Coalition for Black Lives continues to demand accountability and transparency around two recent police killings in DC. Lazarus David Wilson, 23, was shot to death by off-duty officer Jason Bagshaw on a busy Waterfront street on July 16; Kevin Hargraves-Shird, 31, was shot in the back of the head within seconds of the officer’s exiting his vehicle on July 30. The Coalition — led by Harriet’s Wildest Dreams and including Party for Socialism and Liberation, Freedom Fighters DC, Good Trouble Cooperative, Shut Down DC and others — demands answers about these violent incidents that left two Black men dead and put others at risk. To raise awareness and seek answers, the Coalition has organized statements at the US Department of Justice, the DC Police Union, and, most recently (9/16/22), at DC Council.
Here is part of the Coalition’s Open Letter to the DC Council:
Your silence around the two recent Police killings of Lazarus David Wilson and Kevin Hargraves-Shird continues to hurt and harm their families & community. Your silence presents as consent to the execution of Black people. Join us as we call on the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Christopher Geldart, Mayor Bowser, Chief Contee, and the Council of DC to demand complete transparency around both killings & the firing of both violent cops who are currently being paid to be on vacation on account of D.C. Constituent Tax dollars.
On August 19, at a press briefing outside the US DOJ, the Coalition shared a number of specific questions for which answers are still awaited.
- Did Jason Bagshaw identify himself before killing Wilson?
- Did this officer have a history of brutality?
- Did the officer who shot Hargraves-Shird identify himself?
- What evidence did they have before taking this fatal action?
This is a preliminary report. Check back for further details, including full list of demands and update on official response (or lack thereof).
— Virginia Avniel Spatz, 9/19/22
Except as noted, photos: V. Spatz for We Act Radio