This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

Sentence is Death for Standing Near Pickup Truck

May 27, 1998 -- A Prince George's County, Maryland cop murdered an unarmed, 42-year-old man on May 20, for the crime of doing nothing. The victim, Gary Leonard Sanford, was neither accused nor even suspected of any crime. There had been no reported crime, nothing illegal at all.

According to the cops, the killer, Cpl. Joseph M. Palmieri, saw Sanford and another man sitting in a pickup truck in the parking lot of a closed gas station late at night. Palmieri says Sanford got out of the pickup truck, and Palmieri ordered him to show his hands, which he did. Then -- Palmieri, who has no witnesses, says -- Sanford reached for something behind his back, so Palmieri shot him twice, to death. The police later admitted Sanford was unarmed.

A spokesperson for the police said they had no problem with the shooting, since Palmieri had reason to fear for his life. Police "investigation" revealed a half-empty beer can in the truck, and some urine on the ground nearby. If the beer-and-urine story is true, does that make the execution more justified? No disciplinary action against Palmieri has been reported as of May 27.

Every hyped "crime" story or supposed act of heroics in the line of duty on the part of the police played up in the media contributes to the whitewash of such murders as this one. The imperialist media looks the other way while their agents in uniform murder innocents with impunity -- using force justified by the mantra of anti-"crime" hype.

Notes: Washington Post, 21 May 1998.

Return to DC-RAIL homepage

Return to MIM Homepage