ST. PETERSBURG—St. Petersburg cops fired fifty shots at Dominique Harris. Thirty-eight, count ‘em, 38, riddled his 20-year-old body. He is dead.
The execution happened on December 2, a Wednesday afternoon December. 2, with shoppers and passersby trying to see his body crunched over in the driver’s seat of his grandmother’s car, punctured with bullets fired by six City of St. Petersburg cops, one of whom stood on a truck’s hood, to get a better angle!
Dominique Harris had complied with the cops’ request to produce identification. He wanted to retrieve his younger brother, who’d gone into the Food Max store at 1400 18th Avenue South, and head back home.
The cops used their 5,000-pound cruisers to pin his vehicle in the parking lot and were violently tried to snatch him out of the car. Then, the cops alleged that Dominique Harris, who now will never produce another African son or daughter, shot at them.
Child abuse charge. Really?
They claimed that they were there to arrest him on a child abuse charge, however sources told The Spear that this stems from an incident three months ago when Dominique was at home with his mother, Nikki Davenport, and younger brother.
According to them, several neighborhood youngsters came into their yard, and one reportedly threatened and bullied Dominque’s younger brother. Dominique defended his brother.
Sources also told The Spear that there was a second altercation on a neighborhood basketball court between the same boy and Dominique’s younger brother. This time, sources said, Dominique again defended his brother and ended up allegedly throwing the boy, said to be 15, to the ground. The boy, according to reports, may have been injured and treated at a local hospital.
This is what the police are using to justify the firing squad-style murder of Dominique Harris.
The African People’s Socialist Party defends the African working class
The day after St. Petersburg police brutally executed Dominique, the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), defenders of the African working class, called a news conference led by Director of Agitation and Propaganda (AgitProp) Akilé Anai.
“I first want to offer my profound condolences to the family of Dominique Harris, the young African man who was brutally executed by the St. Petersburg police department on the evening of Wednesday, December 2,” Anai said.
“We felt it necessary to have this conference to define the narrative of the crimes that were committed against the African community in this city on Wednesday, to raise up the demands of the black community in response to such a horrific murder and to lay out the way forward for our people,” Anai proclaimed.
“The murder of Dominique Harris is not unfamiliar,” she noted. “This modern-day lynching carried about by the St. Pete police, on behalf of its mayor Rick Kriseman— we’ve seen it happening, sometimes on camera, all summer with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, in Louisville, KY with the murder of Breonna Taylor and the scores of Africans murdered in this country by police every single day.”
Call it what it is: Colonialism
She continued, “We saw this same execution happen just a block up from where I stand today, in 1996 with the police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis.”
“And following those murders,” Anai continued, “the police get to work with their media., I’m talking about the Tampa Bay Times and all the different media entities that report to the scenes of these murders.
“They collaborate with the police to get their stories straight and begin the process of murdering black people a second time, with a vicious slander campaign to justify the murders.
“They are doing this right now with Dominique Harris. The news reports continue their assault on this brother who is no longer with us, mentioning his rap sheet along with the fact that they killed this brother with 38 bullets!
“Those police officers surrounded this one brother and shot into his car 50 times. Africans in this community say it looked something like a video game.
“It’s important for us to call this murder and all murders like it, what it is: colonialism.”
Colonialism is the political and economic domination of a whole people for the financial and political benefit of an oppressor nation. White people are the colonizers, the oppressor nation. Africans and other people are the colonized inside the U.S. and around the world.
When police take it upon themselves to shoot and kill someone in our communities whenever they feel like it without fear of consequence, that’s colonialism.
The AgitPprop Director went on, “This was an act of colonial terror on our communities carried out by the police department. This murder was necessary to show black people what can happen to us at any given time.
“We are under assault every day by this government, being forced out of our communities through gentrification, surrounded by luxury apartments and condos, living in a community with no ‘legitimate’ economy, no political power, the most humiliating circumstances ever forced onto a human being.”
“The police occupy our communities, on every corner, harassing and brutalizing African people and making examples out of us,” Anai said.
“This is colonialism,” she asserted.
We demand Black Community Control of the Police!
“We stand here today to offer the real context for the execution of Dominique Harris. We don’t want the police’s account; we don’t want Pinellas County sheriff killer Bob Gualitieri’s account. We don’t want the media’s explanation.
“We demand the ability to give our own. More than that, we are demanding Black Community Control of the Police.
“Our fight has to be one for power in our own hands, to be able to hire, fire, train and discipline the security forces within our communities.
“We want the power to police ourselves, to conduct our own investigations. We want the immediate withdrawal of the colonial police from our communities. That’s the St. Pete police, the sheriff’s department and every task force, special investigation’s unit, crime watch entity, you name it. They must go!
“We must, as the African community, struggle to capture economic and political power over our lives to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again, especially without consequences.”
Anai declared that the black community demands justice for Dominique Harris and reparations to his family. “We join in the call with Ms. Davenport demanding a transparent investigation into Dominique’s murder.
“The officers involved in the shooting must be arrested immediately and indicted for the murder of Dominique Harris.
“We demand a release of the names of the officers involved in this shooting! We demand to know who these murderers are!
“We want a public admission from mayor Rick Kriseman and his puppet police chief Holloway, that the murder of Dominique Harris had nothing to do with any warrant he allegedly had. That their officers murdered him in cold blood and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Mother calls for privacy and the truth
Dominique’s mother, Ms. Nikki Davenport, said about the murder of her son, “My heart is heavy. My world has been shattered. During this time, I am asking for privacy as myself, my children and the rest of our family cope with this unimaginable loss.
“I do not want sympathy from anyone, but I do want the truth. I think I, and my son, deserve that at the very least. I am outraged that everything I have learned about what happened that resulted in my son’s untimely death, I have had to find out while watching the news.”
She continued, “There are no words or actions that can heal a parent after the loss of a child. I do not wish this hurt on anyone, but I am demanding truth and transparency from those involved. I want answers as to why my son is no longer living.
“This apparent warrant was issued as a result of him defending his younger brother. Regardless, it does not constitute the actions of what occurred yesterday.”
St. Pete police investigating itself equals clear conflict of interest
The 50-round firing squad police execution of Dominique Harris is being investigated by the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force. It’s a body comprised of cops from the St. Pete police, Pinellas County sheriff’s office and Clearwater police.
This task force was put together to combat the “perception” that there’s a conflict of interest when one police organization investigates itself. However, the perception that needs to be combatted is one that would imply that these military organizations of the State don’t share the same interests.
The police—whether in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Britain or South Africa—are arms of the State. They impose the status quo of colonial oppression through violence or the threat of violence along with other arms of the State like the courts and the prison system.
These arms of the State justify and legalize themselves and each other. That’s why nearly every case where an African is killed by police it is ruled as justified homicide unless the State realizes that returning that kind of verdict would lead to other consequences like burning cities.
We have no confidence that the State that imposes this injustice would bring us justice, regardless which arm of the State presides over the investigation. This is why we must have Black Community Control of the Police.
Join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) and fight for self-determination and Black Power over our own lives and our own communities! Demand Black Community Control of the Police and reparations to the family of Dominique Harris!
Join InPDUM at www.inpdum.org