Bay Area cops kill Black man in front of his own home
Police story contradicted by witness and survivor

[Story by Liberation News]

In the early hours of Sept. 2, the Vallejo Police Department claimed its fifth shooting fatality in four mo

nths. Mario Romero, a 23-year-old African-American father, died after two cops fired 31 rounds into his vehicle.

Romero and his brother-in-law, 21-year-old Joseph Johnson, were sitting in Romero’s car talking in front of Romero’s house. Suddenly, a police cruiser pulled up in front of the car and a bright light was shined into the eyes of the two men. The cops started screaming at them to put their hands up but never identified themselves as police.

The police claim that Johnson put his hands up but that Romero opened the car door and appeared to be exiting. The cops maintain that they saw a gun in Romero’s waistband as he was exiting while simultaneously claiming that their view of Romero was obscured by the open car door. Under this pretext the police justify their shooting Romero.

After being shot, police say Romero appeared to be clutching something from behind the car door. They say he did not put his hands up when ordered to do so a second time, so the cops then fired a total of 31 rounds into the vehicle, killing Romero and severely wounding Johnson. After the shooting, the cops allege they found a pellet gun, which is neither dangerous nor illegal, in Romero’s car. No actual gun was found in the car.

What the cops did not know was that there was a witness in the house. The bright lights and screaming that preceded the shooting awoke Cynquita Martin, Romero’s sister. She looked out her window and saw cops pointing guns at her brother and brother-in-law as they sat in the car. She says that the cops started shooting instantly after ordering the men to put their hands up. Romero never even began to leave the car. After firing several rounds at the two men, Martin said one of the cops “hopped on top of the car and he was just letting his gun loose. He was just shooting and shooting.”

After hearing Martin’s account of the events, the police acknowledged that one of the cops jumped on top of the car after the shots were fired but claimed the officer was checking to see whether there was anyone else in the vehicle beside Romero and Johnson. This is hardly a more comforting account of the incident. From his hospital bed, Johnson has backed Martin’s version of events. He maintains that there was no pellet gun in the car and that neither he nor Romero ever exited the vehicle.

Romero’s relatives have set up daily protests outside the Vallejo Police Department. Martin has been a vocal leader, demanding answers: “All this inside stuff—all these internal investigations—they aren’t working. We need answers. This needs to end.”The family has found support from Adam and Jeralynn Blueford, who have become leaders of the anti-police brutality movement in the Bay Area since their son Adam was killed by an Oakland cop on May 6.

Vallejo police chief Joseph Kreins made this disgusting defense of the officers involved in the shooting: “When dealing with violent confrontations, our officers are trained to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to effect an arrest or eliminate a threat. In this case, [the officers] fired several rounds, stopped firing, re-evaluated the threat and then continued firing until they perceived that the threat was no longer imminent.”

In other words, when cops accost a person of color, and “feel threatened,” it is alright for them to shoot that person until they are certain the person is dead.

Martin has said: “It’s unjust that [Romero] couldn’t come home. This is supposed to be his safe place. When you go home that’s supposed to be your safe place. And they took that away from all of us in this house.”
  • 1,511 notes
  • 12 September 2012
  1. cudirose reblogged this from feedmerevolution
  2. chubbesworld reblogged this from wordssoundpower
  3. abnormallyirregular reblogged this from dranamichelle and added:
    Okay i’m from the bay and havent heard this publicized heavily. Wtf
  4. martybumm reblogged this from neon-taco
  5. boogeebonnie reblogged this from neon-taco
  6. chivalryneverdies reblogged this from neon-taco
  7. neon-taco reblogged this from owning-my-truth
  8. aquachinchilla reblogged this from mavenofmusic
  9. justwhatsinmyheart reblogged this from dranamichelle
  10. changinghello reblogged this from political-interest
  11. political-interest reblogged this from musingsofanawkwardblackgirl
  12. mavenofmusic reblogged this from foreverspectator
  13. foreverspectator reblogged this from wespeakfortheearth
  14. alittlegirlfromlittlerock reblogged this from musingsofanawkwardblackgirl
  15. iaskforpleasurefirst reblogged this from owning-my-truth
  16. moonstruck-muslimah reblogged this from wespeakfortheearth
  17. riverjade reblogged this from dihuang
  18. neverignoretheking reblogged this from blacknetizen
  19. knopedly reblogged this from owning-my-truth
  20. herietcras reblogged this from owning-my-truth
  21. abiehasspoken reblogged this from cowriesankhsandincense
  22. armyguy24 reblogged this from dranamichelle
  23. musingsoftheshygirl reblogged this from dranamichelle
  24. cowriesankhsandincense reblogged this from thetrillestqueen
  25. lilthugbarbie reblogged this from dranamichelle
  26. godforgivesidnt reblogged this from musingsofanawkwardblackgirl
  27. joybubblez reblogged this from dranamichelle
  28. daniillmatic reblogged this from benzpunani
  29. benzpunani reblogged this from dranamichelle
  30. falldown-getup reblogged this from p-ardiselost
  31. monstersofthecosmos reblogged this from owning-my-truth