By the Editorial Board
During a march in honor of Garrett Foster, an activist killed in the summer uprisings by US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry, the Austin Police Department attacked his widow, Whitney, at the site of where Garrett was gunned down in downtown Austin. Whitney is a community activist who has taken up the fight for justice for Garrett, as well as continuing her fight for Black Lives and against police violence which she and Garrett were part of together.
Whitney is a disabled, quadruple amputee Black woman who relies on a wheelchair. After attacking Whitney and arresting her caretaker, Austin police violently grabbed her wheelchair as she struggled to remain in her seat, and then threw her out of her wheelchair and onto the street. Protesters immediately began to help Whitney get back into her chair, while confronting police for their brutality. During the entire interaction, Austin police mocked Garrett’s death and threatened to arrest Whitney as well.
The attack occurred towards the end of a five-mile walk which Whitney led from the Riverside area, specifically the sites of the police murders of Alex Gonzales Jr. and Mike Ramos. The day began with a press conference held by Whitney and Alex Jr.’s family with the support of activists and community members at the site of Alex Jr.’s murder. The families demanded justice for their loved ones and called for collective organizing against the police and their crimes.
Following the press conference, the group marched to the site where police murdered Mike Ramos. Whitney then called for a march to the site of Garrett’s death, leading it all the way from Riverside, a distance of about five miles. She was supported by activists and community members who joined along the way. During this march, a reactionary on a motorcycle drove into the group and was confronted by protesters, who physically ejected him.
When the march arrived at 4th St. and Congress Ave., the intersection where US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry murdered Garrett, police stole a banner commemorating Garrett that had been temporarily set down by an activist. Whitney immediately began to confront the police and demand that they return her banner.
Austin police responded by arresting Whitney’s caretaker who was pushing her wheelchair, grabbing Whitney, and violently pushing her wheelchair through the street until tossing her out onto the pavement. The caretaker spent more time in jail than Garrett’s murderer, Daniel Perry, who was never arrested, was allowed to leave after three hours of questioning by police, and has still not been charged with the murder of Garrett.
APD has once again shown their racism and their brutal, violent hatred of the people. They have not only protected pro-police vigilante Daniel Perry, who murdered Whitney’s husband, but have now directly attacked Whitney herself and shown their cowardice in the face of a strong Black activist who is fighting for justice for her family and the other victims of the police and civilian reactionaries
Tribune stands with Whitney and the families of Garrett Foster, Alex Gonzales Jr., Mike Ramos, and all other victims of the police and reactionary violence. The people must organize to defend these families and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as they face down the brutal guard dogs of the Old Society.
Tribune will have full coverage of the families’ press conference and more on the actions later in the week.
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