|Ricardo Cordova, seated bottom right.|
As the facts came out in the case, and it soon became clear that Abbey and her cohorts were using their time in uniform to harass, beat, and threaten her parents' tenants. Witnesses and former tenants came forward to state how Abbey harassed them into leaving, and in some cases, physically attacked them. When those being targeted called the Modesto Police, the cops showed up with gave hugs and more backup for Abbey.
|Protest after Rita's murder.|
While our hearts go out to Rita's family, we are not surprised that the courts have once again let free another murderous cop. The only police officer ever to face murder charges was BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who shot Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station on January 1st, 2009. Only after riots did the city begin to investigate the shooting and bring charges against Mehserle. Even still, Mehserle only ended up doing a small amount of his sentence in protective custody. Likewise, Abbey will probably end up getting only several months in jail which will be spent in protective custody, before being let off.
The message in all of this is clear: police that kill go free, because after all, it's their job. While Abbey faces charges for drugs, embezzlement, and weapons, they will all be slaps on the wrist compared to what normal everyday people go through when facing these same charges. Soon, Abbey will again walk the streets, while the corrupt systems that allowed her to evict, beat, and kill tenants for her parents will be stronger than ever.
Guatemalan immigrant was killed by police, riots erupted that shut down the area where the killing took place and attacked the police station. Such targeted rioting is common practice in Guatemala, where people direct their outrage towards the authorities responsible for carrying out atrocities in their communities. We must also find ways of solving problems and resolving issues without police, cutting off possible contact with them in the first place. Talking to neighbors, settling problems face to face, having each other's backs, and forming neighborhood assemblies and groups to mediate conflicts and deal with anti-social crime all are needed. But ultimately, we must remember that the power of the police comes from the power of the state itself. Only by defending and expanding the power that we create autonomously among ourselves and holding onto it through open rebellion, will we be able to remove police from our lives.