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REAL WORLD HORROR: WE
GOT HORROR, RIGHT HERE IN RIVERSIDE CITY
I'm referring to the recent decision of the state of California to drop all murder charges against 4 white policemen, who saw a woman asleep in her car with a gun on her lap, woke her up, and the second she was awake, opened fire. 4 cops. 4 guns. 4 shots would have been enough for even the most frightened idiot. All 4 of them kept firing until their guns were empty. They fired 24 freaking bullets at 19 year old Tyisha Miller. They murdered her with 12 of those bullets. She was not a criminal, she was not under arrest. Her car broke down and she locked the doors while her friend went to get help. Alone at night, she put her hand gun on her lap in case she was attacked. Well...she was.
Let me give you the scene: It is three days after Christmas, December 28, 1998. It's early morning. It's Riverside California: the first city in the US to voluntarily integrate its schools.
The city where African Americans fled after the Watts Riots of the 1960s.
The only city in California to have a school named after Dr. Martin Luther King (though that naming caused a controversy among white parents who worried that such a name would unfairly brand the school a "black, inner-city school").
Tyisha used her cell phone to call friends for help while Bug hitched a ride with the man back home.
Nearly 2:00am and one of her friends and a cousin arrive. They see Miller locked in the car, with her seat back. Music plays on the car radio. They see a .380 semi automatic pistol in her lap. Tyisha doesn't respond to repeated knockings on the car window. She appears to be asleep but they notice what seems to be foam around her mouth. They call 911 and give a distress call. Because they mention the gun, police arrive with the ambulance.
The police arrived two minutes after the call.
You know how bright those lights are that a single police car shines into your vehicle when you get pulled over? Well now there is two. Two police cars shining those daytime bright lights into a single car. Does each policeman carry a flashlight? Yes they do. So two bright as hell police car lights and four heavy duty bright as hell flashlights, all shining into the car.
The cops knock on the window to rouse Tyisha, but she doesn't wake up. They see the gun in her lap. They decide to break the windows.
Now you are Tyisha.
You are a woman alone in a car at night which has a flat tire. You have put your gun in your lap in case you are attacked. You go to sleep.
You awake to the sound of someone smashing your windows. You sit upright. Blinded by bright lights in your face, you don't have time to do anything else because the noise of 24 bullets come smashing through your windshield and the sides of the car.
12 of them hit you in your body, 4 fly through your head. Everything that is you - is gone.
Because of fear - of four very frightened cops who saw your black skin and your gun. You being asleep, you being in need of help, meant nothing to them. All that meant anything was that they had the weapons they needed to overcome their overpowering fear of your black skin. A fear so overwhelming that they wouldn't stop firing their guns until it was impossible for them to keep shooting.
Assuming they were afraid...
Everything that was Tyisha. That baby part that first learned to smile when her Mother made faces at her. That part that touched her Father's heart when she first recognized him. That part that smiled on Christmas day. That part that cried when she got a vaccine. That part that screamed and yelled and played with friends. That part that came up and hugged her Grandma's legs for no reason at all. That part that studied her books and homework, got a crush on a boy, dreamed about her future, wrote poems from the heart: all those parts and more were sprayed in brains and blood in a smell of gunpowder and splattered on plastic, steel, and glass.
Two of the cops say that she reached for her gun, and so they fired. Two of the cops don't remember her reaching for her gun, but they emptied their full round of ammunition into her anyway. Both of them, though they didn't see her go for her gun.
Police department spokesman Chris Manning is the voice of the Riverside, California Police Department. The P.D. releases plenty of information about Tyisha afterwards.
They say that a coroner's report showed that Tyisha's blood alcohol level was .13 - one and a half times the legal limit for driving. They say she had been smoking marijuana. Manning says the gun was registered to a woman who has never heard of Tyisha Miller.
In fact, Chris Manning is happy to release as much negative information as he possibly can to smear Tyisha. Though dead, the Riverside Police Department continues to smear her body, her life, her name, and her family. They won't stop talking about it.
In fact, the only thing that the Riverside Police Department won't talk about are the tapes of the incident. You see, this could all be cleared up if only the tapes from the video recorders and the audio tapes of the radio communication from the officers were released. The Police Department has not only refused to release them. They have stonewalled efforts to get them released.
Police have to deal with crime and criminals all the time. They get called away on all kinds of harrowing actions and see all kinds of harrowing things.
But this was not a violent crime call. This was a call for help.
And about Tyisha sitting bolt upright? It appears that, according to the coroner's report, Tyisha did no such thing. The path of the bullets through her body clearly show that she was neither sitting upright when shot, nor was her hand in or near her lap. One officer has admitted to firing his gun as soon as he heard the sound of breaking glass. The breaking glass was caused by his fellow officers who were breaking the window in order to get in.
Leaders in the black community of Riverside worked hard to calm tensions among their people - in particular their youth.
The Rodney King debacle from 1991 remains a sore spot for black and white alike. 56 people were killed in the ensuing riots and 2,000 were injured. After the storm was over, many things came to light that had been reported from day one. Rodney was a habitual offender (His assault, spousal and child abuse, and alcohol related crimes continue to this day), he had been speeding (over 110 mph) when pulled over, he resisted arrest, and charged at an officer. All this before the videotape began.
Riverside is not the nice community the city would have the nation believe. They have been keeping a bandage on their problems for years.
In November of 1995, a black gunman broke into a Riverside halfway house to kill Sgt. Stacey Koon, one of the officers involved in the Rodney King beating. Koon was away at the time. The man killed a hostage and was shot and killed by police.
In April of 1996, two Riverside officers were videotaped beating illegal immigrants with their batons after a high speed chase.
In October of 1996, a black man shot and wounded the mayor, two City Council members and two police officers because he was angry that the city had cut funding for an after-school chess program he led for black youth.
So tensions in this poverty stricken community are high. That said, this was STILL not a crime response but a victim response.
Skip Miller (no relation) is the city attorney for Riverside, and is so obscenely conniving, that he actually tried to defray the blame from the police officers by having the city of Riverside SUE the gun manufacturer of the weapon that Tyisha had on her LAP! (See GunWeek.com). "This whole thing would not have occurred but for the presence of this loaded Lorcin L380," Skip Miller said. "That gun should never have been there."
No, this whole thing would not have occurred if 4 policemen didn't keep firing their weapons into a woman until they ran out of bullets. This whole thing would not have happened if the police had responded to a cry for help instead of a violent crime with the tag words BLACK PERSON and GUN.
"The city is not trying to pass the buck," Skip (as in "I'm skipping responsibility) added. ". . . This whole thing was not entirely caused by the city."
Skip Miller is fooling nobody. Leaders of the black community of Riverside realize full well that Skip Miller is trying to redirect the blame. They are not as stupid as he is.
Skip's actions are being roundly applauded by the liberal voters however, so he's no doubt happy as a pig in shit.
All four policemen have been fired for their actions.
All four have been acquitted of any wrong doing.
Two are demanding their jobs back. They actually want their jobs back, afraid (in their words) as they are of an unconcious black woman. Do you think they will be any LESS afraid to be on those streets now? After what their actions have done to a community, do you think they would feel more secure now? Or would they be even more inclined to "become frightened"?
And as for the other cops on the force? What about the other cops who patrol Riverside, California and the surrounding area. Will this make THEM any safer?
Because Tyisha is dead: 12 times over.
Long time feoamante.com contributor Mike Oliveri, busts out with his first hardcover novel.
horror genre has a new name to watch."
with action, sex, and carefully-crafted characters . . . a strong new
voice in the horror genre,"
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