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GPAM condemns the killing of Manuel Esteban, Paez Teran, Tyre Nichols and Anthony Lowe Jr.

The Global Pan African Movement (GPAM) North America condemns the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols by the former members of the Memphis Police Department. This killing occurred a few days before the brutal assassination of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita in Atlanta, Georgia. A week later, the police in Los Angeles murdered Anthony Lowe Jr.

On January 7, 2023, Memphis police officers brutally beat Tyre Nichols, a 29-year old Black man, after a traffic stop. The assault lasted for four minutes while Nichols did not resist, pleading with officers to let him go home to his mother’s house—some hundred yards away. The assaulting officers did not provide any medical assistance, despite Nichols requiring urgent attention to his fatal injuries. Tyre Nichols died in the hospital three days later on January 10th, after kidney failure and cardiac arrest resulting from the police encounter and beating.

On January 18, 2023, Atlanta SWAT police officers shot and killed Manuel Esteban Paez Teran (aka Tortuguita), a 26-year old Indigenous Venezuelan environmental activist.

On  January 26 in the Los Angeles suburb of Huntington Park, at least two police officers with the Huntington Park police department shot and killed 36-year-old Anthony Lowe Jr., an African-American man, after he left his wheelchair and hobbled away on the stumps of his legs.

The police killed 1,176 people in 2022, more than in any of the last ten years. The basic demands of police accountability and transparency have come out in light of these police crimes and terror that left these young people dead.

Killing of Black people by the police in the USA is an extension of the racism rampant in U.S. imperialist institutions.

GPAM supports the efforts of the United Nations, especially the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCHR) to bring to global attention these extra judicial killings in the USA. International Jurists from all parts of the world served as International Commissioners for the International Commission of Inquiry on the Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States

The International Commission of Inquiry in 2021 reported on the extrajudicial police killings of people of African descent, and condemned the appalling murder of innocent black and brown people in the United States.

The International Commission of Inquiry completed its mandate in June 2021 after its Report was submitted to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCHR), with recommendations submitted to the US Congress, the Executive Branch of the United States, state and local governments, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Member States of the African Union.

The Commission of Inquiry found that the systematic murder, torture and inhumane treatment of people of African descent in the United States of America constitutes an international crime against humanity warranting an investigation by the International Criminal Court.

Many of the Commissioners for the International Commission of Inquiry have joined in this condemnation. Milton Grimes, Attorney for the late Rodney King, commented,

“The beating of Rodney King should have been a wake up call to address the military style racist police culture of violence in the US, but sadly nothing has changed. The US is not a war zone but the violence impacted on African Americans speaks of a culture of impunity, and an oppressive use of force. The aggressive nature of policing in the US is a national disgrace falling well below international standards.”

“We will not stand idly by and allow this kind of senseless violence to continue. We will continue to fight for justice for Tyre Nichols and all those who have suffered at the hands of police brutality both on the Continent and in the diaspora. We hope that the speed in which these officers were fired and charged with murder continues in such cases”.

The words of Malcolm X are as true now as they ever were,

“The police…..put their club upside your head then turn around and accuse you of attacking them. Every case of police brutality against a Negro follows the same pattern….. What kind of democracy is that? What kind of freedom is that? What kind of social or political system is it when a black man has no voice in Court ….. brothers and sisters we have to put a stop to this, and it will never be stopped until we stop it ourselves….”

GPAM calls for continuous mobilization, education and organization against police violence and calls for the passing of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.

The United States must restrict the use of firearms and the extrajudicial killings of people of color which are all too often carried out with impunity. We applaud the fact that, on this rare occasion, the officers were dismissed, and they are facing second-degree murder charges.

Law-enforcement officers have a duty to serve and protect the African-American community and cannot continue to be the perpetrators of unlawful violence on a section of society that all too often is treated as second-class citizens.

We call upon the office of the President of the United States to create an Independent National Federal Law Enforcement Oversight Commission, with power to monitor and regulate the performance of all 18,000 police departments in the United States, implementing a zero-tolerance policy for instances of police brutality and use of excessive and deadly force.

Press release embargoed: Wednesday , the 8 of February 2023, 00.01 am GMT

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