April 17, 2007

Unarmed Blackman Killed by Police

4/20/07 - Updated information for those able to attend the march or funeral services.

This has been a violent week. Hundreds died in Iraq. Hundreds more died in Darfur. 32 were killed on the Virginia Tech campus. As such, you may not have heard. Another unarmed Blackman was shot in the back and killed by the police. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting of two brothers by Fulton County police officers that left one dead and the other seriously injured outside a nightclub early Sunday. Neither of the brothers were armed.

Fulton and state officers are looking for evidence and talking to people who witnessed the shooting of Roy Pettaway III, 27, and his brother, Ron Pettaway, 26. The incident happened on a sidewalk outside the Frozen Palace nightclub in south Fulton County. Shots were fired after the brothers allegedly got into an altercation with the two officers who arrived to break up a fight at the nightclub. I'm fairly certain that barroom fights don't carry a death penalty in America. Yet, one brother is dead and the other had a bullet removed by doctors in the emergency room.

The officers, each of whom has fewer than two years on the force, are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Their names have not been released.

Services will be held for Ron on Saturday at Liveoak Baptist Church, 2601 Flat Shoals Road, in College Park on what would have been his 27th birthday. The Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights activist and Pettaway family spokesman, said there will be a march from the Frozen Palace to the church for the funeral. The funeral itself will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 am, on what would have been Ron's 27th birthday.

We encourage any villagers who live in the Atlanta area, or anywhere in Georgia, to attend the march. A special section in Liveoak's sanctuary will be set aside for families of other metro Atlantans allegedly victimized by police, Hutchins said. Hutchins and the victims' relatives have been vocal in their outrage over the shooting that they have described as nothing short of murder and a violation of the brothers' civil rights.

You can learn more about this situation from other AfroSpear bloggers here, here and here. Also, I see where the Pettaway family posted relevant news and video on the case.

I live in Cincinnati, OH. We had similar issues with our police department that came to a head in April 2001 when the 15th Black man was killed by the local police. The Cincinnati uprising made international news. The city is still dealing with the real and perceived problems in community-police relations.

I understand that DeKalb police had a dozen fatal shootings in 2006 and Atlanta officers shot an elderly woman to death during a botched police raid on her home. My hope is that folks will learn from the past and deal proactively with this situation in Fulton County before it blows up into a similiar situation.

Yesterday, activists asked the governor to get engaged in the issue.

It was a violent week. However, we cannot afford to let the shooting of unarmed Blackmen be swept under the rug. The African American Online Network, known as the AfroSpear, must ask the major newspapers and mass media, why they have not come out with editorials condemning this shooting. What justification can there be for not speaking out?


Yobachi said...

Do we know if either one of the cops doing the shooting where Black? Being that it's Atlanta and Bankhead in particular, I fear this could be another case of Black cops shooting Black people; which seems to me to be an epidemic on the rise more than cops shooting down black people in general.


Keith said...

Thanks for getting the word out about this incident. I definitely was not aware of it.

One aspect of this story that I suspect is not getting much discussion, if history is any sort of teacher, is the kind of cops they continue to assign to our neighborhoods vs. - and to lower-income neighborhoods in general - as compared to those assigned to the 'beautiful people'.

James said...

This is so sad, 2 young lives wasted by unneccesary violence.It is even sadder that we are no safer with black cops for the most part. Thank you for bring this in the open. I do not think it made national news.

Exodus Mentality said...

It's no longer useful to ask what color was the cop. Inside the police culture there really are no black or white cops. On the job, everybody is expected to be blue. Black officers tend to get more blue the longer they stay on the force.

It's the law enforcement culture, that has been passed down from the overseer culture, that is the root cause of Black men being deemed life threatening in almost any situation. This is why when the police approach us, they are primed for lethal action. Like Francis L. Holland stated, they simply value our lives less, and their actions show it.

Eddie G. Griffin said...

We can stir the black community around the nation to protest. But in the end, we must teach defensive living strategies. As a former Panther, we were taught to stay out of the way of bullets. Civil and human rights mean nothing if you get KIA'd. One of our big mistakes was making revolution by day and partying by night.

mark said...

" Like Francis L. Holland stated, they simply value our lives less, and their actions show it."

mark bey: WE dont value ourselves, does anyone think black folk will get respect until we stop disrespecting ourselves. You cant expect respect from others if you dont respect yourself.

mark said...

Its still wrong for police/law enforcement to harm or kill innocent blacks however, but until we fix what is wrong with us, what is causing way more deaths amongst the black people than the police are which is black on black crime.

Everyone is use to disrespecting and killing black people even black people. If folks really want it to change we will create crime prevention programs along with seeking justice in sentencing and the way blacks are treated by the police.

As long as black people are killing each other 6 times as much as white folk and are allowed to walk around in the community. Some police officers will assume they can kill black folk as well.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

I hadn't even heard of this. Thank you for bringing it to my attention...

Villager said...

Yobachi - I don't know the race or ethnic background of the two police involved in the shooting. As others have noted, it doesn't matter the race of the police officers ... it is simply troubling that the police around this nation continue to kill Black people for seemingly non-existent reasons.

Keith - There is a lot of historical precedent that we seem to ignore when it comes to commonsense police-community relations.

James - One role that we have in the Afrosphere is to ensure that OURstory is placed in the open for all of us to understand. I hope that you will share information about this situation with the readers of your blog.

Exodus Mentality & Eddie G - It is an honor to have each of you here in the Electronic Village. I hope you will visit with us often in the future.

Mark - Points well taken.

Paula - I learned of it from the AfroSpear. It didn't make the airwaves here in Cincinnati OH (to my knowledge).

James said...

Villager, thanks for the advice, I will do so on Monday, I hesitate to comment on the same post someone has done prior, but we do have some different readers and this story needs to be heard.

George Boston Rhynes said...

This is nothing new and WE should NOT be shocked.

Here in Valdosta-Lowndes County Georgia we have had 18 deaths in our surrounding the Lowndes County Jail and no one from the local, state, or federal government seem to care.

Juts Google "Jail Deaths in Lowndes County Georgia."

You can also google George Boston Rhynes in America. But then again who cares about American Inmates?

Also google: "Willie James Williams video A chorus of fear put together by Valdosta State University."

It appears that Blacks must take the law into their own hands, and regardless of the circumstances surrounding this death. There is a major problem with law enforcement in the state of Georgia and our beloved country.

But then again who cares?

Our million dollar pastors and churches will resolve all these problems once they get to heaven with all those angels and stuff! How sad?

George Boston Rhynes
Retired United States Air Force (From Active duty)
A concerned citizen and brother of humanity!

George Boston Rhynes said...

View This Video and ask yourself why have the state of Georgia or the United States Justice Department have not investigated this South Georgia Metropolitan Metropolis? But then again, who cares!

The good American people had better wake-up before it be too late. It may already be too late:

Death of Willie James Williams and Video (1998)

Copy and paste: It is well worth it. Then pass it on to Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others who do not know Valdosta-Lowndes County Georgia is localted in the United States of America!

Copy and paste below: Part I

A Chorus of Fear Part II. rhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=932407478921834517

George Boston Rhynes said...

Lowndes county Jail deaths: links:

Willie James Williams

Copy and paste: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3930808120854021155

A Chorus of Fear Part II. rhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=932407478921834517

George Boston Rhynes said...

Last chance to see: "A Chorus of Fear" Try, Try, Try, again.


Villager said...

George - Thank you for sharing your insights with us. I will check out the links that you've provided.

James - There are a kazillion readers, so I'm positive that we each have unique readers. Anyhow, you are free to post on anything that you see here in the Electronic Village that you feel worthy of placing on your blog as well.

peace, Villager