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‘Stolen lives’

Never forget Malcolm Ferguson

Published Mar 13, 2010 10:11 AM

Cold winds didn’t stop people from commemorating the 10th anniversary of Malcolm Ferguson’s assassination by New York City police. Supporters gathered in the evening of March 1 outside the Bronx home of Juanita Young, Ferguson’s mother.

Ferguson was 23 years old and unarmed when he was killed at point-blank range by undercover police officer Louis Rivera on March 1, 2000. Five days before his death, Ferguson had been arrested for protesting the shocking acquittal of four cops who had shot immigrant worker Amadou Diallo 41 times.

In 2007 a civil court jury determined that Rivera was “100 percent responsible” for Ferguson’s death and awarded his mother more than $10 million. However, the Bronx district attorney is appealing the just verdict and refuses to reopen the criminal case against this cop.

Police continue to threaten and abuse Juanita Young and her family. Last year Young, who is legally blind, was acquitted by a jury of throwing a box of cake mix at cops who had invaded her family’s home.

Supporters gathering in the dusk put up a banner entitled “Stolen Lives” on Juanita Young’s home. It listed hundreds of people who have been killed by police across the United States. Christmas tree lights illuminated it.

Standing in front of the banner, Young spoke about the need to continue the struggle against police killings.

Allene Person told how her 19-year-old son, Timur Person, was also killed by police in the Bronx. Timur Person’s hands were in the air when police pumped four bullets into his body on Dec. 13, 2006.

Jennifer Gonzalez told how her partner, Kenny Lazo, was beaten to death by cops in Suffolk County, N.Y., on April 12, 2008.

Michael Bishop from Picture the Homeless spoke. So did Martha Laureano, a leader of the Justice Committee, and Kathie Cheng from the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

A member of the International Action Center linked the struggle against police killings to the effort to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal.