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Uhuru Movement holds press conference to clear up white media’s lies around the Pinellas County sheriff’s murder of three black girls

May 10, 2016
Day Steer

At 10am EDT this morning, The Uhuru Movement held a press conference at the Akwaaba Hall in St. Petersburg, Florida to address the police murders of three teenage African girls––Laniya Miller (15), Ashaunti Butler (15) and Dominique Battle (16). On March 31st, Pinellas police enacted a car chase on these young girls, pushed them into a pond and stood by as they drowned.

The African community of Florida, as well as the Uhuru Movement, is outraged by Pinellas police disregard for African lives and their murder of these children.

Colonial media, along with Pinellas County’s Sheriff’s Department, wasted no time in criminalizing these girls by falsely reporting that the car Laniya, Ashaunti and Dominique perished in was stolen. White media even went as far as to say that the police­­––who initially lied and said that they went into the pond to attempt to save the girls, until a dash-cam video proved otherwise––were “heroes.”

The Uhuru Movement and the African People’s Socialist Party reject this.

We say that the Pinellas sheriff’s department police are MURDERERS.

Press conference: “White people should be ashamed of the police department who functions as a military occupying force in our communities”

This morning’s press conference was held in the middle of the African community to clear up these blatantly false claims and slanderous lies being put forth by the oppressor’s media about Laniya, Ashaunti and Dominique.

Yashica Clemmons, mother of Dominique, was in attendance to the press conference, alongside Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), and her attorney Aaron O’Neal.

Members of the community came out to the conference to receive the summation offered by members of the Uhuru Movement, and to stand in unity with the family of the three girls.

Colonial (white) media representatives were also present.

The press conference was opened up by Chimurenga Waller, as he welcomed attendees and introduced Chairman Omali.

Chairman Omali opened his speech by stating that, “the primary purpose of this meeting is to announce that the Uhuru Movement will be initiating a major international campaign for justice for the three girls who were murdered by Pinellas County sheriff’s department.”

He continued, “The Uhuru Movement wants to stay as far ahead of the slander being thrown at our community and at sister Yashica, her daughter and the other two children.”

The Chairman offered a brilliant summation of the primary contradictions faced by Africans in Florida and all around the country. Africans are colonized subjects and victims of a social system that brutalize us on a daily basis.

He stated that we, “the African community, should not be ashamed of Yashica, and instead, it is white people and people who have authority in this country who should be ashamed of the police department who functions as a military occupying force in our communities. They should be ashamed of how the police reacted on the video after pushing the three girls in the pond.”

The Chairman went on to say that shame should surround sheriff’s deputy Howard Skaggs, who was at the scene of the murder of the three girls, as well as another scene a few years ago where an 18-year-old African was murdered.

The Uhuru Movement held the press conference also as a way of speaking for the African working class, and in particular, Yashica, her murdered daughter and her daughter’s two murdered friends.

“Yashica Clemmons is the true hero”

The Chairman then introduced Sister Yashica and her new Attorney and Uhuru Movement member, Aaron O’Neal.

Aaron began his legal analysis by stressing that the girls were murdered and stated that the police and colonial “media and the sheriff’s department have been working hand-in-hand to make sure that a true in-depth investigation was not conducted in this case. They have been calling these girls criminals and blaming them for their own deaths.

“As a representative of Yashica, I would like to say that she has been through so much. She is truly the hero in this case.”

Aaron went on to lay out the facts of the case, facts that contradict and prove false the claims of the media and police. He outlined that the police did not follow their own protocols around police chases.

Based on evidence, O’Neal stated that a chase did take place, and the PIT maneuver was used. He outlined the “dubious history of deputy Skaggs” and that the Pinellas police bypassed their duty to “provide assistance” to the young girls.

Aaron stated that the Uhuru Movement, “demands that all officers involved in this case be removed from office; reparations be paid to the families of the three girls and Black Community Control of the Police.

Video of Dominique: “We want to show that Dominique was a human face”

The Chairman then introduced Yashica Clemmons, and stated that the Uhuru Movement wants to show that “Dominique was a human face.”

After Yashica read, through tears and an aching voice, a heartfelt letter penned by Dominique before her death. A video of a beautiful laughing Dominique was then played over the projector.

Yashica Clemmons, mother of Dominique Battle, sheds tears as she reads a letter from her daughter.

The Uhuru Movement has to humanize our people, to counteract the vilified images of mug shots put out by the oppressor’s media.

The Chairman then introduced Penny Hess, Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee. He stated frankly that Penny was there because, “she is white, and because being white seems to give a lot of credibility to things where other kinds of evidence won’t do.”

The Chairman continued with criticisms of deputy Skaggs and the Pinellas police. For example, Skaggs stated that the girls were not being chased, but they were fleeing. Chairman Omali posed the question, “If they were not being chased, then who were they fleeing from?”

The Chairman ended the press conference by saying, “These girls are going to be vindicated. They are not just going to be dead meat” and urging the attendees to fully embrace Yashica Clemmons and the other mothers of the three girls. He also urged the attendees to participate in the Uhuru Movement as a way of vindicating the three girls.

After the press conference, various white media spoke with the Chairman, Yashica and her attorney.

Burning Spear Media recorded the press conference Live as it was unfolding.

Please see the video below for the full recap of the Uhuru Movement’s press conference to clear up white power’s lies!

Uhuru!

Control the Narrative!

Black power matters!

Vindicate these three murdered girls, join the Uhuru Movement!

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