Anonymous submission received on 05.29.20
On the night of March 5th, 2020, the Pittsburgh police murdered Elijah Brewer, a 25 year-old black man from Mt. Oliver. There were no protests, no hashtags… most of Pittsburgh didn’t even seem to notice. But why?
Both the corporate media and the white liberal-left are guilty of perpetuating the silence around Elijah’s murder. The corporate media focused on sensationalizing unverified police speculations, painting Elijah as nothing more than a criminal before abruptly discontinuing coverage of the story. Likely turned off by the media’s portrayal of Elijah, Pittsburgh’s liberal-left largely dismissed or ignored his murder.
In seizing this historical moment, let us end this silence.
1) The Corporate Media
Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough held one press conference. Despite having attended the exact same press conference, nearly every corporate media outlet presents a strikingly different narrative of events.
At 6:55pm, 3 detectives and 1 intelligence officer in an unmarked GMC Yukon pulled over Elijah Brewer (the passenger) and his friend (the driver remains unnamed) around the 200 block of East Ohio Street. The officers asked both men to step out of the vehicle…
- for unclear reasons during a routine traffic stop
- because the traffic stop was possibly connected to a robbery of a nearby Boost Mobile store
- possibly because they smelled marijuana
Then, at around 7pm…
- a “scuffle” ensued
- gunfire was immediately exchanged (no scuffle mentioned)
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WESA, WPXI, and KDKA (CBS Pittsburgh) all report that Elijah fired first, possibly twice, and that an unknown number of detectives then “returned fire” with an unknown number of bullets, killing Elijah.
During the alleged firefight, one officer was reportedly wounded by gunfire originating from…
- Elijah’s illegal firearm
- An undetermined source, implying the possibility of friendly fire.
That officer was struck in the…
Naturally, none of what has been reported has been verified given that not one of the four officers wore a body-camera, the undercover vehicle had no dashboard camera, and the police say there are no known security cameras in the area and that they’d like help finding one. Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough explained this in his press conference by stating that all four of the detectives were simultaneously wearing official police vests and unmarked plainclothes, which makes perfect sense if you don’t think about it.
More could be said, but this is nothing new. The police and the capitalist media are just tools of a white supremacist settler state; the “facts” that get reported are either the stories that sell to racist suburbanites, or they are the stories spoon-fed to journalists by state officials. For all we know, the gun could’ve been planted.
2) The Liberal-Left
The liberal-left is equally responsible for the silence around Elijah’s murder. It is possible that some leftists in Pittsburgh may have ignored this instance of police violence because they believed one of the various corporate media narratives. Others maybe remained quiet because felt that it would be too difficult to exploit this tragedy to recruit for their organization, as that would require publicly supporting a black man who might have been “guilty.” Perhaps some on the left even believed that this extra-judicial execution was justified, because Elijah was a convicted felon and was alleged to have fired upon officers of the law.
Elijah was 25 years old. His obituary reads,
Elijah Brewer, “EZ” as he was affectionately known, 25 of Mt. Oliver departed this life 3/5/20, born to Clinton and Jarmayne Brewer 10/29/1994 in Sheridan Pennsylvania.
He obtained his GED from Pittsburgh Job Corps September of 2011 soon after getting his GED he attended CCAC to study Music and Business Management. He became a certified Fitness Trainer 3/2019. He was employed at Roots in Oakland as a Food Service Worker until his death. He enjoyed music, bodybuilding, and nutrition as well as playing basketball, reading, writing, and poetry.
EZ loved family and was family oriented, he was a well-known Rap Artist (started rapping at the age of 12) and loved his Rap brothers to no end, Nathan Freeman Jr. ( Nizzy ), DaShauntae Jones-Peeples, Davon Nichols. He believed in opportunities, welcomed challenges and inspired all who came to know him.
The authors of this article believe that the question of Elijah’s innocence or guilt is entirely irrelevant.
He shouldn’t have been pulled over in the first place. Racism and wealth-disparity shouldn’t exist in the first place. The institutional successor to slave patrols commonly known as “the police” shouldn’t exist in the first place.
We are firmly on Elijah’s side in every version of events that’s been presented, including the one where he shoots first.
We speak on behalf of no one but ourselves. We write this for those who feel similarly—to let you know that you are not alone, and that we will see you in the streets over the coming weeks.
Only the system is guilty. Fuck the police.
Rest in Power, Elijah Jamaal Brewer.
Rest in Power, George Floyd.
Rest in Power, Antwon Rose Jr.
Rest in Power, Mark Daniels.
It’s 1312 in 412,
– some anarchists