Why was DeAndre Joshua killed?

DeAndre Joshua was a 20-year-old Black man who lived in Ferguson, Mo. He worked the night shift at Walmart. He was a close friend of Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown when he was killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson cop, on Aug. 9.

Joshua was shot while sitting in his car near where Brown was murdered. The killing came just hours after the announcement that the St. Louis grand jury would not press charges against Wilson. Some 60 bullet shell casings were found nearby. After Joshua was killed, his car was set on fire.

“It’s tragic. He was a good kid,” Johnson told MSNBC after his death. “It’s a tragedy what happened to him.” (washingtonpost.com, Nov. 24)

Clearly Joshua’s murder was meant to send a message.

Right-wing blogs have claimed that Joshua was killed because he testified to the grand jury that Brown charged at Wilson, that Wilson was justified in shooting with 13 shots the unarmed Michael Brown. They assert that Joshua was killed in retaliation for his testimony by members of the Black community.

That is a lie. Family, friends and even the police have said that Joshua was miles away from the scene when Wilson shot Brown. And even the St. Louis prosecutors have announced that Joshua never gave any testimony to the grand jury.

Although Joshua’s murder is officially under investigation by the Ferguson police, Joshua’s family has noted a total lack of concern on the part of the cops and officials.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan have already threatened the whole Ferguson African-American community. And certainly the police have ruthlessly attacked the righteous protests of Ferguson residents over Michael Brown’s murder and the nonindictment of Darren Wilson. Joshua’s murder conveys a message of terror to those who have so courageously fought back against police killings of young Black men in Ferguson and around the U.S.

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