WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday June 8, 2009, a 24-year-old African named Trey Joyner was murdered by six plain-clothes U.S. Park Police in the Trinidad neighborhood in Ward 5 of Washington, DC. The Washington Post, the Associated Press and other assorted white controlled newspapers and media outlets would have us believe there is controversy surrounding the slaying of Trey.
Trey being shot four times in his back while in an alleyway by Park Police — whose beat is in the park, not the ally — leaves only two unanswered questions. One: when will reparations be paid to the Joyner family? And two: when will the cops who murdered our brother be put on trial?
Like countless other Africans, Trey posed no immediate threat to the safety of the cops who murdered him. Nonetheless, as colonized Africans in the United States, terror and murder is normal policing throughout the black community, especially the black working class communities.
As a matter of fact, almost two months later, the FBI still has not released an official report on Trey’s murder. Although there have been two town hall meetings attended by City Council member Harry Thomas and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as well as several candlelight vigils sponsored by various liberal organizations, questions continue to go unanswered due to the fact that these are just neocolonial structures that provide cover for police atrocities committed in the African communities.
Be they the FBI police, the Park Police, the DC police or any of the numerous other police agencies, they act as an occupying army on the streets of Washington, DC. Residents of Trinidad and family members of Trey Joyner have described these weak initiatives by the State and liberal organizations as “insulting” and “inconclusive” because each time, they are called to listen as politicians make promises of an investigation report that still hasn’t been released and they are left without justice.
This is precisely why the family of Trey Joyner contacted the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM). Immediately, InPDUM began collecting petition signatures throughout Washington, DC with the following demands:
1. Full disclosure! A detailed report of the shooting of Trey Joyner must be released!
2. Jail the killer cops! These cops should not only be fired but the six Park Police that murdered Trey Joyner should stand trial!
3. Immediate detraction of the Task Force from the Trinidad Neighborhood!
4. Reparations to the families of all police murder victims (including the families of Deonte Rawlings, Ronnie White, etc)!
5. Self Determination! We want the formation of an African community-controlled investigation board around the conduct of police and city officials with subpoena power and ability to hire and fire city administration and police staff.
6. Impeachment of Mayor Adrian Fenty!
These petitions were to be presented at a third town hall meeting scheduled for July 7th, but it was cancelled in the face of the demand for justice. Even still no report to date has been released on the murder. In response to this cancellation and with the support of Trey’s family, InPDUM organized a press conference on Friday, July 10th in front of the mayor’s office at the Wilson Building on 13th and Pennsylvania Ave.
The reason that this press conference took place in front of the mayor’s office was because representatives of the mayor’s office repeatedly hung up on the family of Trey Joyner when they called demanding justice. Additionally, it is the mayor that approved the police checkpoints and police containment of the Trinidad neighborhood via the presence of a Task Force. Although the Supreme Court recently declared the checkpoints unconstitutional, there continues to be the presence of this Task Force that are comprised of local and federal police units and are armed with assault rifles.
There were over 10 local, national and international media agencies present at the InPDUM press conference. Despite the imperialist media frenzy that continues to surround this case, the FBI still has not released an official statement or report detailing the murder of Trey Joyner, leaving much to be desired in the quest for justice.
Regardless of what the State eventually releases around this case, what is clear is that there is no excuse for the murder of this African. This murder is part of the trend of police killings that have happened recently in Washington, DC and around the United States. It is clear that police play no progressive role in the community other than to terrorize the African community into submission so that we won’t fight for our liberation.
As media sensation quiets down around this police killing, InPDUM continues to make clear that the only solution to these problems of police murders seen in Washington, DC and other cities all across the U.S. is for African people to get organized! We are developing a Political Action Team to implement various outreach strategies to continue to expose the contradictions of neocolonialism (black skin covering white power) that plague the Trinidad neighborhood.
Trinidad, being a majority African neighborhood, is currently being gentrified with the property value is skyrocketing and Africans being terrorized into leaving their neighborhood so that affluent university and government workers can move into this priced neighborhood that is in close proximity to downtown Washington.
The Political Action team will deepen an understanding of these and other contradictions in Ward 5 in efforts to build towards the InPDUM Convention that will be held in Philadelphia from October 3-4, 2009 with one of the focuses being on the U.S.-wide budget cuts for social programs and budget increases in police and prisons.
This deepens an understanding that in the midst of an economic crisis that has been the excuse for cutting social services throughout the Washington, DC community, the police and prison budgets never get cut! So while there isn’t money for schools, libraries and health facilities, there is an abundance of money for guns for the police to kill members of the Black community.
Article prepared by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (Washington, DC )
Address: PO Box 55601 Washington, DC 20040