A poem dedicated to Zale Thompson, who was murdered by the NYPD on October 23rd, 2014 in Jamaica, Queens, NY.
By Alexis Haynie (Writer)
Zale Thompson, portrayed by the media as a hatchet-wielding Muslim extremist, attacked a group of four officers on October 23rd, striking two with a hatchet in broad daylight. The media has used his Muslim affiliation and New Black Panther Party membership to paint him as a deranged terrorist. To counteract this defamation, friends have created this Facebook page to share memories of the intelligent, caring, gentleman they knew and loved. His non-lethal attack was met with a spray of 19 bullets. One shot critically wounded a female bystander. His lone-assault was swiftly ended and erased. With martial law being implemented in Missouri, I wonder how many more black lives will be lost before a State of Emergency is realized…
Inspired by Nina Simone and in dedication to his memory, I am crafting this poem. I have been working on this poem for a while, and will continue to do so, but I feel compelled to share it. I am writing this poem for both Zale Thompson and "The Ave" he was murdered on. I walk by the place where he was gunned down nearly every day, and it amazes me that both the place and the community seem unaffected.
Not only will I never forget you Zale, but in the words of George Jackson, to the destruction of your enemies-- I dedicate my life.
Zale Thompson, Teachers College, Columbia University Graduate