Sgt. Howard Skaggs murdered
four African teens
Howard Skaggs had clear intent to harm or kill those in the car that night.
When he took over the chase of the girls Skaggs called back up summoning a police helicopter and 12 police cars—a total of 17 cops trained as “first responders” all of whom were at the pond watching the car sink around 4 am as the screaming girls fought for their lives.
According to the National First Responders Organization, a first responder is “any individual who runs towards an event rather than away.” Among the top of the list of first responders are “Deputy Sheriff”, “Sheriff,” etc.
In 2002, Skaggs took very different actions in a pond not far from where the girls were killed, when he jumped in the water to kill 18 year-old Laboriel Felton and save a police dog.
On a cold December night, 5’4”, 145 pound Laboriel Felton made the choice to avoid a police DUI checkpoint by driving on the service road, something that is the legal right of any motorist.
Again Skaggs in his unmarked car, as head of the DUI “Wolf Pack,” pursued and murdered an African teenager.
K-9 unit head Deputy James Vickers was also on the scene of the murders of both Felton in 2002 and the three girls in 2016.
Deputy Skaggs in the undercover car with no flashing lights pursued Felton who crashed his car, got out and wisely started to run. The most likely scenario is that Vickers then unleashed the dog on Felton causing him to jump in the cold, swampy pond in hopes of evading the dog.
The deputies lying reports stated that Felton was trying to drown both the dog and Vickers, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 195 pounds versus Felton’s much smaller frame.
Skaggs, who did not lift a finger to save the three girls in 2016, says he jumped into the freezing water in December 2002 to save both the dog and Vickers.
The cops and the dog came out of the water unharmed but 18-year-old Laboriel was murdered, hit on the head so hard that part of his brain collapsed.
The cops’ photos of the death scene show that two back seats from sheriff’s cars were used as flotation devices that night and are visible on the shore of the pond.
According to the police report Skaggs and another deputy reported that they took out the vehicles’ rear seats and swam about 10 feet into the pond where they were able to throw the seat to deputy Vickers and the other cop. “Vickers and Bingham then got on the rear seat and used it as a flotation device.”
Note that the car of the 3 girls was only five feet further into the water than Laboriel Felton. But in that case the deputies had a motive to go into the water—the murder of Laboriel.
As Pinellas County Sheriff’s candidate James McLynas, who is working to expose the murderous, corrupt and anti-African tactics of the colonial sheriff’s department, has written:
“Felton’s autopsy found that his death was a homicide (meaning death by the hands of another) and that he had dirt and plant material lodged in his airway. He also had a large brain hemorrhage and bruises on the left side of his head and bruises to his face. His brain hemorrhaging was easily serious enough to cause the loss of consciousness. At least one officer admitted to hitting Felton very hard in the head in the pond.”
Felton was left dead in the pond and was pulled out by divers a few hours later.
The cop’s photos of Felton’s lifeless body show dog scratches and bite marks, a fact that was either not recorded in the autopsy by the coroner or which was consciously removed by the sheriff’s department.
As is often the case, the murder of Felton was ruled “justified.”
Howard Skaggs now has the blood of four murdered African teenagers on his hands!
Killer Bob Gualtieri justifies the murders
On April 1, 2016, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference covered by all the major media of Pinellas County and which set the narrative for the PCOS’ justification for the murder of the three girls.
At the press conference Gualtieri displayed enlarged mug shots of Dominique, Ashaunti and La’Niyah along their juvenile arrest records in an effort to show predominantly white Pinellas County that these young African girls were worth killing.
Sheriff’s candidate James McLynas notes that while revealing the girls’ arrest records, Gualtieri did not show their conviction records, which would disclose what if anything they were found guilty of.
It is the general practice of the Sheriff’s Department to not show mug shots of juveniles when they are white.
During the broadcast press conference Killer Bob Gulatieri had the cameras focus on each of the girl’s photos as he read their arrest records.
As McLynas points out, in 2014 “Sheriff Gualtieri removed a Pinellas inmate’s mug shots from the county’s website stating that publicizing people’s mug shots was ‘clearly taking advantage of someone’s circumstances.’”
At the press conference Gualtieri’s main goal was to cover over the crimes of the sheriff’s department and place the blame on the girls, their parents and the entire African community.
Gualtieri lied about the fact that the deputies tried to go into the water, saying that they took off their guns and belts to enter the pond, something the sheriff’s own video proved false.
Killer Bob also dishonestly reported that the girls’ car was 15 to 20 yards into the water when the diver’s report stated the car was 15 to 20 feet in.
In the five minutes that the car floated only 15 feet into the water from the cops, the “heroic” first responders could have saved the girls multiple times.
Not only could they have used their car seats as flotation devices as they did when they murdered Felton, as first responders they would have on hand the small emergency tools used to break car windows and cut seatbelts, tools sold in every auto supply store.
If not they would be trained to use other metal objects such as a lug wrench, tire iron or jack, not to mention their guns.
During the press conference Gualtieri never raised the previous murder of African teen Laboriel Felton by Deputy Howard Skaggs and his Wolf Pack.
On the day of the sheriff’s press conference deputies came to Dominique’s mother Kunde’s workplace where they pounded her with abrasive questions about the whereabouts of her daughter and what she was wearing. After a few minutes the killer cops told her coldly and bluntly that her daughter Dominique was dead, along with her two best friends for whom Kunde had been a second mom.
Kunde was raising five children as a single mother, working up to 12 hours a day at Taco Bell, getting her kids to daycare and to school before riding a bus to work and back again, since she does not have a car.
That night, as usual, Sheriff Killer Bob went home to the comfort of his half-million-dollar mansion and his wife and three daughters in the northern East Lake neighborhood in the whitest part of Pinellas County far from the impoverished and besieged African population of south St. Petersburg.
The “stolen car” in America built on theft and genocide
During press conference the day after the drowning Killer Bob justified the girls’ murders and launched a smear campaign by charging that the Honda driven by the girls was stolen.
The sheriff attacked the whole African community treating us as an enemy population by the U.S. government.
Killer Bob stated that “We have been plagued for over a year with excessive auto thefts being committed by young primarily black young people. Most of the young people live in south St. Petersburg but steal cars throughout Pinellas County and Tampa.”
In a later CNN interview, the white nationalist Gualtieri asserted, “these auto thefts are predominantly occurring by one group of kids in one area of the county…and the facts of the facts is, that we have a problem in this county with predominantly black juveniles.”
In an ABC interview, Gulatieri said with a wink to white viewers, “These are not good girls.”
In May, 2016, the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) held a press conference laying out the Party’s plan to investigate and fight the murders of the girls. APSP Chairman Omali Yeshitela responded to the sheriff’s criminalization of the African community:
“It is white people and people who have authority in this country who should be ashamed of the police department which functions as a military occupying force in our communities. They should be ashamed of how the police reacted on the video after pushing the three girls in the pond.”
Dominique, Ashaunti and La’Niyah were murdered by the police because they are powerless victims of an America built on 600 years of the theft of African people, the theft of our labor and resources and the genocide of the Indigenous people and the theft of their land.
Without the enslavement of African people, which created billions of dollars of wealth for white society and founded the capitalist system itself, the majority of white people would still be poor and oppressed in Europe. Without slavery and genocide and theft there would be no white America.
As Chairman Omali Yeshitela teaches, the problem for African people everywhere is not “racism,” the ideas in the heads of white people. We live under colonialism, the domination of our whole people by an alien white power for the benefit of the entire white population.
Every car produced on the blood of African people
Young African people are surrounded by the wealth, the cars and the lifestyle that white people take for granted every day.
African people live in a society in which we have no power over our lives, no future beyond the threat of mass imprisonment, joblessness, no meaningful education and the daily prospect of death by police or other colonial violence. This is the basis of the upsurge of powerful African resistance today.
We don’t know what happened on the night of March 30 or why the girls were in that car they perished in early the next morning.
The girls are not here to tell their story.
The Honda was reported stolen by Damien Marriott, a 35-year-old man, 20 years older than the girls, something that the police should investigate but have been silent about.
We do know that, like the deputies, Marriott also lied that night. On the stolen car report Marriott stated that he was asked to give the girls a ride by a friend but first stopped at a Walmart to “buy a television.”
The Walmart listed by Marriott was the store at at 18th Ave. South and 22nd Street, which is in fact a Walmart grocery store only and does not sell TVs.
Marriott says he left the girls in the car with the keys in the ignition and when he came back the car was gone.
Why is the PCOS not investigating Marriott? Where are the Walmart store videos from that night? This seems to be a desperate attempt by the PCOS to cover over their murderous act by criminalizing the three girls.
What are the killer cops hiding?
Colonial conditions in St. Petersburg
In the 1960s the whole world supported the heroic struggle for African freedom and liberation inside this country and around the world.
Criminalization of the African community as the enemy population and the destruction of the organized voice of the African working class was part of the U.S. government’s counterinsurgency—the war against black people that defeated the Black Revolution of the 60s.
Our movement was demanding power—black power over every aspect of our lives and communities. We would no longer allow the fate of our families and children to rest in the hands of white power.
This war on African people included assassinations of our leaders such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, African People’s Socialist Party co-founder Lawrence Mann and Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton.
Destruction of black organizations, infiltration of our movement with provocateurs and agents and mass arrests of our activists were the tactics used to smash our movement.
As in the Jim Crow era, the U.S. government took away our own independent economic base through “urban renewal” and gentrification.
As is well documented, the government flooded our communities with crack cocaine to try to salt the earth and keep us from ever organizing for our freedom and liberation again.
The government systematically criminalized African people and everything we did. They went on a frenzy of prison building and stuffed us in them through designer laws applying only to us, laws such as Three Strikes bills and mandatory minimum sentences.
Today, the U.S. has the highest prison population in the world with more than 2.2 million people in prison and 7 million on probation or parole. At least half of those incarcerated are African and another third Mexican and Indigenous.
We were once the inspiration for the revolutionary struggles of oppressed and freedom-loving peoples around the world.
Now we became criminals and our children were called “superpredators,” by Hillary Clinton and others.
Before our babies are born there is already a prison cell being built for them.
African people catch hell in St. Petersburg, FL
According to statistics released by the city of St. Petersburg in 2013, 48 percent of the south side traditional African community lives in poverty.
An expose in the Tampa Bay Times recently revealed that in St Petersburg 95 percent of black students in predominately African schools are failing in reading or math.
In the past 20 years the city of St. Petersburg has spent millions of dollars gentrifying south St. Petersburg and turning the city into upscale haven for millionaires and white hipsters.
Since 2001, St Pete has spent 72 times more on policing African neighborhoods than on strengthening neighborhood & business associations—over two hundred and eighty million dollars.
Over the same time period the city has spent 26 times more to “manage juvenile crime” than to increase youth employment. It has spent $170,851,595.
For African youth there is no future in a state that has 56 state prisons and a prison population of over 100,000 people, the third highest in the U.S. Florida has the highest U.S. solitary confinement rate with 1 out of every 8 prisoners in isolation.
According to the website prisonlegalnews.org, Florida, with the nation’s third-largest prison system, has a long and sordid history of abusing, neglecting and even killing its prisoners.
Sheriff’s Department history of murdering African teens
On May 6, 2016 the Pinellas County Sheriffs murdered 37-year-old Alton Witchard in South St. Petersburg.
Again, the day after the murder Sheriff “Killer Bob” Gualtieri held a press conference to slander the victim and criminalize the community.
Gualtieri claimed that Witchard was holding an assault rifle and was shot by Deputy Yariel Mata when “Witchard turned and threatened the deputy with his rifle..which made the deputy fear for his life.”
According to the Sheriff, Mata then “fired five times, hitting Witchard twice in the torso and grazing his hand.”
The autopsy, however, exposes the Killer Bob’s lies and shows that Witchard was shot several times through the back.
As sheriff’s candidate James McLynas has written about the murder of Alton Witchard:
“Mr. Witchard was shot twice squarely in the mid and lower back, grazed across his right hip and shot through his left hand. All four bullet wounds were from directly behind Mr. Witchard and traveled through his body straight to the front.”
Moreover it was highly unlikely that Witchard was holding a rifle.
McLynas writes: Witchard was grazed by a bullet on his right hip, and not his hand as Gualtieri claimed in the news conference. Witchard’s left hand had a bullet hole right through it from the inside of his hand on the palm that exited through the back of his hand. How could Mr. Witchard be shot on the inside of his palm if he was holding a rifle and pointing that rifle at Detective Mata?
“Even Tony Montana didn’t hold his weapon with one hand. But according to Sheriff Robert Gualtieri, Alton Witchard spun around and confronted Mata with a long heavy rifle held in just one hand and still somehow managed to get shot from behind four times. The Sheriff’s story just doesn’t fit the evidence, again.”
In 2004 sheriff deputies murdered 17-year-old Marquell McCullough who was shot 15 times and murdered by deputies during a traffic stop based on the incorrect justification that Marquell was involved in a drug deal. The deputy’s dash-cam was mysteriously disabled.
In typical colonial disregard for African lives, the sheriff’s department later admitted that Marquell was not the suspect they were chasing from the drug deal but he was African so it was justified.
Jarrell Walker, 18, was murdered by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team in 2005.
Walker was sleeping on a couch in the living room when the SWAT team threw a flash-bang device into the house. Walker rolled off the couch onto the floor and Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Chris Taylor murdered him with a gunshot fired at point blank range into his back. Walker’s two-year old child was sleeping in the next room during the murder.
Economic development not police containment!
Following African community uprisings sparked by the police murder of 18-year-old TyRon Lewis and the resistance that pushed back a major police attack on the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg in 1996, the city of St. Petersburg was forced to hire its first African police chief, Goliath Davis.
Davis was a friend of the Uhuru Movement and the African community who ridded the force of white nationalist cops and anti-African practices. Davis adopted the Uhuru Movement’s demand to “Stop police containment” and replace it with a policy of genuine economic development for the African community of St. Petersburg.
As part of his policy Chief Davis banned the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department from entering the city of St. Petersburg. During the tenure of Davis the African community went eight years without a police murder, a record that was broken by the murder of Marquell McCullough by the PCOS in 2004 after Davis had left his post.