Brentwood magazine

Justice for Tyrell Wilson, homeless and dead in largely white town

The hard plastic seats in the Brentwood bus shelter refused to stay under my butt, twirling and sliding under me no matter how I sat / lay down and tried not to be cold.

It was just one of a never-ending series of freezing mornings that my mom and I spent trying to warm up by sleeping outside. Those years of lonely roaming crouching in bus shelters, gateways and park benches across the Bay Area, inundated me when I heard of the gunshot death of Tyrell Wilson, killed by police because he was black and homeless in Danville.

Rally for Justice for Tyrell Wilson

“Tyrell was a peaceful man, he was always so careful and I never felt threatened around him. “

This poverty skola was blessed to speak with a longtime resident Veronica Benjamin, on Po Peoples Radio. She is one of the founders of Conscious Contra Costa County, which organized a powerful and praying multiracial action for Tyrell, six months after his assassination by Deputy Sheriff Andrew Hall in March, to bring attention to his life and life. de 33- Laudemer Arboleda, one year old, in 2018, also killed by Hall, who is now on trial for manslaughter.

Arboleda family attorney John Burris said of the charges against Hall: “Our view was that if they had been sued sooner our second client would not have died.

“We hosted this event today because we are still waiting for justice to be done for Tyrell,” Veronica said at the rally.

It took Tyrell’s death to force the county to act. In April, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Hall for Arboleda’s death, but no charges have yet been filed specifically against Hall for Tyrell’s death.

In both murders, Hall was the shooter, but the city, which is over 80% white, was the shooter. In the case of Arboleda, a resident called, claiming he was “acting funny,” code for a dark-haired man driving in a predominantly white suburb. And in Tyrell’s case, there were calls that “someone” was throwing rocks into the freeway.

Um, someone who never causes problems and works very hard to exist humbly without being seen, is going to throw stones at the highway? One of the many reasons we poor and homeless never engage with POOR Magazine cops and take out this book and lead workshops of the same name.

“When I was on my way to my first date, I was arrested and charged with being under the influence.

In action for Tyrell (reported and supported by Youth & family Poverty Skolaz media at PNN- ) there were many speakers including artist Ras Ceylan, many conscious white peoples and a defender of the war from National Mental Mind Alliance (NAMI) introduce new bills to protect people with mental illness and over-policing.

But several people spoke of the city’s extreme racism, including a well-dressed pastor in his forties who described his night of torture at the hands of these armed state agents.

It brought me back to the one experience my mom and I had with Danville. We would go carefully and slowly to this place to sell our art at their bourgeois street fairs, because the word on the streets was that if you were selling art there you could ‘bank’ (lots of money). ‘money).

Every time we crossed the Danvile town line a cop would stop us. We went there three times, really needing the money this place would bring, until the third time they accused my colored mother of being under the influence, even though she hadn’t drunk this. that day or another, and she and I decided it was way too dangerous, even for the bloodstained males we so badly needed that we could bring back.

“Every bus driver I spoke to was shocked, they all said Tyrell was peaceful, polite, never caused a problem,” Veronica said. As Veronica spoke of Tyrell’s humble and cautious gestures, my mind returned to Brentwood and one of the most important teachers in this skolaz of poverty, Mr. Charles L.

Sometimes when our motorhomes broke down or were towed away (read: stolen) for an expired registration, or poverty driving offenses, which often happened over the years of my mom and I homeless, we would jump on a bus to escape the police and the endless neighborhood. -Look at the hatred we had in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco when we were trying to find a place to sleep outside.

One of those times we landed in Brentwood, one of the hundreds of eerie white suburbs that splashed across California. The struggle in these places was an invisible and terrifying struggle of “not looking dangerous”.

The people who lived there were told and sold the lie of peace, “good schools” and “security”.

It was in Brentwood that we met Charles L, an elderly black man who camped neatly in the bus shelter next to us, a block from the overly wide road.

Mr. Charles would literally spend hours folding, controlling, designing and creatively organizing his tiny pile of personal belongings, just make sure he never took more than the little square under his plastic seat. As a person with serious organizational problems, I was fascinated by his skills. Like many of us who struggle against extreme poverty, incarceration, homelessness, racism and abuse in this stolen land, Mr. Charles was an unsung designer.

“Living my life in this town has been difficult for many reasons,” explained Veronica, “one of which was that I was always concerned for the safety of my father, who is literally one of the few men in town. color to live in this city.

“When I first got the message about Tyrell’s murder, I was afraid it was my father.”

Veronica stopped. “We won’t stop until we get justice for Tyrell.”

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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