We Always Knew

In April 2015, Terrance Kellom was murdered by an ICE agent who was part of a seven-member unit called the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force. You’re in good company if the name of this “task force” brings to mind the slave patrols of earlier centuries.

The unit broke into the home of Kevin Kellom, Terrance’s father, with an armed robbery arrest warrant for his son, but without any search warrant. Mitchell Quinn, the ICE agent who alone—according to the cover-up—killed Terrance, is a former Detroit police officer who quit the DPD following charges that he’d held a gun to his wife’s head and destroyed her cell phone when she attempted to call for help. The charges against Quinn were later dropped “for lack of evidence.”

Agent Quinn claimed he shot Kellom because Kellom threatened him with a hammer. None of Terrance’s fingerprints were found on the hammer, only his blood. We recall thinking at the time of this revelation that the cops had probably just pulled the hammer from the trunk of one of their own vehicles—it’s well documented that law enforcement officers are adept at doctoring their own murder scenes to massage public opinion against the civilians they’ve killed. Cops manufacture and plant evidence, and they plant weapons near the bodies they’ve executed. We’ve read it in court documents; we’ve even watched it on YouTube. Or maybe they found the hammer in the Kellom home, and saw an opportunity to build another fiction with it.

According to the state, Terrance was shot four times by agent Quinn. The following graphic has been annotated to reflect the facts of these bullet wounds:

1) One entered Kellom’s neck with a downward trajectory and no exit wound
2) One entered his shoulder with a downward trajectory and no exit wound
3) One entered his back with an upward trajectory and exited out his abdomen
4) One entered through the side of his upper thigh/hip, with a downward trajectory, and exited out his groin

Kellom was also covered with abrasions (marked here in pink).

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The cops claimed under oath that Kellom had been hiding in a crawl space upstairs (there isn’t one) and had dropped out of it and charged them with a hammer. We knew this was a lie the moment we read it. And we’re right: one of the cops who witnessed the execution has just caved under deposition by the attorney for the Kellom family’s civil suit, and said that “contrary to his initial report, he never saw Kellom with a hammer—and that when he first saw Kellom, he was on his knees, not coming toward the officers.” It also appears the task force conspired to tie all four bullet wounds to the firearm of agent Quinn, who is black. However, as the statement from the Kellom family and their attorney states, “The evidence now before us makes clear that … there were multiple shooters, and there has been a cover-up in order to hide these facts.”


“My son was assassinated in my face. I will never forget that day,” said Kevin Kellom. We believe you, Mr. Kellom. We’ve believed you from the beginning.

We know that Freddie Gray was murdered by a rough ride; we know Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s grandma never tried to wrestle a gun from the cop who murdered her granddaughter; we know Aura Rosser never charged two cops with a small kitchen knife, one of whom—David Ried, the one who killed her—has recently been promoted to Sergeant of the Ann Arbor Police Department (note, though, they’ve misspelled his name on this command staff listing); we know Eric Garner was murdered with a chokehold; we watched Milton Hall get executed by firing squad; we know Laquan McDonald did nothing to provoke his murder by a CPD lynch mob; we know Clifton Lee Jr. was asphyxiated by Washtenaw County Sheriffs; we know David Ware was running away, unarmed, when a YPD officer shot him in the back and killed him. We know, in short, that a majority of all police killings—since the invention of police—have also been unprovoked, unwarranted, and unjustifiable.


Obviously we’re very disappointed and we will remember it. This not like in the old days where we just going to let it move and we forget about it. There are lives involved in this situation. The situation about the hammer … that’s a lie. I’ll make it stronger than that. It’s a damn lie because it didn’t happen the way they said. You can talk to someone. You can get them to surrender like the rich guys. You don’t have to take a life. —Ron Scott, Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality (rest in power)

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