We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
Like so many families faced with the unexpected burden of burying a son or daughter who has been killed by the police, the family of 18-year-old Richard Risher is raising money to cover his funeral service after he was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police Department on July 25 in Watts in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects.
Initial reports from the LAPD said that officers were conducting an extra patrol in the Nickerson Gardens housing project when they went to disperse a group of people who were described in initial reports as being disruptive. But eyewitnesses disagree.
To date, only $340 of the $5,000 requested in donations has been raised to help lay Risher to rest. The funeral services are tentatively scheduled for August 11 at Inglewood Park Cemetery in the Golden West Galleria at 1:30 p.m. Contributions can be made here.
Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Risher, says that she was approached by a clergyman at the scene of the death of her son who said that he was representing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office promising financial help. He identified himself as Najee Ali and to this date she hasn’t heard back from the Mayor’s Office or the LAPD regarding her son or helping to pay for his burial. The cost to bury her son is expected to exceed $8,000.
When we spoke on Monday, Ms. Simpson still had not been allowed to view her son’s body at the coroner.
“My son loved to sing, he loved to dance, he liked to rap. He loved basketball. He was never disrespectful. He was a loving kid. He was like a young father but wasn’t even a father. A lot of the kids over there was telling me—like a lot of the young girls—when it got too late in the projects he made them go home. So a lot of people looked at him like he was their daddy cause he wouldn’t let them stay out there and hang out. He’d say no, go home, you’re a girl. He’d walk them home. They just told me that he gave one little boy his jacket and told the kid he could have it because his mom was coming to get him. He wasn’t a bad kid. Every kid has their moments, you feel me. I swear to God if my son would’ve called me, I would have broke every law in America to get down to here to my baby before me having to know my baby was dead.”
Richard Risher is 10th person to be killed by the LAPD this year. He is currently scheduled to be laid to rest on August 11– the 2nd anniversary of the LAPD’s fatal shooting of Ezell Ford. Ironically, both Risher and Ford’s final resting place will be the Inglewood Cemetery.
Several protests decrying the killing of Risher have already taken place with another scheduled for Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.