Distrust — Why People Are Demonstrating

If you’re like me, since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Cop Derek Chauvin, you’ve spent hours watching demonstrators in the streets of major cities.  I was doing that yesterday when seeing signs carried by demonstrators. Some signs had names of others killed by police.  One name struck me.  That name is Jose Campos Torres.

Kare reports the following:

MINNEAPOLIS — United States Attorney Erica Macdonald says they’re conducting a “robust and meticulous” criminal investigation into the police-related death of George Floyd.In a press conference Thursday evening, Macdonald said that the Department of Justice has made the investigation into George Floyd’s death a top priority.

“We have assigned the highest of the high in my office to investigate and look at the case,” Macdonald said. “FBI, likewise, has assigned their experienced law enforcement officers to conduct the investigation.” She added that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are “directly and actively monitoring the investigation.”

If people did not trust that system before MacDonald spoke, they certainly did not — cannot trust it after she stated that Donald Trump and Bill Barr are “directly and actively monitoring the investigation”.  For some, the distrust was planted in 1977 when Jose Campos Torres was killed by Houston police officers, and how that system punched justice in the face.

On October 7, 2015,  I published an Open Discussion post.  In that post, I wrote about Jose Campos Torres.  Seeing his name yesterday on a sign carried by a demonstrator inspires me to share with others that the people on the streets are not only protesting the death of George Floyd.  They are also demonstrating against a system of empty promises that has often laughed in our faces because they have the authority to do so.   The following is an excerpt from that post.

A Viet Nam Veteran, Jose was arrested for disorderly conduct on May 5, 1977, at a bar in Houston’s predominantly Latino East End neighborhood. Jose was 23-years old. Six police officers responded and took Jose to a spot called “The Hole” next to the Buffalo Bayou. They beat him. The officers then took Jose to the city jail, who refused to process him due to his injuries. They were ordered to take him to Ben Taub General Hospital. Instead, the officers took him back to the banks of Buffalo Bayou. It is reported that officer Denson said, Let’s see if the wetback can swim. Jose was then shoved 20 feet into the water.  His body was found two days later.

Jose’s death was ruled a “drowning homicide.” Officers Terry Denson and Steven Orlando were tried on state murder charges. They were convicted of negligent homicide and received one year of probation and a $1 fine.

Denson, Orlando and Officer Joseph Janish were later charged with federal civil rights violations and assault. In 1978, a federal judge sentenced them to a 10 year suspended sentence on the civil rights charge, and they served 9 months in federal prison for the assault charge.

Here’s Gil Scott Heron in his poem for Jose Campos Torres.  Warning: It contains strong language.




Posted on 05/30/2020, in civil rights, Jose Campos Torres, politics, Race and Race Relations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Two sides to a story

    So many ways to break a heart.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This was a great read and I enjoyed it.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello Xena. Thank you for the reminder of this murder, and the fact that injustice has been on going without change. We have put a veneer over it and told each other the myth racism was getting better, we as a society were evolving. We were wrong, we see it openly now. Once when a lot of people were killed the world came together to say never again. We need to so so again with injustice and we must demand as a country, no more using skin color as an excuse to kill, threaten, and harm. Never again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Xena. Sorry I hit send before I could sent hugs. Hugs


    • Scottie,
      Systemic racism merely changes the cloak. Eventually, it backfires once case precedent is established. For decades, minority communities knew of police brutality and that they were not held accountable. Cases involving the killing of unarmed Whites by police officers who were never charged, or were acquitted, all leave grieving families behind. A few names that come to mind are Ethan Saylor, Daniel Shaver and Patricia Cook. The entire world is in a state of grief because of Covid-19. People are feeling. In the United States, rather than our leader acknowledging that laws holding officers accountable are necessary, he name-called and threatened. Rather than encouraging mayors and governors to establish peaceful assembly rules for protesters, he bashed mayors and governors in the Democratic Party.

      Thanks for your excellent comment

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hello Xena. I recently answered a comment from one of my viewers I would love you opinion on. I am an older white male with all the privileges that comes with that. Yet I have never thought of my self as racist and never entertained racist ideas. Growing up and living as a gay man taught me that any discrimination for something you are born being is very wrong. Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Scottie,
          Got it, and responded. Great comment.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hello Xena. I just responded to a comment you left. I hope you do not mind but I think you are far better a person to do the response than I can be. Really you have more information, you have been blogging longer on this subject and I learned a lot from reading your blog. I just want to amplify your voice on this. It really is not about me, I am an old white guy, this is about POC that can not even enjoy any real part of life in the US with out threat of death or harm. It has to stop! And I admit I am frustrated at this point because I just don’t know how to help more. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

          • Scottie,
            I am humbled by your words. Because I like to support blog posts that I write, it takes me a bit of time to research for online sources. I shall do that probably Thursday and get back to you when it is published.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Hello Xena. Grand I will be honored to reblog it. Thank you again. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    #JoseCampos … #SayHisName … thanks for educating me!!
    ” … the people on the streets are not only protesting the death of George Floyd. They are also demonstrating against a system of empty promises that has often laughed in our faces because they have the authority to do so.’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So horrible and sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think what struck me most about the whole Minneapolis ordeal, other than the attitude of the cop with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck in the photos, was the very obvious powerlessness of the people screaming at him to let him up. And these demonstrations and riots? It feels like an outpouring of grief, but also a way to take back that powerless feeling. That cop with his hands in his pockets, just waiting with his knee on the man’s neck… I’m just livid. And then the pic of him looking up at the people, he’s got this pissed off and annoyed look on his face. That attitude in the face of their pleas… yeah, this feels like the powerless feeling boiled over and here we are.

    My neighbor was wondering what I used to wonder when it came to rioting and whatnot, and said that “black folks out rioting and burning stores and stuff won’t help anything.” I couldn’t help but give a similar reply to one that plenty of others have been giving lately. I said, “They tried silence and kneeling and that didn’t do much either.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Powerless.” EXACTLY! The officers knew that they had the power and authority and no one was going to tell them what to do.

      I’m not a proponent of violence, but admit that when the news reported the police station on fire, I laughed. I didn’t laugh because it was funny but as a reaction to the boldness of the protesters.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank for informing. I’d never heard of Jose Campos Torres until recently. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard” He said it over 50 years ago or just might as well had been said 53 minutes ago. The only one thing has changed in last 53 years, describing the plight of African-Americans, and that’s the word change of the word “Negro.” All else is pretty much the same.

    Liked by 2 people

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