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The Akron Police Department has documented history of inflicting violence on citizens without due process. The above article from Akron Beacon Journal dated January 24, 1928 happens to be the most “on brand” and relevant warning ever for the Akron Police Department to intimidate Akron’s citizens into unquestioning compliance. Before there were police cruisers and paddy-wagons strolling the streets, there were actual wagons fit with wooden spokes and wheels driven by police officers carrying out violence in the dirt roads of Akron. My, oh my, how times have…changed? Oh wait…
Reading this article, I noticed a couple of things.
1. The Akron Police Department arrested a man based solely off a single complaint made that he was SUSPECTED of robbery, but with no actual evidence.
2. They killed yet another man, while he was fleeing.
I find these lines in particular, especially “on brand.”
“There is in an Akron morgue a man who was brought to that untimely end by his defiance of the authority of Akron police…There are several morals to be derived from this incident. One is that when policemen call upon a person to surrender, it is well to do so gracefully, and without cavil (without making “petty or unnecessary objections”- that is). Resistance only raises suspicion of guilt. If a person is innocent of the thing accused, the place to prove it is in court, instead of by resort to cunning or a lively pair of heels. Another is that Akron and environs are not a wholesome district in which desperate or suspicious characters may be abroad. Several times within the year Akron police have ‘shot it out’ with bandits or potential killers, and with the victory always on the side of the law.” (Emphasis mine).
This advice is hypocritical to say the least. That second piece of advice could easily be turned around to read, “If a person is guilty of the thing accused, the place to prove it is in court, instead of shooting them in the street for fleeing police violence.” But I digress…
The Akron Police Department has inflicted violence onto citizens without due process for generations, yet nothing has changed. The same department that murdered this unnamed man in 1928 is the same department that murdered other fleeing individuals like 16 year old John Wood in 1979, 21 year old William Lemmon in 2015 and 25 year old Jayland Walker in 2022. They have not changed. They’ve continued to show us who they are and have continued to murder citizens for simply disobeying their commands. They act as judge, jury, and executioner with an endless amount of unchecked power.