St. Petersburg, FLORIDA––This morning at 10a.m. the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) organized a press conference at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, FL.
The purpose of the conference was to formally announce a list of demands as well as plans to protest on Friday April 29, 2016 at the Pinellas County Courthouse at 3pm EST.
This call to action comes following the drowning deaths of three African teen girls at the hands of the Pinellas County Sheriff Department.
The press conference was led by our Chairman and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), Omali Yeshitela.
Chairman Omali gave a historical rundown of the relationship between the African community and the police, stating that the police function as an occupying force in our communities.
He cited specific examples of police-involved murders including the deaths of Marquell McCullough, Jarrell Walker, Javon Dawson and Tyrone Lewis.
“A culture of violence has always been associated with the Pinellas County Sheriff,” Omali pointed out.
According to The Tampa Bay Times, “On March 30, Dominique Battle, 16, and Laniya Miller and Ashaunti Butler, both 15, got a ride from a man to Childs Park in south St. Petersburg. He stopped at Walmart on the way and the girls drove off in his Honda.
“About 3:30 the next morning, a sheriff’s sergeant spotted the Honda with its headlights off as it headed east on Sunset Point Road in Clearwater, west of U.S. 19. The sergeant turned on his vehicle’s emergency lights. The Honda then ran a red light.
“Five miles later, another Pinellas sergeant ran the tag number and confirmed the car was stolen out of St. Petersburg. He followed at a distance. Under Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office policy, deputies cannot pursue stolen cars.”
Yeshitela explained the use of the P.I.T. (precision immobilization technique) maneuver.
P.I.T. maneuver is used in situations by the pigs during high speed chases by smashing into the back of cars being pursued, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicle.
The Uhuru Movement believes that the pigs are the cause of the teenage girls’ death given the damage to rear of the vehicle and the fact that the dash cam recorded the police cruiser pursuing the African girls going speeds well over 90 mph before the doomed Africans plunged into the murky depths of the pond.
The list of demands made at today’s press conference include the demand for the resignation of Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the names of all officers involved be made public knowledge, the immediate release of all audio/video evidence and reparations to the victims’ families are to be made. The demand for black community control of the police was also made.
“Just as we did in Ferguson when Mike Brown was murdered, we will have our own black people’s grand jury,” stated Chairman Omali.
“They [deputies] kill these children and now they’re heroes,”
“They kill the children and they’re the heroes and the people who are dead are now the villains.” said Chairman.
The planned protest will be held tomorrow, Friday April 29th at 3pm at the Pinellas County Courthouse, 14250 49th St. N, Clearwater FL.
This protest is being organized by INPDUM (International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement) and The Uhuru House of St. Pete, FL.
The press conference can be viewed on the UhuruTV channel on YouTube.
For more information, visit www.INPDUM.org.
We demand Black Community Control of the Police!
Black Power Matters
Fists Up! Fight Back!