On Sunday, December 19, police shot dead Nakita Williams, 33, in Detroit, Michigan. She allegedly wielded a weapon – later determined to be an airsoft gun – against customers and employees at a Sunoco gas station in the east of the city during an apparent mental health crisis.
Four Detroit cops arrived at the gas station after receiving multiple 911 calls and opened fire on Williams, who succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital.
Williams left four children in mourning just a week before the Christmas holidays. “They cried all day. I try to make them understand, but this is something you will never get over, ”Eddie Dobbs, the father of his children, told ClickOnDetroit.
According to Detroit Police Chief James White, an independent investigation is underway by Michigan State Police. DPD posted still images from body camera footage, but not the entire video itself.
“As one of the customers approached the store, she met this customer, pointed a gun at this customer, (and) this customer turned and walked away. She’s coming out of the store, ”White explained. “At that precise moment, the officers met her. She turns and points the gun at the officer. The officers hired her, ”he continued.
White said officers fired shots, hit the suspect, and then kicked the gun off her, after which they discovered that the “gun” was just an airsoft pistol.
The chief said Williams had never fired the airsoft gun but threatened people for at least seven minutes. The 911 call arrived at around 6:09 p.m. and the police showed up and confronted her at around 6:09 p.m.
“She’s someone’s sister, maybe someone’s mother, certainly someone’s daughter. It is therefore a tragic day. We are there, and now we are looking at our policies, our practices and ensuring that they are followed. But from what I can see, she was pointing a gun and the police hired her. It’s just a tragic situation we had to get ourselves into, ”White said, feigning sympathy to quell popular outrage while apologizing for the murder.
Police in the United States routinely deploy deadly force against the working class, killing more than 1,000 people each year with impunity.
Police killed at least 1,051 people in 2021 alone, according to Mapping Police Violence. There were only 12 days in 2021 that a murder by police went unrecorded in the United States. Between 2013 and 2021, officers from the Detroit Police Department killed 23 people, including 19-year-old Michael Adams III, shot dead by undercover police in August 2021.
Despite the largest wave of protests against police violence in U.S. history following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, police murders have continued unabated and funding for departments across the country has failed. only increases. This includes efforts to hire even more police officers by relaxing the requirements.
Already, a candidate only needs to meet the following standards to be considered for a Detroit Police Officer position: be 18, be a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma or GED, 20/20 view (or 20/20 corrected vision), a valid Michigan driver’s license and a clean criminal record, and have no felony convictions on your record (even if it’s written off). Accepted applicants must complete basic training at the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy after successfully completing the selection process. A minimum of 19 weeks of lessons is required for basic training. Therefore, it takes about 4 to 5 months to become a police officer, while in Detroit it takes longer, 11 to 22 months, with 1,800 hours, to become a licensed barber.
Total police spending in Detroit’s 2022 budget is $ 341 million, while the health department’s budget is $ 42.8 million and its housing department’s budget is $ 69.9 million. of dollars. The aim of the ruling class is not to allocate the necessary resources to mitigate and eliminate the spread of COVID-19, but to ensure that the working class stays in its place, including by suppressing protests and strikes with a well-funded police force.