Boycott Targets Chevron where DeKalb Police Brutalized Panhandler
(APN) DECATUR — On Monday, July 17, 2017, over a hundred activists held their first boycott and day of protest at the Chevron gas station at the intersection of Glenwood Road and Line Road in DeKalb County, after a video circulated on social media showing an incident where a DeKalb County police officer brutalized a homeless woman.
On June 04, 2017, DeKalb County Police Officer P.J. Larscheid viciously beat Katie McCrary, a mentally challenged, homeless woman, with a billy club, for asking customers for money in a convenience store.
The Chevron store manager had called the police on McCrary.
Officer Larscheid answered the call and began beating McCrary when she refused to follow his orders, according to news reports.
Fortunately, the incident was captured on a cell phone video by a customer at the Chevron gas station.
In the video, Larscheid ordered McCrary to stop resisting, but the more he hit her, the more she tried to protect herself from his blows to her head and body.
“What did I do?” she asked several times.
McCrary was taken to the DeKalb County Police Department and charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer and immediately sent to Grady hospital where her injuries were treated.
Larscheid was initially cleared of wrongdoing by the DeKalb County Police Department, until they saw the video.
Now the investigation has been reopened and he is currently placed on restricted duty.
The beating has aroused anger from activists and people who live in the neighborhood who say that Katie was sweet and not a combative person.
“I have seen her in the neighborhood for the last fifteen years. She had some people who lived in the neighborhood, but basically she was homeless. I have seen her at this store with the same clothes on for four or five weeks at a time. She has always had mental issues,” one neighbor told Atlanta Progressive News.
“She was not a violent person, never seen her argue with anyone. Everybody knows her in the neighborhood. We give her money, food, and clothes. We have seen her for over three years in the streets and living in abandoned houses, ” Joel Cosby told APN.
A soft-spoken young Black man asked this reporter to go inside and buy him a Diet Coke.
When asked why he did not go inside and buy it, he replied, “They won’t let me.” When asked why, he said, “I don’t know.”
Cosby told APN that the Chevron store will not let a lot of homeless people in, and they exploited and mistreated them.
“They make the homeless work taking out the trash and Katie washed the windows on the door but they don’t give her nothing,” Cosby said.
A coalition of organizations came together for the boycott of the Chevron gas station.
About one hundred people marched around the front of the store chanting, “No Justice, No Peace! No Racist Police!”
The activists parked cars at the gas pumps so no one could buy gas.
The store is losing Black dollars and will continue to lose money over this unjustified beating until justice is served for McCrary, who is the latest poster person for police brutality.
Officer Larscheid “should not have put his hands on a woman and hit her with a stick, he should have called a female officer. Not only should he be fired and locked up, it’s time for the DeKalb Police Department to be cleaned up,” Haroun Shahid Wakil, founder, Street Groomers, told APN.
“There is a lot of crookedness going on in DeKalb. They feel like they can beat up on people and do whatever they want to just because you have on a police uniform,” Wakil said.
“Police are suppose to be trained and know how to handle situations. I’m surprised he did not shoot her because of what he said on the tape, ‘You better be still before I shoot you,’” Rev. Eric Terrell, Vice President, National Action Network, said.
“It’s not only happening to her, but to a lot of our homeless people out begging,” Rev. Terrell said.
(END / Atlanta Progressive News / Copyright 2017)