The following statement by Joel Britton, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress in the 13th District in California, was issued April 20. Britton works at Walmart.
All working people should join with the family of Steven Taylor in demanding the arrest and prosecution of the San Leandro police officers who gunned Taylor down at the Hesperian Blvd. Walmart on April 18.
Video footage shows the cops tasing and shooting Taylor, 33, for refusing to obey their command to drop a baseball bat in the crowded store. His family said Taylor was suffering from a mental health crisis.
Family attorney S. Lee Merritt said in a press statement April 19 that the police are guilty of “unlawful use of deadly force.”
This is another example of cops in the service of the capitalist class acting as judge, jury and executioner. Such police violence is aimed at intimidating working people and falls disproportionately on African Americans such as Taylor. Speaking out against the killing of Taylor and demanding that these cops be prosecuted can help push back against cop brutality.
I hope that I and many other Walmart workers will be able to stand with Taylor’s family at any protests against the cop killing, and at his wake and funeral.
This cold-blooded killing comes as today’s deepening capitalist economic and social crisis has put tens of millions of workers out of work. Those of us still working face speedup, attacks on our wages and unsafe working conditions. A movement of millions of working people needs to be built that can fight to defend working people from the attacks of the bosses and their government. We need our own party, a labor party, that fights on the shop floor and in the streets 365 days a year. To oppose cop brutality, to revitalize and strengthen our unions, to demand an end to Washington’s wars abroad. And to fight to replace dog-eat-dog capitalist rule with a government of workers and farmers.