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His Name Was Ozzy and He Was Murdered by the Police

His name was Osaze Osagie, but everyone who loved him just called him Ozzy and everyone who knew him seemed to love him. He had such a peaceful way with the world around him. I rarely saw him without that gentle smile on his face. You could tell he was not like ‘normal’ people and not just because he was far kinder than those bestowed with that loaded label. Like me, Ozzy was different, the ‘normal’ world calls it mental illness. I got to know him at my local psych rehab and quickly found myself enchanted by his easy-going sense of humor and borderline Zen-like demeanor. He looked like a hybrid of  Hannibal Buress and the Dalai Lama, which isn’t to say he didn’t have his bad days. When he did, it was well understood that he liked to be left alone, to sit quietly in another room until his calmer qualities overcame his demons. But even at his worst, Ozzy couldn’t harm a fly, he might hurt himself, but no one else.

Ozzy was my friend, and two weeks ago Ozzy was murdered, the latest mentally ill person of color to be senselessly slaughtered by our increasingly trigger-happy police state. They claimed it was ‘self-defense’, but don’t they always. There’s a lot of things that are still unknown about my friend’s murder and sadly many of those things will likely remain unknown, lost in the fog of a murder investigation in which the investigators are fellow murderers. But here is what we do know; Ozzy’s father called the police to check in on his son’s apartment after he came to believe he was off his meds and may be a threat to himself or others. The police, plural, kicked in his door and put four bullets into his fucking body. The coroner has ruled his death a homicide.

Among other dangerous weapons, the police were armed with a mental health warrant, a sheet of paper that rendered Ozzy’s rights to privacy irrelevant because of his second class status as a mentally ill person. The police claim he had a knife, even if this is true, they had guns, they had tasers, they had training in dealing with mentally unstable individuals and they had him outnumbered and surrounded. They invaded his property and they shot to kill. There appears to have been little attempt to talk with Ozzy or to just give him the fucking space he needed while checking in on him. The very fact that the police were awarded the right to invade his property and call anything they did afterward ‘self-defense’ is absurd. If Ozzy had a knife, he was standing his ground against a state-sanctioned invasion of his basic rights as a human being. But Ozzy’s rights didn’t fucking matter because Ozzy was mentally ill. Ozzy wasn’t ‘normal’ like the fucking animals in blue who lynched him, so Ozzy was disposable.

This has become a tiresomely common story. Just three months into 2019 and our darling boys in blue have already slaughtered well over 200 people, a grossly disproportionate number of them are black and/or mentally ill. If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from an untreated mental illness in this country you are 16 times more likely to be murdered during a police interaction and 20% of the cops’ victims are in crisis.

But where is the news coverage of this unspeakable wave of mass violence? Far more people fall beneath the bullets of this country’s sainted thin blue line of superpredators than that of stateless active shooters and terrorists. But where is the call to disarm the police? Where are those camera-ready children of Stoneman Douglas when the pigs slaughter a victim who doesn’t look like an extra on 90210? Mentally ill people like myself are called to forfeit our Second Amendment rights nearly every day for the peace of mind of the straight world but not the badged gangsters who prey on us like fucking vultures? And naturally the law enforcement ‘community’ is all for this. Those pistol clutching chickenshits love nothing better than a soft and easy target. And why not? They get away with it. Every. Fucking. Time.

I don’t expect justice for Ozzy anymore than I expect it for Freddie Grey or Sandra Bland or Philando Castile or Antwon Rose or any of the other innocent people wiped out by the pigs. They always get away with it, no matter how many witness’, or videos, or empirical evidence comes to the public’s attention because they are an institution which is by nature above the very laws they enforce. They could shoot a goddamn infant in the fucking face on live television and no one would see a day in prison because their partners in crime in the DA would make sure that they’re found not guilty. Every American who has paid even a fleeting amount of attention to the police state since Rodney King has to know this hideous truth and what is being done to stop this orgy of carnage?

Black Lives Matter isn’t enough, neither is Copwatch. Simply catching these crimes on video isn’t preventing them from continuing at a staggering rate. Huey P. Newton had the right idea with the Black Panther Party. The police in this country are a gang and we as a community need to police them. Huey was right about arming citizens but without the digital witness of a handheld camera, every shootout could always be blamed on those nappy-headed communists. The Panthers were the right idea for the wrong time. The iPhone and the AR-15 are the perfect recipes for preventing police violence. Just ask that cracker Cliven Bundy if you don’t believe me. Right or wrong, that peckerwood rancher could have easily been the victim of another Ruby Ridge. But people from across the country came with their guns and their cameras and the feds were forced to back off. Bundy may be a racist asshole but BLM could learn a thing or two from his tactical example. We all could. Maybe it’s time to put the warrior in SJW.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just blowing off steam here, indulging in my fantasies of revolutionary justice. Maybe that’s just part of the grieving process for an armchair suburban guerrilla like me. But I have to do something, dearest motherfuckers. Ozzy was a friend of mine and he was murdered by the police. I can’t just let that crime go unpunished by our sociopathic (in)justice system. I can’t let my friend die in vain. As an agoraphobic anarcho-literati, my incendiary wordplay is the best I can do for him. Maybe some of you out there in dearest motherfuckerland can do more. All I really know is that I’ve had enough of this fucking shit. How about you?

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Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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