Target: James Johnson, Baltimore County Chief of Police
Goal: Fire cops involved in the alleged beating of a mentally ill black man who called the police for help.
Tawon Boyd was reportedly taken to the ground and punched in the face by police who responded to a call the 21-year-old black man made himself. Three days later, Boyd died from heart and kidney failure, though he did not have a history of those problems. The violent force used against this man allegedly caused his death, yet the Baltimore County Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges and the officers involved are still on duty.
The father of a 3-year-old with another child on the way, Boyd was living with his girlfriend in their Baltimore suburb home when he made a call to police asking for an ambulance. Upon arrival, police witnessed Boyd acting paranoid and confused. He was resistant to police telling him what to do and allegedly tried to enter several of their vehicles as well as escape to a neighbor’s home.
It was not long before the cops began to use severe force. In an attempt to arrest this man, who was unarmed and innocent, they wrestled him to the ground, and one officer allegedly punched him in the face twice. The officer responsible for this said he did it because the man was grabbing at him. Boyd’s grandmother reported that he screamed for her and said they were going to kill him, yet when she asked the cops to lighten up on him, they told her to leave or she would be arrested. Boyd was 5-foot-5 inches tall and reportedly weighed only about 122 pounds, and with three grown men on top him, it isn’t hard to see how severe damage could be done.
Regardless of whether or not the brute force allegedly used by these cops is found to be the cause of death, justice needs to be served. The job of those cops in that situation was to obtain medical attention for the man who called for help, not beat him. No one’s life was in danger because of Boyd, yet these cops used deadly force. Black Lives Matter supporters have filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Sign this petition to show your support and tell the Baltimore County Chief of Police to fire the men who abused their power and this man.
Dear Chief Johnson,
The brutal force officers Bowman, Garland and Sickens allegedly used against Tawon Boyd was unprecedented. This young man did the right thing by calling 9-1-1 for medical help, and your officers responded by beating him up. Nothing Boyd was doing put anyone else in danger, yet today, his family mourns his death.
Mental illness is an epidemic in this country, and more than anyone, police officers need to know how to handle situations that involve people who may not be in a stable frame of mind. You do not punch someone in the face who is having a psychotic episode; that’s inhumane. The three officers responsible for this violent force obviously cannot be trusted as law enforcement. We demand that you fire officers Bowman, Garland and Sickens immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Chase Carter