The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.2           January 19, 1998 
Socialists Say: `Jail Killer Cops!'  
The following statement was issued January 5 by the Detroit branch of the Socialist Workers Party.

Supporters of democratic and civil rights should protest the release of Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn. Working people throughout this city should organize a resounding No! to the judicial rulings that put these killer cops back on the streets. Separate juries found both police officers guilty. They were serving jail sentences for the 1992 murder of Malice Green. That was a victory for democratic rights.

Today, a mere four years later, the courts have overturned the convictions and released both former cops from prison. In fact, U.S. district judge Lawrence Zatkoff's December 30 ruling, on Nevers routine writ of habeas appeal, follows a Michigan Supreme Court decision that granted Budzyn an early release and a new trial five months ago. The courts' arguments are similar.

Like the supreme court, Zatkoff claims that the atmosphere in Detroit was too charged; that the trial jurors were overly influenced by both the movie Malcolm X and Nevers's participation in the undercover activities of STRESS (Stop Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets), which was responsible for the killing of 20 people in the early 1970s. These judicial decisions do not concern themselves about the guilt or innocence of Nevers and Budzyn, his partner in the crime. Rather, the rulings act to guarantee that "their constitutional rights to a fair trial are protected."

The courts thus conclude that Malice Green, an unemployed Black steelworker, had no right to resist search and seizure when these cops stopped him on a public street. His constitutional, civil, and human rights provided no protection from the police flashlights that beat him to death with repeated blows to his face and head.

While the bosses regard cops like Nevers and Budzyn as soldiers in their never ending war against working people at home - especially those who are Black - many working people see these thugs with guns as judge, jury and executioners. The higher courts have drastically limited prisoners' rights. Nevers's writ, however, unlike the one in 100 normally reviewed, received accelerated treatment to render a favorable ruling.

At the upcoming trials for Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers, working people should organize to demonstrate our rejection of the courts' rulings. Justice demands that these cops be jailed.  
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