[Hpn] Fwd: PLEASE DISTRIBUTE: A Stolen Life, Kevin Morales, 17, 7/23/2000, Chicago Chicago

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Thu, 27 Jul 2000 23:27:13 -0700

>Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 22:27:35 -0700
>To: coh@sfo.com
>From: "Coalition on Homelessness, SF" <coh@sfo.com>
>Subject: Fwd: PLEASE DISTRIBUTE: A Stolen Life, Kevin Morales, 17, 
>7/23/2000, Chicago
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>>X-Sender: oct22sf@
>>Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 22:10:49 -0700
>>To: Oct22sf@energy-net.org
>>From: Oct 22nd Coalition <Oct22sf@energy-net.org>
>>Subject: PLEASE DISTRIBUTE: A Stolen Life, Kevin Morales, 17,
>>   7/23/2000, Chicago
>>Kevin Morales' Life: Stolen by the Police
>>July 23, 2000-Statement from the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police
>>Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation, Chicago
>>Chicago-On Thursday, July 20, Kevin Morales was shot dead by the Chicago
>>Police as he lay on the sidewalk, handcuffed, wounded and unarmed. The
>>police had rolled up on him and a few other youth and immediately started
>>shooting without even identifying themselves or calling out any commands
>>like "Freeze". Kevin ran.
>>The day before Kevin's murder, Miguel DeLaRosa , a 12-year-old youth, had
>>been murdered in an alleged drive-by shooting a few blocks from where Kevin
>>lived. There was a certain tenseness in the neighborhood as a result of
>>Miguel's death and the intensified police harassment and brutality.
>>When police opened fire, Kevin was hit in the leg. He continued to try to
>>run. He had a good reason for not wanting to end up in jail or worse that
>>particular evening.
>>He had his first really serious job interview scheduled for later that day.
>>The skill he had developed putting sound systems in friends' cars for as
>>favors, had gotten him an interview and a good prospect of getting a job at
>>a sound system store. He had high hopes that he would finally get a job and
>>be able to support himself and his young child for the first time. He had
>>told his parents and friends that his main goal was "to get a job", "get
>>his life together" and "change his life."
>>He had been out of school for one year. He got kicked out of school at the
>>end of his sophomore year for a fist-fight. According to other students who
>>attended Clemente High School with Kevin, he defended himself when various
>>gangs tried to force him to join up. Kevin was considered a "neutron"
>>(non-gang-affiliated) by everyone in all the various gangs. He wanted to go
>>to school and finish high school. The gang-affiliated and neutron youth
>>alike respected him for standing up for what he believed in. "The man knew
>>what empathy was," said one youth as many others nodded in agreement.
>>It was a nice summer night, about 1:15am when this all jumped off. Many
>>people were awake with their windows open, letting the cool breezes of the
>>evening come inside their bedrooms. Many people witnessed and /or heard
>>what came next after the cops shot Kevin in the leg. Kevin fell behind the
>>other youth as they ran in the alley behind the crowded apartments and
>>flats of Humboldt Park. People overheard the cops threaten as they chased
>>the youth in the alley, "let's get one of these motherf***ers".
>>The rest of the young men got away or hid. Kevin staggered into a gangway.
>>The police opened fire. There are at least 6 obvious bullet marks, circled
>>by the police investigators, in the gangway. All the bullet holes point in
>>the direction Kevin was running. None point back towards the cops. The
>>police story is that Kevin was firing at them as he ran.
>>Numerous witnesses saw what came next. Kevin came through the gate to the
>>front of the building, staggering from numerous gun shot wounds. He tried
>>to continue to run, but he fell down on the sidewalk. The cops came up on
>>Kevin. He was defenseless. He cried out, "it's hurting", "don't kill me",
>>and "I don't have a gun" as he lay writhing in pain on the sidewalk in full
>>view of his neighbors. The cops handcuffed Kevin. Then they started kicking
>>Kevin in the face and body, over and over and over again. They yelled, "Die
>>motherf***er", as they kicked Kevin. Kevin was handcuffed face down,
>>unarmed and alive, when one of the cops flipped him over onto his back. One
>>of the cops brutally fired two shots, execution style, at point blank
>>range, into Kevin's defenseless body. Kevin's life was stolen when he was
>>only 17 years old.
>>People Demand Justice for Kevin
>>The resistance of the people to this brutal murder was immediate and just.
>>People young and old, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Black, Native American and
>>white, came out of their houses and called out "murderers" as they pointed
>>their fingers at the police. The police on the scene called for backup.
>>Dozens of cops flooded into the area. When the commanding officer arrived
>>he told the people who were demanding that the police call an ambulance for
>>Kevin to "get the f*** out of here." The police refused to call the 
>>A neighbor called for an ambulance. The ambulance didn't arrive for 30 to
>>40 minutes. Even then the cops wouldn't let any of the people try to help
>>save Kevin's life. Meanwhile the people cursed the police and stood their
>>crowd even as they were ordered to disperse. Two youth were arrested and
>>beaten in the paddy wagons just for being there.
>>Finally, the ambulance arrived. People were outraged that the cops then
>>tried to pretend Kevin was still alive by propping up his lifeless body in
>>a wheelchair as if he had maybe just twisted his ankle. His body fell out
>>of the wheelchair at least once as they took him to the ambulance. The
>>police refused to allow Kevin's family to accompany him in the ambulance.
>>They were later told he had died in the hospital.
>>This lie that he died in the hospital was a clumsy attempt to try to cover
>>up how the police coldly executed Kevin right in front of the eyes of his
>>friends and neighbors.
>>The next morning the papers obediently reported the police self-defense lie
>>combined with a new lie. Perhaps Kevin, the media suggested, based on the
>>usual "unnamed police sources", had something to do with the earlier
>>shooting of 12-year-old Miguel DeLaRosa. No material evidence was offered
>>to justify this lie, but that didn't seem to matter. It was woven together
>>with his one juvenile offense in a clumsy attempt to try to make him look
>>like some horrible criminal.
>>Everybody in the neighborhood knew Kevin was no criminal.
>>The people tried to get their version of what happened and what Kevin was
>>about into the press. In the midst of the gang war frenzy being whipped up
>>by the politicians and the media, very little of the people's story got
>>through. Especially glaring was the omission of the eye witness accounts
>>that Kevin was executed while unarmed, handcuffed and helpless.
>>On Friday, Kevin's loved ones and friends set up a memorial to him, right
>>on the sidewalk where Kevin was murdered. His blood had dried there and
>>people put their memorials of handwritten signs, candles and flowers
>>carefully around the blood on the sidewalk.
>>People held vigil for Kevin all day and all night. T-shirts appeared that
>>said "R.I.P., Kevin and Miguel" (referring to the 12-year-old who was shot
>>before Kevin). No one in the neighborhood believed Kevin had anything to do
>>with the shooting of Miguel.
>>The memorial enraged the police. They circled around constantly. They spit
>>on the memorial, laughed and said, "It's good that it happened" (referring
>>to Kevin's murder). They demanded that the people remove the memorial. The
>>people refused. As more people learned of Kevin's death they brought
>>offerings to the memorial to show their love and respect.
>>Finally, the cops tried to end it all with a show of force. 50 cops showed
>>up. 65 people, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Black and white, refused to disperse
>>or tear down the memorial as the cops demanded. The cops then fired mace at
>>the whole crowd, spraying young children and pregnant women. One youth was
>>pistol-whipped by a cop. Still people refused to move or tear down the
>>memorial. 3 or 4 paddy wagons showed up as if the cops were going to make a
>>mass arrest. People wouldn't move because they felt they had justice on
>>their side and that they had to stand up for Kevin since he couldn't stand
>>up for himself.
>>People yelled "murderers" at the army of cops. Finally, the cops descended
>>en masse on the crowd, clubbing people indiscriminately and forcing them
>>back about 50 feet. As people dispersed for about ten minutes, the cops
>>fled. The people returned and stood vigil the rest of the night at Kevin's
>>memorial. It stands today as a reminder of a young man's life, stolen in
>>the night by the criminals in blue. In total about 10 people have been
>>arrested as a result of police intimidation tactics. The cops come through
>>every 3 or 4 minutes, stopping cars in general and roughing up young men in
>>particular; writing tickets for everything they can think of. People
>>believe that all this harassment "gives away" that the cops are murderers.
>>As we are writing this, the police have destroyed half of Kevin's memorial.
>>    [end]
>>Coming Up 
>>* The family and friends of Kevin Morales would like to invite all those
>>who loved and respected Kevin to come out to a protest against police
>>murder and brutality. Monday, July 24th, Union Park Fieldhouse, Ashland &
>>Washington intersection, 2pm. This protest is called by the Christian
>>Council on Urban Affairs (773-265-0909).
>>* The family and friends of Kevin would also like all those who knew Kevin
>>and those who didn't but want justice to come to Kevin's wake at Caribe
>>Funeral Home (3314 W. Armitage) 3-7 PM Mon., July 24, 2000.
>>* The October 22nd Coalition meets the first Wednesday of every month at
>>6:30pm at Trinity church, 26th & Michigan (use door on East side of
>>* October 20-22, 2000 will be a weekend of Resistance and Remembrance as
>>part of the Oct. 22nd National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality,
>>Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation.
>>773-528-1701 NDP-Chicago@unstoppable.com http://www.unstoppable.com/22
>>Fax: 773-528-3270  Stolen Lives, c/o Wellington Church, 615 W. Wellington
>>Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
>>National Office: 1-888-NO-BRUTALITY or 212-477-8062

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