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MEDIA ADVISORY: Family Members and Advocates with the Fatal State Violence Response Program Commemorate Isaiah Hammett, a 21-year-old Latinx Man Killed by St. Louis Police in a “No Knock Raid” Five Years Ago 

June 7, 2022

What: Commemorative Angelversary event marking five years since the Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) executed a “no-knock” raid killing 21-year-old Isaiah Hammett, a Latinx man, who was a loving brother, son, and caretaker to his grandfather, who is a disabled veteran. The Angelversary is co-hosted by the Fatal State Violence Response Program and the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression.

Who: The Fatal State Violence (FSV) Response Program is a strategic initiative anchored by ArchCity Defenders and Faith for Justice focused on supporting surviving families of those killed by police and/or who died in state custody. The FSV Response Program provides healing spaces and support to impacted families, responds to incidents of fatal state violence through a team of crisis and hotline responders, and advocates for policy change. 

The Coalition Against Police Crimes & Repression (CAPCR) organizes the St. Louis community to end police crimes and abuse, end the criminalization of Black communities and other communities of color, and expose the prison industrial complex. Since 1983, CAPCR has supported policing’s victims, survivors, and their families through protest, direct action, and advocacy.

Rally Speakers:
Brittney Watkins, ArchCity Defenders Staff Attorney (emcee)
John Chasnoff, organizer with The Coalition Against Police Crimes & Repression (CAPCR)
Keith Rose, organizer with the Coalition Against Police Crimes & Repression (CAPCR)
Larry Graves, father of Julius Graves, killed by SLMPD in April 2019 
Don Clark, Jr., son of Don Clark, Sr., killed by SLMPD SWAT in February 2017
Carlos Ball, brother of Cary T. Ball, Jr., killed by SLMPD in April 2013
Tammy Bufford, mother of Cortez Bufford, killed by SLMPD in December 2019
Gina Torres, mother of Isaiah Hammett, killed by SLMPD SWAT in June 2017

When: Tuesday, June 7, 2022 from 12:00PM-1:00PM, CST 

Where: Outside of St. Louis City Hall (Tucker Blvd. side)

Why: Five years ago, 21-year-old Isaiah Hammett was robbed of his life long before his time, shot and murdered by a St. Louis SWAT team during a “no-knock raid.” To this day, Hammett’s mother—Gina Torres, like countless others who have lost a loved one to fatal state violence, struggles to get information from the police department regarding her son’s death. Documents such as death certificates, autopsy reports, and incident reports can be almost impossible for the family to obtain after a loved one is killed by the state. It is high time for justice, accountability, and reparations. On Tuesday, the speakers will reemphasize their demands of elected officials to reduce deadly state violence by enacting the following policy changes: 

A full, unequivocal ban on the use of no-knock raids, “quick knock” raids, and other forms of militarized policing on St. Louis residents.
A full, unequivocal ban on the police use of vehicular chases, which endanger not only the person being chased but the officers doing the chasing and bystanders.
Truly independent investigations of killings by police, with real consequences and accountability. 
Increased transparency for surviving families on the circumstance of our loved ones’ death.
Reparations for families who have lost loved ones to police violence.

Speakers will close the press conference with ways for the public to support:
Attend the balloon release of Isaiah Hammett at the conclusion of the event
Contact your elected official and amplify your support for these five demands 
Attend the monthly FSV meeting on June 17th at The Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being at 7p.m. to join in the work. A meal and child care will be provided.

Media Contact:

Z Gorley, Communications Director, ArchCity Defenders