aura rosser obituary
I was not surprised. Most importantly, we gathered and marched for Aura and her family.

We live in a system of urban governance where mayors and other local political officials are either full-throated spokespeople for police power, or they are captured by it. At that action, as radical historian Peter Linebaugh, who was a participant, recounted in a Counterpunch article, “What the Mayor Laughed At,” we got a glimpse into the type of liberal leadership we were going to face for the next few years. Almost one year ago, Ann Arbor police shot and killed 40-year-old Aura Rosser in her home. Focus on her drug addiction. To state that the City of Ann Arbor ‘acknowledges that law enforcement, across the nation, have historically defended and enforced racism and segregation’ is nothing less than a direct attack on Ann Arbor police officers. Ried was not fired.

While we organized, some of the activists gathered clandestinely to conduct their own investigation of Rosser’s murder. He continued the city’s policy of evasion in response to the killing. I was not aware of folks planning the chant. Our short-term goal was to perform the intellectual and political labor of expanding possibilities, or as the late Marxist sociologist Erik Olin Wright called, “envisioning real utopias,” and communicating to the public that these alternatives were worth fighting for. Her death prompted more than 100 college students and community members to gather at the Ann Arbor Justice Center Monday night. Ann Arbor is not some liberal oasis in America. [4] It really was not much for a family, but it was $3,000 more than our “liberal” or “progressive” government gave to Rosser’s family. And the reforms that they cite might not have come about without community people and students organizing and engaging in this struggle. This pattern is the reasons why radical organizing against state violence is essential. We could have hung up flyers documenting this as well.

The HRC renewed its call for citizen oversight a month later. When Hillard Heintze began to conduct its review, the movement to acquire justice for Aura Rosser and her family had transformed dramatically. That is what motivated me to write the following: “Ironically, criminalizing and stigmatizing ‪Aura Rosser by focusing on her drug use, while the Mayor denies the role that racism plays in local policing, does not make Ann Arbor look like the progressive exception it claims to be.

We protested.

It is necessary to offer a counter narrative and counter programming. It has been one year since Aura Rosser’s death. Say Her Name!” clearly frustrated the mayor and he reiterated his prior talking point about Rosser’s drug addiction, then stammered, “Well I’ve said her name and I’ll say it again and again, it was a tragedy for all of us and I regret it every day that it occurred in our city and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”. And I might add, their comments on Rosser’s mental state and her drug use suggested that those factors were more important in her death than the officer firing the fatal shot. While obviously members of the task force agreed to a plan for a citizen-led oversight board, guess where the thrust for a more democratic institution came from? The shooting of Aura Rosser confirms how Ann Arbor looks like the rest of America. They took aim at organizers’ anti-racist analysis of policing in Ann Arbor: “It is urged that the City of Ann Arbor reconsider its perilous course of action and refrain from adopting an ordinance that is spawned from hypocrisy, fueled by defamation, and proposed without local justification. Authorities should rise to the challenge of #BlackLivesMatter. Many of us are aware of how cities and states typically devote tens of millions of dollars, sizable amounts of their annual budgets to law enforcement, which only serves to grow police power. Who makes the call whether deadly force was an appropriate response, or whether instead it was excessive and deserving of criminal prosecution?”.

7. However, the changes in policing, as reformist as they are, were the product of longstanding frustrations and agitation from those already living in the community and activist organizing and protests that attracted the participation from hundreds in Ann Arbor and surrounding communities.

Today, more than ever, we ask: Who killed Aura Rosser?

I’m not a “burn it all down” nihilist. This all felt spontaneous.

Thus, the state’s response to Rosser’s murder followed a pattern — stigmatize and criminalize the black victim of state violence.

But, according to her sister, Shae Ward, Aura was “very artistic and deeply into painting with oils and acrylics.” “She’s a culture-type of gal,” Ward called Rosser in the aftermath of her death. It’s the people — citizens and workers — who define justice, not law enforcement and those beholden to the power of police and capital.

Then, media sources would disseminate the official account. So why did I take the time to write this excessively-long essay? This is why I try to participate in the struggle to help build people power whenever I am able. Activists forced the Mayor to deliver the punchline, but we failed to set up the joke. I went home for the holiday break.) Aura Rain Rosser was born in the Lansing area in Michigan, but eventually graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit in 1992. This action in little-ol’-liberal Ann arbor also highlighted a political and intellectual contribution to the developing struggle against racist and classist state violence in the United States — highlighting the invisibility of the death of black women and our failure (especially from us black men) to collectively respond. It is true that we might not ever reach our ultimate goal. Appraisals of Rosser’s character in the local media and in the prosecutor’s report reads more like the characterizations of Ezell Ford and Michael Brown.”. Rosser’s family deserves remembrance and our struggles for justice should be documented. Aura Rosser has been dead two months and apart from a few Huffington Post pieces, no national outlets have covered her shooting. I learned much from them. The city and the police chief serving at the time, John Seto, sought some reforms after Rosser’s murder.

It is true that it is easier for a mayor politically to criticize white supremacists who were not his constituents and who were marching in Charlottesville like drones chanting “You will not replace us.” It is also politically expedient for the Mayor to criticize a president like Trump in front of many who probably already supported him.

They published the product of all of their intellectual labor, the People’s Retort to the Prosecutor’s Report, in April 2015.

We have to struggle to envision and implement more humane and democratic institutions, or arrangements. He also denied that racism played a factor. Thus, Ann Arbor to Ferguson, like many radical organizations, had to step into fill this void left by state institutions. as we prepared to meet.

The Ann Arbor police officer who shot and killed 40-year-old Aura Rosser will not face any criminal charges, according to a release from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office “’The snail-like movement of this process makes me wonder whether or not city government wants citizen oversight. I thought, why not just adopt the HRC’s recommendations?

He has also expressed a degree of dissatisfaction at Rosser’s death. The organization advocated for reasonable demands challenging the privilege of police power in the accountability process.

Eventually, the task force assigned with creating a plan for citizen oversight sent its findings to city council and the mayor.

It is no surprise that the city painted Ried in a glowing light and minimized Raab’s role. (I was not there.

Today, we still assemble to honor her memory and to affirm that Black Lives Matter. State institutions in the United States often do not do a good job/or know how to adequately offer justice to Black people after inflicting violence upon them. While the state police commenced its investigation of Rosser’s murder right after the incident, neither the mayor, nor the police, announced any sort of substantial changes in the process of policing.

This institutional struggle politicized and radicalized some of us, including myself, and eventually provoked us to advance “unreasonable” demands. [1] I want to thank Aura Rosser’s family, especially her sister, Shae Ward, for supporting us. We will continue to act to keep the spirits of Rosser and other Black women who have died at the hands of police and armed citizens in Southeast Michigan, such as 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones and 19-year-old Renisha McBride. It is important to think about the development of police reform between 2014 and 2018 in Ann Arbor from a radical, anti-racist, feminist, and social movement perspective.

Now, some may ask, “why be fine with being called unrealistic and unreasonable? And many of us were alarmed to learn that the city contracted out this important task to an organization that featured a law enforcement consulting division with people who drew their expertise while working for the Chicago and New York Police Departments, two institutions with notorious histories of racist and violent policing. I tried to provide an anti-racist and gender analysis of the process and the media coverage of Rosser’s murder. This would include the city formally apologizing to Rosser’s family for her death, paying for Rosser’s funeral costs to relieve the family of undue burden and firing Ried.

I am going to also use the small talent I have to create portraits of each individual.

And this is all despite the fact I thought, and still think, that Mayor Taylor could have and should have done more for Aura Rosser’s family besides the constant lamenting of her death as “tragic.”. One does not perform these acts if authorities listen and take citizens’ demands seriously. Secondly, the way that state institutions in Southeast Michigan aligned to malign Rosser not only reflected the racist and fatal flaw of the U.S. justice system, it underscored how Ann Arbor was like Ferguson; the tragedy of Ferguson was not property destruction, but Michael Brown’s murder and the ways that law enforcement, some city leaders, and observers in the media continued to criminalize Brown. If we do not give up this farce, we will join the authorities in rationalizing the next instance of profiling and brutality. The long-term goal of transformative, abolitionist work is to either transform and/or dismantle institution in the process of building a more humane society.

In some of his remarks at the rally, the mayor declared, without irony: “Your party has elected an authoritarian bigot to be our president,” he said.

And they continued to ignore our demands.

The decision to hire Hillard Heintze highlighted the city’s neoliberal approach to police reform. The State News, How are U-M students voting this election? On December 15, around 100 people gathered at City Hall for a protest. They applied a radical analysis to existing evidence and collected some more supplemental information. In other words, some liberal officeholders tended to “talk a good game” — express progressive positions in certain contexts, especially in response to national and international tragedies, while seeking to maintain the status quo, at best, and advancing reactionary positions, at worse, in local politics. 2. It does so by trying to limit radical and democratic elements in reforms.


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