Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kofi Adu-Brempong Shot by University of Florida Police

Kofi Adu-Brempong shot by University of Florida police: Update

Community members spoke out on the University of Florida campus before marching over to the Board of Trustees meeting

Gainesville, FL – Over 400 angry protesters – a coalition of students,
local residents and university professors – rallied and marched to
protest the racist police shooting of Kofi Adu-Brempong.

Adu-Brempong is an international graduate student from Ghana who was shot in the face by a University of Florida policeman. After receiving a call from a neighbor concerned that Adu-Brempong was screaming, due to stress over his studies and his immigration status, campus police stormed his apartment, tased him three times and then shot him in the face with an assault rifle.

Adu-Brempong is hospitalized in critical condition, having lost his
tongue and jaw. Incredibly, the police action took less than 30
seconds. Having suffered a case of childhood polio, Adu-Brempong was unable to walk without a cane. To add to the outrage, the University of Florida police charged him with a felony for ‘resisting arrest with violence.’

Gainesville Area Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) led the
campus action. Beginning with a rally and speakers at Turlington
Plaza, the mass of protesters marched through campus to the Board of Trustees in the Emerson Hall Alumni Building. The Board of Trustees governs the entire university. Since the building was closed to the public, the protesters pulled the doors open, pushed past security and took over the building.

They presented the board with a list of demands, including dropping
all charges against Kofi Adu-Brempong. The other important demand is the firing of Keith Smith, the officer who shot Kofi in the face. In 2008, Keith Smith was given a verbal warning by the Gainesville city police department where he previously worked.

Smith and three other police officers were throwing eggs and harassing African Americans in the local community. The university police ignored this warning and hired Keith Smith.

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