Nearly three months after the murder of Tymar Crawford, a young African-American man killed in his front yard by Daniel Siemen, an officer of Pensacola Police Department, the PPD announced on Oct. 3 that Siemen had been fired from his position as detective for “violating the department’s use of deadly force policy.”
This victory comes after three solid months of militant organizing by Tymar Crawford’s partner, Kimberly Henderson, children and friends, and a coalition led by the Pensacola chapter of the Dream Defenders, a socialist feminist/Black liberation/prison abolition group based in Florida.. The coalition also included Answer/Party for Socialism and Liberation, Workers World Party-Pensacola and Strive (Social Trans Initiative).
Protests included two marches through downtown Pensacola up to the front doors of the police department, two disruptions of City Council meetings, a confrontation with Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and a People’s Assembly that launched its own march.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted its own investigation and has now turned the case over to a grand jury. which will determine if any criminal acts were committed by police and if the PPD has “adequate policies and training” in place related to use of deadly force.
The news of Siemen’s termination appears to indicate what the verdict of the grand jury might be. But militant organizers and the people of Pensacola are not letting their guard down. Their vigilance against police brutality, anti-Black violence and capitalism as a whole continues.
All power to the people! Tymar Crawford, presente!