Cops who kill blacks and Latinos are not just getting off scot-free — they’re getting promotions and pay raises.
Earlier this week, Erick Gelhaus, the killer cop in Sonoma County, CA, who three years ago gunned down Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old carrying a toy gun in a Santa Rosa park, was promoted to sergeant and given a substantial pay raise.
“Andy Lopez had committed no crime and no one had called the police about him, yet Gelhaus and his partner acted as if they were in a combat zone on a search-and-destroy mission,” Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard, a founding member of the Black Panther Party, wrote in the San Francisco BayView, on August 7.
Gelhaus’ promotion comes eight months after the promotion of Kenneth Boss, one of four New York City cops who shot 22-year-old Amadou Diallo 41 times, killing him, when he reached for his wallet, and just six months after the promotion of a Georgia cop who fatally shot 23-year-old Nick Thomas in the back.
“He shouldn’t be getting a promotion, he should be terminated,” Thomas’ mother Mawuli Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in February. “It sends a message that what happened to Nick Thomas is okay. It’s one thing to not be indicted, it’s another thing to be rewarded.”
It ain’t no secret (it ain’t no secret)
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living in your American skin…
— Bruce Springsteen