15 Law Enforcement Officers Murdered By Domestic Extremists Since the Oklahoma City Bombing
Since the Oklahoma City bombing, domestic extremists have murdered 15 law enforcement officers. Each of their deaths was a unique tragedy.
By Susy Buchanan
Fulton County, Ga., Sheriff's Department
March 17, 2000
Ricky Kinchen was born in Orlando, Fla., but soon moved to Tifton, Ga., a town of 15,000 people set amid peanut and cotton fields off the interstate about 180 miles south of Atlanta. Kinchen's grandfather was a preacher there.
One of five children born to his groundskeeper father and nurse mother, Kinchen was an inquisitive child, growing to love Toni Morrison's fiction, books like The Bluest Eye. He learned to value education at an early age, uncle Elijah Jacobs told a reporter, recalling the time Kinchen saw him behind the wheel of a Cadillac and wanted to know how he could get one himself. "You need money for that, and you need an education, and you need to go to school," his uncle admonished.
Kinchen grew into a decent student, earning Bs and participating in ROTC in high school. He was known for his industriousness as well as his charity, delivering food to nursing homes during the holidays. He worked after school at local fast-food restaurants and did chores for an aunt. After graduating from high school, he joined the Army, then earned a degree in criminal justice.
In 1990, Ricky Kinchen finally landed a job with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department. He also moonlighted for years as a security officer in order to afford the "dream home" that he finally moved his family into in 1999.
A year later, Kinchen and partner Aldranon English were assigned to arrest a man known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin on charges of driving a stolen vehicle, impersonating a police officer and failure to appear in court — charges that all stemmed from an earlier traffic stop. Al-Amin was no anonymous lawbreaker. He had been famous as a militant civil rights activist and Black Panther under the name of H. Rap Brown, and was known for statements like, "I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie." Brown also served five years in prison after his 1971 conviction on aggravated assault, robbery and weapons charges. He converted to Islam in prison, changing his name in the process.
Clad in bulletproof vests, Kinchen and English pulled up in front of the store Al-Amin ran in Atlanta's West End just as Al-Amin was arriving in a black Mercedes. When they asked him to show them his hands, Al-Amin pulled out a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and began to shoot. He fired 24 bullets that hit both men. English was seriously injured, shot in the hip, arm, both legs and back. One of the bullets ruptured a gas canister he had strapped to his belt, which temporarily blinded him as he tried to return fire.
It was worse for Kinchen. He was hit in the abdomen, below the vest. Another shot struck his hand and the pistol he was gripping, ejecting the magazine. Kinchen collapsed on the street. Al-Amin walked over to him and shot him three times in the groin, then got into his Mercedes and drove off. Al-Amin would be captured in Alabama several days later, and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.
The irony was that Kinchen and English were black. Ricky Kinchen had been murdered by a black man who purported to champion blacks in a racist America.
"Some days I just sit and cry," Kinchen's widow testified at Al-Amin's sentencing. "It's hard, but I have to wipe my tears and try to be strong for my children, because I know that they are hurting, too."