Have I lost my mind, or has police killings of black men and women gone up since Barack Obama became President? Here another kinngs of a black man at the hands of white police officers. Get this, as reported by By Corina Curry and Chris Green of The Rockford Register Star Police fatally shot a 23-year-old Rockford man today inside a day care housed inside a downtown church.
Yes in a Daycare Church in front of little black children, but Rockford's Black Community is not taking this lying down. Black folks are speaking out about the deadly daycare shooting. A vigil for the young man shot and killed by Rockford Police has been held and more action is planned.
There is more... It looks like right-wing militias are on the rise in local police departments as well.
The Rockford Register Star reports police and two witnesses gave conflicting accounts of the events leading up to the shooting. Police said Mark Anthony Barmore was killed after he fought with an officer for his service weapon inside a classroom at the House of Grace Daycare and Preschool.
Two day-care operators said there was no struggle over a gun. They said Barmore was shot multiple times after he emerged from a dark boiler room with his hands up.
Marissa Brown, 17, the daughter of day-care operator Sheila Brown, said she witnessed the shooting.
“The officer shined his flashlight into the boiler room and told him to come out. He came out real slow with his hands up and his head down, and they shot him.
“He fell over into the sink. He tried to get back up, and they shot him again. A heavy-set officer was the one who was shooting him while he was on the ground.”
Sheila Brown said she witnessed the shootings after Barmore was on the ground. She said the officers fired as many as eight rounds into Barmore including at least one shot into his head.
The names of the officers were not released.
School was in session at House of Grace Daycare and Preschool, 518 N. Court St., but none of the children or staff members were injured. It’s unclear at this time what the children may have seen.
Chief Chet Epperson, who was on the scene, said Barmore had a physical confrontation with one of the officers in a storage area within one of the school’s classrooms. He said Barmore put his hands on the officer’s handgun and a fight ensued, resulting in gunfire from both officers.
Epperson said it’s too soon to tell who fired first and which officer fired the fatal shot or shots.
An investigation into the shooting and the officers’ use of deadly force is under way, Epperson said.
According to police, two Rockford officers were on the Jefferson Street Bridge heading west when a call went out over police radio alerting officers of a wanted subject. Epperson said he believes the call gave a description of race, approximate age, height, weight and clothing being worn.
The subject was wanted in connection with two domestic disputes, one of which may have involved the use of a knife, Epperson said.
When the officers approached the intersection of Palm and Court streets, they spotted a man who fit the description. Epperson said one of the officers got out of the police squad role van and followed the subject after he ran into Kingdom Authority International Ministries. Kingdom Authority and House of Grace Daycare are connected.
The other officer entered the church from the south and met the officer and the male subject in the day care basement where the shooting occurred.
“I’m extremely concerned if this shooting took place in front of children. I’m extremely concerned whenever there is gunfire in the city,” Epperson said. “But gunfire when children (are) around is just raised to a higher degree. ... We will be investigating this. We will be looking to see if everything was done appropriately.”
The incident will go through an internal review and a criminal investigation, and the shootings will be taken before the Winnebago County grand jury for a ruling on the officers’ use of deadly force and whether it was justified. More information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com
“There are multiple layers of review that this thing will go through,” Epperson said.
A search of Winnebago County court records shows Barmore has an extensive criminal history including arrests for aggravated assault against a police officer with a fire arm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and resisting a peace officer.
Emotions were still running high at the church tonight. Before a church revival, House of Grace Pastor Melvin Brown ushered in a parade of area black pastors denouncing the shooting.
Bishop John Senters of Faith Walkers Assembly said he contacted the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
“He was enraged on the telephone,” he said. “He is ready to come to help give voice to this. This can’t die. This can’t be swept under the rug.”
AAPP, When is enough, enough? Right-wing militias are on the rise in local police departments. Black folks need to keep a watchful eye on this.A big shout out to bloggers such as Rippa, Sojourner's Place, Field Negro, Dale at his new blog, HateCrimeWatch Antoinette at her new blog, Antoinette's "Point of View", Ms. Lady Deborah at her blog my brown eyed view and Francis Holland at the Police Brutality Blog who are alsostanding in the gap and holding it down.