Newark, NJ - Rasheed Fuquan Moore, 26, was killed Jan. 24 by Newark police officer Thomas Ruane in a 12:30 a.m. shooting incident. In the same incident, Ruane’s partner, officer Nicholas Popolizio, shot Richard Guy, 26, in the leg.
This is Ruane’s second killing in less than two years, each time with the involvement of his partner Popolizio. On July 30, 2003 officer Ruane killed Michael Newkirk, age 20, at 10:00 p.m. during a neighborhood cookout. Both officers are white. Both victims were African-American. Both killings are typical of the police violence on African-American and other oppressed nationality people. Under capitalism the real aim of ‘law and order’ is to maintain the power and wealth of a few. Those who kill in the service of the rich are routinely let go to do it again.
In the Jan. 24 Moore killing, the police said that a car driven by the victim rammed their cruiser. They gave chase, and a few blocks later Moore’s vehicle ran into a snow bank. Popolizio claims Moore got out of the car, tried to take his gun and was shot in the leg. The officers claim that Moore tried to free his car from the snow bank. They say the car struck and dragged Popolizio. Ruane then shot and killed Moore.
The killers were given administrative duty. Moore was taken into custody and charged with disarming an officer, hindering apprehension and resisting arrest.
In the death of Mike Newkirk in July, the killers tried to justify their action by saying he had a gun. No gun was ever produced. In spite of this, there was never any action taken against the officers.
At a Jan. 29 press conference organized by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), a human and civil rights organization, Moore’s family told a different story. Elizabeth Moore, the victim’s mother, said the police forced her son’s car into the snow bank. She said her son and his friend were unarmed while the police approached their car with weapons drawn. Moore’s father, Allen Snow, Jr., said his son “didn’t like violence. He ran from it.”
Lawrence Hamm, chairman of POP, told the press conference, “We don't want to see another whitewash. We want someone outside the Essex County prosecutor’s office to investigate.” Both the victim’s family and Hamm called for the immediate dismissal of Ruane and Popolizio from the police force, since this was their second involvement in a fatal shooting. Hamm also called for the creation of an independent civilian review board to hear complaints against the police.