St Petersburg, FL — On February 24, 2011 the African community here was reeling from a full-scale military occupation following the February 21 shooting death of a cop — the third in a month killed in St Petersburg — and the arrest a day later of a barely 16-year-old high school student as a suspect.
Yet, this was when the office of state attorney Bernie McCabe released it’s official report on the killing of Hydra Lacy Jr. and two St. Petersburg cops that had taken place on January 24.
Clearly this timing was chosen so that the report would fly under the radar at a time when most African people in St. Petersburg were preoccupied by the current U.S.-government siege of our community.
Like all the previous “reports” from McCabe, which have always found cops “justified” whenever they murder African people, this report was nothing but another cover up!
Vague and contradictory, McCabe’s latest report is no different than the previous lying reports on the police murders of 18-year-old Tyron Lewis in 1996, 17-year-old Marquell McCullough in 2004, 19-year-old Jarrell Walker in 2005 and 17-year-old Javon Dawson in 2008.
All of these reports covered over the reality that unarmed young black men were gunned down in unprovoked attacks by the police who walked away without paying any consequence while the murdered teenager was portrayed as a criminal.
An article on February 24 in the St. Petersburg Times on the Lacy report reveals that the state attorney is now contradicting earlier media and police accounts that never mentioned that Lacy had been tasered repeatedly by police as he was complying with police demands and being handcuffed before any cops were killed.
Also, the Times article does not specifically say that Deputy Marshal Ley, who was also wounded that day, actually saw Lacy shoot Yaslowitz in the attic of Lacy’s house.
The African community is clear that this report is part of a major cover up of what really happened to Hydra Lacy on January 24, 2011.
The question of why the city of St. Petersburg bulldozed Lacy’s house after he had been killed, carting the rubble away in trucks the same day was not addressed in the St. Petersburg Times article.
Many people in the African community are clear that the police and the city simply covered over their crimes by destroying the “crime scene” and all the evidence that was in the house.
The demolition and removal of the Lacy house was ordered by racial extremist mayor Bill Foster, who overstepped his authority and violated the law in giving the order to destroy the evidence.
In fact, even “police experts” criticized the demolition of the Lacy house.
An article in the St. Petersburg Times on February 2 states that, “Mayor Bill Foster ordered the immediate demolition of the house where the officers were shot, a decision that experts interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times say will compromise future investigations.”
During the January 24 standoff, the neighborhood surrounding Hydra Lacy’s house on the south side of St. Petersburg was put on lockdown.
The neighborhood was flooded with assault-weapon toting local police along with federal forces from such agencies as the FBI, ATF, DEA, as well as Homeland Security troops in armored vehicles, proving that this was no local operation. It was a U.S. government military occupation of a colonized African community.
Cops storm Lacy house armed for battle
According to the Times article on the state attorney’s report, Deputy U.S. Marshal Ley and two undercover detectives came to Lacy’s home dressed for battle, armed to the teeth and determined to be intimidating at 7 am on the morning of January 24.
They were armed for a major fight even though they were supposedly there only to serve a warrant after Lacy “failed to show up for court on aggravated battery charges.”
The St. Petersburg Times article states that the cops were told by Lacy’s wife that Lacy was in the attic after the cops consciously tried to “ramp up her anxiety.”
According to the article, Deputy U.S. Marshall Ley, who was also wounded that day, called for back up from St. Petersburg police who sent, among others, K-9 cop Yaslowitz and Baitinger, the two cops who were killed.
Deputy Ley found a two-step ladder and “ran an extension mirror with a light through the access opening” to the attic.
The article states that Ley could only “see boxes and duct work and an air handler.”
Then, the report says that St. Petersburg cop Yaslowitz “suddenly hoisted himself into the attic.” Ley followed, getting stuck in the attic opening and requiring a strong shove from the officers below.
The article states both officers searched with lights “but saw nothing.” Ley lowered himself back down out of the attic.
When Yaslowitz, who stayed in the attic, found Lacy he told Lacy to back towards him on the rafters, an order that Lacy was carrying out, according to the report.
The article states “Lacy for the most part was being compliant…” Ley, who apparently then went back up into the attic, is reported to say, ”I heard the cuffs ratchet,” suggesting that Lacy was being cuffed.
Ley is quoted in the report as saying that he saw Yaslowitz’s light “come off Lacy. So it went dark.”
Ley then states, according to the article, that Lacy “began to roll over, his left arm coming up. As he and Yaslowitz begin to struggle, Ley shot his Taser into Lacy’s shoulder and chest and applied the electric charge twice.”
Ley also claims he had a light on his Taser, so the reporting on whether there was actually light in the attic or not at this time is contradictory.
Lacy is then reported to reply to being shot by the Taser by saying, “You got me. Stop it.” Nevertheless, Ley continued to Taser Lacy repeatedly.
According to the report, it was then that Ley heard a shot, although the article does not state clearly what happened.
The article does not say that Lacy shot Yaslowitz. It states that, “Ley heard a shot and Tasered Lacy again. Then more shots. Ley continued to Taser Lacy and saw Yaslowitz roll to the side.”
Ley allegedly then dropped his Taser and pulled out his gun in total darkness. The article states that this is when Ley was wounded with shots to the chest and groin.
The article states that, “an autopsy showed that Lacy had 10 gunshot wounds, with one fatal shot striking his chest.
“Yaslowitz was shot twice in the head in rapid succession, indicating that both shots came from Lacy’s 9mm Taurus…”
Indicating? Why weren’t the bullets in the bodies clearly examined and the guns tested for DNA? The article leaves open the possibility that the bullets in Yazlowitz’s body could have even been from Ley’s gun.
Were the guns conveniently destroyed along with all other evidence with the destruction of the house? Why didn’t the autopsy clearly reveal which guns the bullet wounds in the bodies had come from?
Police assault on Lacy house part of the war on the African community
The police entered Hydra Lacy’s house in the same way that they treat the African community every day: as a military force occupying an enemy population.
The police actions in every way escalated the violence of the operation instead of simply trying to apprehend Lacy with the help of a family friend or negotiator, as they would have done if Lacy had been a white man.
The cops were cowboys, always ready to ride roughshod over the African community.
Even an article in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 27, asked the question, “Why didn’t officers call in the SWAT team and a negotiator and wait?” Instead the cops went right into the attic in an attempt to strong arm the situation.
For the African community, the U.S. government carries out military counterinsurgency tactics no different than what the U.S. military is carrying out in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
InPDUM demands a people’s investigation of the attack on Lacy
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) is calling for a people’s investigation of what really happened in the Lacy home on January 24, and why the Lacy house and the containing evidence was immediately torn down and taken away.
InPDUM is also demanding the re-opening of the investigations of cases of the police murders of Tyron Lewis, Marquell McCullough, Jarrell Walker and Javon Dawson.
The U.S. government’s war against the African community must stop now!
We demand cops out of the African community!
As Point 8 of the 14-Point Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party USA states: “We want the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. police from our oppressed and exploited communities.”
Join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement!