- Posted April 6, 2012 by
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
This iReport is part of an assignment:
One year since Trayvon Martin's death
FBI Kills Innocent Man While family watched without reprecussions!
I have to say that I think the Trayvon Martin case is extremely tragic. I think what is even more tragic is that his story is not unique. These tragic events happen so often in African American society that Black parents have rules for their sons. 1. Do not be disrespectful to police. And 2. If being detained by the police do not fight because it is more than likely to lead to their death. Even when following these rules it is not always enough. I read a story today while doing research on this article that broke my heart. A black home owner called police to report a burglary. Apparently, the home owner's 14 year old son was at home during the break in and hid in the closet. The police found him hiding in the closet and shot and killed him.http://openjurist.org/761/f2d/242/morrison-v-city-of-baton-rouge
If need be, I am sure I can find several heartbreaking stories just like this one. I agree that the law should be respected. However, I would like to know if there are any other ethnic groups that have to warn their children of the possible dangers while dealing with law enforcement? I have taken my liberties to add an excerpt from Race & Democracy: The Civil Right Struggle in Louisiana from 1915-1972. It is as follows " The killing of blacks by policemen presented the most egregious examples of alleged police brutality. These were also the cases most likely to move blacks to violent anger and least likely to incur legal retribution. In many cases, of course, policemen had to tackle armed and resisting suspects, situations that sometimes necessitated the use of lethal force.
Often, however, police shot and killed suspects who presented no physical threat, using flight or the slightest degree of resistance as a pretext for opening fire. “In this state,” Harvey Britton noted, “the mere suspicion that a Negro has committed a crime has proven to be sufficient reason for arresting officers to inflict bodily harm, and in many cases death.
” Actually, such grotesque overreaction was peculiar neither to Louisiana nor the South. Members of the Los Angeles Police Department, for example, routinely shot at fleeing suspects, killing and maiming dozens of people every year. Moreover, white politicians sanctioned such methods. As Baton Rouge district attorney Sargent Pitcher put it, “ I have always maintained that officers... are acting within the law when they have been forced to shoot at a fleeing felon.” Most whites, North and South, would heartily have endorsed this view. Juries everywhere were notoriously reluctant to indict or convict policemen accused of killing suspects, even of the latter turned out to be unarmed or innocent.
The fact that the policemen were far more likely to shoot blacks than whites underscored the belief, shared by virtually all black people, that the police placed little value on black lives and operated a double standard of justice.
Some killings had so little justification that they occasionally shocked whites as well. A manager at a Shreveport steelworks witnessed the slaying of Ira Mason, a mentally disturbed black employee. “I would like.... to join you,” he wrote the local NAACP, “in bringing pressure on our Police Department to train and educate its members to handle situations such as these. I cannot in any way feel that Ira Mason had to be shot in order to subdue him.” In Lafayette, a ringing burglar alarm brought police to a nightclub; battering the front door down, they killed the owner, Norbert “Baba” Landry, mistaking him for an intruder. A number of whites joined the NAACP in protesting the slaying. In New Orleans, the staff of the Human Relations Committee complained that the city's police department continued to ignore suspect killings.
One particular police officer according to the City Attorney's office – has killed six people in a year and a half. Two of the people were killed while the officer was off duty. Again, according to the City Attorney's office, the last shooting was outright murder."
This excerpt is about a book covering incidents in Louisiana from 1915-1972. Notice how similar this is to what is happening today almost a hundred years later? The only reason these issues are still prevalent today is because they were covered up in the past and never corrected. Hiding the truth does not change it.
While watching the media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, it made me decide to look into the details of a case that involved my family. While reading through the media and case notes involving Milton Leon Scott, I noticed both in the Scott's and the Martin's cases that they were handled pretty much the same way. http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg-Watergate%20Files/FBI/FBI%2037.pdf
Milton had his wallet stolen sometime in November of 1972, which led to his death by the FBI in 1973. There are lots similarities in the handling of these two cases even though they occurred 40 years apart. The question is how can this still happen?The person that stole Milton's wallet, one Calvin Henry Wallace, joined the army and ended up going AWOL. If having your wallet stolen was not bad enough, Can you imagine how much worst it would be if it cost you your life? This is exactly what happened to Milton. On July 18, 1973, at 11:25am at a little shotgun house in Baton Rouge,
Milton told his wife the week before the shooting, that he had noticed that someone had been following him and taking his picture. They did not know what it was about at the time, needless to say, it made them uneasy. On February 18, 1973, the young couple Milton 21 and his wife Beverly 25 lost their 5 year old (Andre) due to a tumor. This sadly was not to be the only grave loss the family suffered that year.
On July 18, 1973, the FBI came to the Scott's home to arrest Milton for deserting the US Army. Beverly claimed that the officers asked her husband if he was Milton Scott, he said yes. The officers proceeded to tell Milton they had a warrant for his arrest for deserting the US Army. Milton told the two officers that he was not then nor had never been in the army. Then he informed the officers that they could not enter his home with the weapons they were carrying. He had a pregnant wife and a young child inside and then he closed the door. Then Beverly claimed the two officers a Delbert W Hahn and Bill Woods kicked the door in and drug Milton out while she and their daughter watched in horror. The officers claimed when they kicked in the door Milton rushed them and tried to take their weapon, which led to his shooting, clubbing and kick to the back out on the porch.
This is vastly different from Mrs Scott's claims. She claimed after Milton was drug from the house, she heard a scuffle on the porch and then two shots rang out. She looked out of the window and saw one of the agents kick her husband in the back while he was on the ground. Within hours of Milton's death, the FBI realized that the man they were looking for, a Calvin Henry Wallace had been in jail the entire time for forgery. (Wallace had a history of identity theft).
In 1972, there was a riot deemed the Black Muslim riot in Baton Rouge, LA.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,905651,00.html
During the black Muslim riot, two of the local cops died, as well as two of the Black Muslims. 31 others were also injured during the riot. Milton had been a Black Muslim at the time of his death. I don't know if there is any correlation between the two of these incidents. I do know the case notes mentioned that Milton was one of the big men in the Baton Rouge area in regards to the Black Muslims movement. These incidents may or may not have anything to do with one another, however, I can say it goes a long way to show the level of racial tension that the area was experiencing.
Why did I find this story familiar with Trayvon's Martin case? In the case notes it was stated that Beverly Scott, the widow that was present during most of the incident was not questioned until much later after the incident occurred. This was also the case with anyone else that may have seen what occurred. There was a mention in the agent's statements that said Milton had been highly skilled in hand to hand combat. Beverly told reporters that Milton did not believe in fighting nor had he ever had any training in hand to hand combat.http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19730721&id=1U0vAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wmYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2764,1736109
The lie about the hand to hand combat was used to justify the excessive force used on Scott. How else could a man of such small statue as Milton 5'5” 130 lbs and barefoot beat up two armed and trained FBI agents? Why else would they have had a need to club him with their billy club, then shoot him twice, and top it off with a kick his to his back while he lay bleeding to death? Can you say excessive force? The FBI agents were able give their full account on what happened while, any other witness testimony was not given until weeks later. In the Martin, case there were quite a few witnesses that were trying to give their account of what happened during the incident and the police did not question them. In both cases, the police took the word of the assailant as if it were law. How many times has a person that committed a crime willingly told the police something that could implicate them? I venture to say it does not happen very often.
Add to the fact that the witnesses could have had something to add to clarify details already given investigators by the involved parties. Yet they were not questioned until well after the shooting incident occurred. The point of my story is to bring attention to this story to get the justice that it deserves, as well as to show that even 40 years later using self defense as a means to commit murder on people of color is highly effective, especially when witness accounts are disregarded. http://books.google.com/books?id=BVsDAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=En&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=Milton%20Scott&f=false
America is too great of a country to let things like this happen in 2012. Please help the Scott family get the justice they deserve by helping bring this story to the light. I know some of you may be thinking it happened so long ago why bring it back up? To those of you that feel this way the Titanic sank a hundred years ago and now they are doing a recap of that tragedy. Just because, a tragedy happens long ago, does not make it any less tragic years later.
Mrs Scott wants justice because she lost her husband as well as the father of her children. Several someones in the FBI did not do their jobs which cost Milton his life. What makes it even more tragic is that when she tried to get justice for her families' lost, she hired three lawyers whom all ended up dead due to various reasons.
After the third lawyers death, she interviewed with Mary Olive Pierson Attorney at law. Ms Pierson shortly there after told Mrs Scott that she had started receiving death threats due to the Scott's case. Ms Pierson then went on to tell Mrs Scott that if she valued her life, and the lives of her children then she should just leave it alone. Mrs Scott followed her advice. Our family never truly recovered from our loss. Help us get the closure our family needs and deserves. Help bring attention to this Injustice!
With incidents like this happening to the black family so often, does the blame lie only on our shoulders that there are so many broken black families? Would there be less broken black families if we were all treated the same way? Was it my mom's fault that she was a single mother? The FBI killed her husband because they didn't do their job. Was it their children's fault that they no longer had a father?
Why wouldn't the FBI have had a picture of the man they were looking for? In the agent's earlier statement according to Donald W Moore, the head of the FBI agents had Scott's picture and it matched. Then Moore came back later and stated that the agents did not have the picture of Scott at the time of his death and, sometimes their department is the last to receive this type of info. Then the question becomes why not wait until you have everything you need before acting? This way innocent people do not die and the witnesses are not traumatized for life.
In short, I think that this incident should be looked into to find out why the Scott family never got even an apology for their loss, let alone any justice? Seeing what is happening with Trayvon's family has reopened old wounds.
Was there even a warrant for Milton's arrest? Why was there no photo to be sure that the man the FBI were looking for were one and the same? What if there were more than one man named Milton Scott? Would they have rounded them all up and shot or arrested them? Was the normal procedure for finding a deserter used in Milton's case? Was he singled out because the FBI was targeting Black Muslims or just Black men in general? In 1969, there was a rash of slayings of young black men in the Baton Rouge area by law officials. Then with the Black Muslim riot in 1972, I think either could be possible.
Why when a black person says they were treated unfairly due to the color of their skin is the focus on the race card being played, instead of the issue itself which very well may be racial indeed? Can you say deflection and or denial? Why do the police shoot center mass or multiple times on blacks instead shooting to disarm them? Why are the targets used on the shooting range a black silhouette? I know the police have a dangerous job, however I would like to know the number of innocent or unarmed blacks that have been killed by law enforcement vs the number of blacks that have shot and or killed police. If the police shootings and killing of blacks out number the police being fired on by blacks something needs to be done and soon!
People wonder why Blacks are so mistrustful of authority. When the authority are the ones that create the unjust situations how can we be anything else? The Sanford Police were involved in a cover up in the Martin case just as the FBI was in the Scott case in 1973. Who polices the police? Why do situations like this keep getting swept under the rug? Until blacks are treated fairly in the justice system and are no longer vilified in the media this will sadly continue.
Crime is done in similar rates amongst all races, why is the arrest rate so much higher among people of color? Also why are blacks more likely to get shot or killed during an encounter with law enforcement? If you know of injustices like these and you do nothing to have it corrected you may as well be the one pulling the trigger. There needs to be a unified move to correct this issue. I am not asking for much I just want you to share our story so something gets done. Is that too much to ask? If an injustice like this happened to your family would you ask for any less?