, Abbey's parents own 19 rental homes in the Central Valley as well as several in the bay area. Eye witnesses at the scene of Rita Elias' murder in 2010 as well as Elias' family claim that Abbey came to harass Elias and the argument ended in a physical altercation. At this point, Abbey took out her firearm and killed Rita. Abbey's defense claims that Rita brandished a 'realistic' looking BB gun and Abbey shot her in fear of her life, however eyewitnesses dispute this assertion. Shortly after the killing, FBI agents raided Abbey's home, finding guns, stolen police SWAT gear, marijuana plants, and steroids. Soon after, Abbey was fired from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, which only days before had stood completely behind Abbey's actions.
What is clear in Rita Elias' case, is that the murder highlights a pattern of harassment and eviction of tenants. It shows that the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department as well as the Modesto Police turned a blind eye to the brutality and terror that is rained down on renters while Abbey and her cronies kept the money coming in for her slumlord parents.
At a time when so many activists claim proudly that the police 'are part of the 99%,' (even while the police beat them), we can see very easily the role and function of the police in this world. It is not to preserve 'justice' or 'keep the peace,' but to enforce the very real inequalities and institutions of power that exist that immiserate and impoverish people across the world.
At a time of massive evictions, deportations, and foreclosures, the police are the front lines that enable the elites to displace and make homeless millions of people. Without the power and violence of the police that is enforced and made reality by the government, the capitalists, landlords, and property holders would not be able to harass and remove people from their homes and shelter. The police are never a neutral force in society; they do not serve us, they serve to oppress us.
|Protest in Merced.|
His friends and family say officers shot Thao without any provocation. Police maintain that another man, an 18-year-old gang member named Kong Xiong, was pointing a weapon at the responding officers -- and Thao was caught in the officers' line of fire. Thao was struck by one bullet and pronounced dead at the scene.Police claim that they came to the residential area to find another man, Kong Xiong, who was brandishing a gun. According to the pigs, when they approached, they saw the man point the gun at police officers and fired upon him, hitting Vang in the process. According to residents in the apartment complex, police did not give warning before the attack nor did they announce to residents that they were approaching with guns drawn. As the Star wrote:
Tuesday, eyewitnesses said Xiong didn't have a gun and police officers didn't announce themselves before shooting through a fence into a private residence where five or six people were drinking beer and socializing.
|Rally outside of Merced PD.|
Fred Camacho, 21, lives at the house. He said he was less than 10 feet from Xiong when bullets ripped through the fence, behind which he, Xiong and other friends were standing."We didn't hear no cops say nothing about getting down, drop a gun, nothing like that," he said. "All we heard was gunshots fired. And after that, everybody just started running in the house because we didn't know what was going on. The guy that died, his cousin, she was telling everybody, 'Call 911.' "
Camacho and his sister, Nancy, who was also present during the incident, said they had no idea the police were the ones shooting. They also said Xiong didn't have a gun.
Next-door neighbor Jacob Khaoone, 18, said he was cleaning his kitchen when the shots were fired. He said he didn't hear the police officers announce themselves. But after the shots were fired, he said he heard one of the officers say, "I can't believe I just shot someone right now."This recent atrocity shows the brutality of the police and their inability to do anything except to violently attack and suppress everyday people. Again, through the reports of the police that are given life by the media who reprints them, we are fed the same story of police officers afraid for their lives who bravely defended themselves against a non-white attacker. In reality, as multiple residents claim, there was no danger and no weapon was even at the scene. Police entered the apartment complex knowing that they were putting lives in danger and openly fired on a crowd of party goers. This is the logic of a armed force that sees an entire civilian population all as possible insurgents and thus all entirely worthy of execution. It is the same logic of an occupying military and we should treat it as such.
"There wasn't no arguing or nothing," Khaoone said. "The cops, they're lying about the argument. They didn't even say Merced PD or nothing. My window right here, it was open. If they would have said 'Merced PD,' everyone there, they would have just stopped what they were doing. But the cops didn't do that. And plus they didn't have their spotlight on."
When will enough be enough? Just when will this powder keg blow?