The most important question that has not been asked about the Friday Cleveland Arms JSO killing is why in the world would a judge issue a warrant to authorize a raid on a low income crowded 200 unit apartment complex at 5 p.m. in the afternoon? Everyone knows that this is the time of day when kids are home from school, residents, who work are home or arriving home; a recipe for maximum collateral damage. What was the urgency? Why put so many innocent lives at risk?
Apparently, the white policemen who arrived, at the complex, dressed in black with masks on did not care about the potential endangerment of the innocent lives of the residents. Again, what was the need to raid a crowded low income black apartment complex, at 5:20 p.m., on a hot afternoon when most of the residents would be outside and exposed to gunfire?
If the warrant was for drugs being sold out of the apartment then why wasn’t the two other occupants, including the lease holder arrested? And where are they now? We would like to hear their account of what happened when the police broke into the apartment says the citizens of Jacksonville.
If the drug raid was set up by the police informant, then why was only a small amount of marijuana and cocaine found in a supposedly drug house? The apartment was under surveillance by the informant.
If Mr. Harris, the victim, knew that it was the police at the door, why would he arm himself to protect a small amount of cocaine and marijuana?
The police said Mr. Harris had a warrant from Ohio, but Mr. Harris’ sister said that her brother was reporting regularly to his probation officer here in Jacksonville.
Why is the outrage only coming from the apartment residents? Where was the NAACP, SCLC, the Urban League, the Human Rights Commission, Mad Dads and the religious community? And for that matter, where was the mayor, Councilman Reggie Brown, the councilman at large and State Representative? Not only was a man killed but hundreds of men, women and children’s lives were unnecessarily put at great risk. As of Saturday, March 20th none of the above had visited the Cleveland Arms to speak with the residents who were traumatized by the police commando attack that killed Mr. Harris. The only group that showed concern was the New Black Panthers. They say the act was puzzling.
Jacksonville’s police involved shootings are troubling. The shooting and killing of a man in the Cleveland Arms Apartment by the police is the third police shooting this year. Last year there were eight, four of which ended in a death. In 2009 there were 15 with nine fatal, preceded by 28 with 14 fatal in 2008 and 19 with nine fatal in 2007.