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 demonstrations, Donald Trump, Erica Macdonald, George Floyd, Jose Campos Torres, protests, William Barr. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.