ORLANDO, FL—On Monday, September 29 the Committee to Free and Defend Tavon Grayson held a militant demonstration in front of the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, FL., the site of a "Violation of Probation Hearing" for 24-year-old Tavon Grayson.
The unarmed Tavon was ambushed and shot by Orlando police after leaving a downtown nightclub called Beecham Nightclub. Police followed Tavon to the parking garage where his car was parked. As he pulled out of the garage, at least eight cops began shooting at Tavon’s car, – hitting him eight times and running his car off the road.
A witness that appeared on the nightly news the night Tavon was wounded told news cameras that he saw the police pull Tavon out of the car before shooting another round at point blank range into his already bullet-riddled body.
Since his shooting, Tavon has been held captive, suffering in an Orange County jail infirmary bed. He has a hole in his liver, a chunk of his large intestines is gone, he has lost sight in his left eye and he has lost over 40 pounds of weight.
He is in no physical condition to take care of himself, yet the State has claimed that to release Tavon from jail would be imposing a threat to his community.
However, his community has a different take on the matter. As Africans who experience on- going police terror (according to the FBI statistics, two Africans are killed by a white cop each week), we know that the State tried to kill Tavon, and is still trying to kill him in the jail.
The Orlando Police Department has yet to file any charges on Tavon, nor produce a police report serving as its official explanation for how so many bullet holes ended up in Tavon's body and car.
Such details were not necessary for Africans to know the police tried to murder Tavon, simply because that is what police do to young African men. They kill them.
Therefore, the proceedings in the courtroom were secondary to the political factors of the case.
On some level, every single member of the committee and its supporters who attended the hearing understood this was the case, which is why they also organized an international call-in campaign to Judge Robert Evans, and made a point to hold a militant demonstration demanding Tavon's freedom and the arrest and indictment of the killer cops outside of the courthouse before even going inside.
Video of the demonstration can be seen at this link:
Members of the Committee held signs proclaiming "Orlando is Ferguson" and "Resist the war on the Black Community".
It is clear that this movement for justice for a police brutality victim is much more different than what we have seen in recent past. The same system that caused Africans to strike out against the police and national guard in Ferguson, Missouri is being identified as the perpetrator of violence here in Orlando, Florida.
The highlight of the demonstration was the statement made by LAtanya Magwood, Tavon's mother and chair of the Committee to Free and Defend Tavon.
In her statement LAtanya recognized the unity of the struggle of Africans against this vicious government and police force that preys on young African men.
She also extended her unity to all of the other mothers who have been placed in similar, if not worse, circumstances than she.
LAtanya called on everyone to accompany her to the upcoming march on Washington organized by the Black is Back Coalition under the banner of "Peace Through Revolution!" and “Resist U.S. Wars on Africa, African Peoples and Peoples of the World!" scheduled for November 1-2 in Washington DC.
The State did not release Tavon today. However, they felt a significant amount of political pressure.
Likewise the people felt their own power, as we clearly struck a blow against the system.
Now the stage is set for an intense class warfare in the city of Orlando where the committee and the Uhuru movement will do as they declared in this morning's press conference and demonstration – "prevent all peace from occurring in the city of Orlando until the black community wins justice."
The committee to free and defend Tavon is calling on the international community to continue its support for the campaign by continuing the call in campaign to the following forces:
1. Free Tavon! Call Judge Robert Evans of Orange County Court at 407-8362336 and demand Tavon's immediate release.
2. We demand the police report! We are asking our supports to call into the Orlando Police Department at 407-836-3400 and demand the report on the attempted murder of Tavon Grayson.
3. Jail the Shooter Cops! Call Orange County District Attorney at 407-836-2400 and demand that the five cops involved in the shooting of Tavon Grayson be immediately arrested and charged with attempted murder and official oppression.
For more information and to contribute to the defense efforts contact:
Mrs. Magwood at 727-821-6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org