What is going on with the police in Ohio? From the looks of things with the shooting deaths of John Crawford and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, you would think that the state recently lost its mind. But if the FBI’s recently-released report on the rampant corruption of the Cleveland Police Department is any indication, dirty cops shooting innocent, unarmed people in Ohio is far from new.
Some stories make national headlines, but many do not. One of those that was swept under the rug and ignored by almost all of the national mainstream media, was the shooting of 26-year-old Tarika Wilson and her 14-month-old infant child. Now, community activists are calling for this case to be reexamined and brought into the national spotlight on police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Back in 2008, a SWAT team showed up at Wilson’s house in Lima, Ohio’s Southside neighborhood. It was early in the evening on January 4th. The warrant the SWAT cops had was part of the failed so-called “War on Drugs.”
But it was not Wilson who was named on the warrant, it was her companion Anthony Terry. Without any warning, officers smashed her door down and entered with machine guns drawn, according to neighbors who witnessed the raid.
In just seconds, SWAT officers shot and killed Wilson, 26, and wounded her 14-month-old son.
The shooter, Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, a 31-year veteran of the Lima police force, was placed on paid administrative leave.
The New York Times reported that “Black people in Lima, from the poorest citizens to religious and business leaders, complain that rogue police officers regularly stop them without cause, point guns in their faces, curse them and physically abuse them.
“They say the shooting of Ms. Wilson is only the latest example of a long-running pattern of a few white police officers treating African-Americans as people to be feared,” the paper added.
“There is an evil in this town,” C. M. Manley, 68, pastor of New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church told reporters. “The police harass me. They harass my family. But they know that if something happens to me, people will burn down this town.”
As you might have expected, an internal investigations said that they found “no evidence of police misconduct,” according to Chief Garlock.
Junior Cook, a neighbor of Tarika Wilson, said that he saw the whole thing from his front yard, as he raced over. He watched police emerge from the house carrying the bleeding infant.
“The cops in Lima, they is racist like no tomorrow,” Cook said. “Why else would you shoot a mother with a baby in her arms?”
That’s a good question. So far, the police have provided no answers and no justice for this crime. If you believe that it is past time for there to be justice for Tarika Wilson, then help us SPREAD THE WORD!
(Article by M. David)