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   Vol. 69/No. 41           October 24, 2005  
Jail New Orleans cops in brutal beating!
The brutal beating of a 64-year-old retired teacher by New Orleans cops is indicative of the attitude authorities at all levels have shown toward working people afflicted by recent storms.

Only the filming of the incident and its quick airing on television screens worldwide forced police officials to suspend three of the officers involved and charge them with battery. All the cops involved should be immediately fired, tried speedily, convicted, and jailed under the maximum sentence.

All charges against Robert Davis, the man they assaulted, should be dropped and he should be awarded the damages he is seeking against the police for his injuries. Even if one were to doubt Davis’s statement that he hasn’t had a drink for 25 years, the charge of “public intoxication” on Bourbon Street, where this has been commonplace, is ludicrous. The videotape also shows that the charges of resisting arrest and attacking a cop are nothing but an attempt to turn the victim into the criminal. This is a police department, like others, with a record of brutality and racism.

Other news reports have shown that not only criminal gangs but cops engaged in looting while tens of thousands of working people struggled to save their lives and those of others after Katrina.

These are further signs of the contempt for working people and callous disregard for their conditions and very survival that officials demonstrated before, during, and after the recent storms—from the local police department to city hall, state house, and all the way up to the White House.

The cops protect and serve the interests of the ruling rich. Brutality and corruption go with the territory.

While the wealthy and middle-class professionals got out of New Orleans before Katrina hit, along with anyone else able to leave on their own, tens of thousands of workers and their families were left behind, most of them Black. No effort was made by the government at any level to evacuate those least able. The press documented times when cops obstructed working people using post office vehicles or other means to get out of harm’s way. As a result hundreds were killed by the indifference of those whose wealth is based on exploiting our labor.

Only the actions of workers and farmers—helping each other during evacuations, getting and distributing food and water to those in need—saved thousands of additional lives from being lost. These initiatives show that the working class can transform itself from a class aware of its oppression, into one conscious of its worth. A class that can reorganize society into one based on the needs of the vast majority, not the profits of a few.

Politicians from the twin ruling capitalist parties have been pointing the finger at each other in an effort to cover up the responsibility of both Democrats and Republicans for the social disaster they imposed on millions along the Gulf Coast the last six weeks.

Beating Davis bloody adds insult to injury. The brutal assault should be punished accordingly.
Related articles:
New Orleans cops assault Black man
Airing of video forces officers’ suspension
‘Racism: a world, not just an American, problem’  
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