All Articles Tagged "injustice"

In Memory Of: Black Males Who’ve Died Unjustly

July 29th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Black Men Who Died Unjustly

Most of us are still seething mad about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. Our black boys and men are in constant danger of being killed with absolutely no consequences for the perpetrators, despite working hard to dispel the unfair stereotypes they have to endure on a daily basis. These boys and men may not be seen as sons, brothers, husbands, or friends to all of society, but that is exactly who they are to their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and us. In the wake of the unfortunate Trayvon Martin verdict, this list is a cold reminder of black males who’ve died unjustly over the years and whose deaths sparked national uproar and protests.

Can Justice Be Served In Georgia? Questions Come Up About Baby Shooting Allegedly Done By Two Teens

March 29th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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AP Photo/Courtesy of the Glynn County Detention Center

AP Photo/Courtesy of the Glynn County Detention Center

I’ve never been to Denmark but something sure does smell peculiar in Brunswick County, Georgia:

According to ABC News:

The lawyer for one of the Georgia teenagers charged with murder in a baby’s shooting said Monday his client is “absolutely” not guilty and the grandmother of the second suspect said her grandson would never be involved in such a crime. “My client is absolutely, 1,000-percent not guilty,” public defender Kevin Gough, who represents 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, told The Associated Press. He made the comments Monday, while preparing for Elkins’ first court appearance on the murder charge. It was scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.”

According to published reports, Sherry West was pushing 13-month-old Antonio Santiago along in his baby stroller when she was allegedly accosted by Elkins and the unnamed minor in a botched robbery attempt in the small coastal town. Said West, the two youths who were trying to rob her allegedly fatally shot the baby in the face as he slept in his stroller after West said she didn’t have any money. West also took a bullet to the leg during the tragic incident.

Although the police chief said robbery appears to be the motive, they admit nothing was taken during the killing. On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of De’Marquise Elkins’ mother and older sister, who were later charged with evidence tampering for allegedly helping the suspect in the shooting dispose of the gun used in the shooting into a saltwater pond, which was also recovered by police that same morning. And just yesterday, new reports are saying that police now suspect Elkins of being involved in a robbery/shooting of a local pastor, who was robbed of his cell phone and wallet in the same vicinity just days before the fatal shooting death of Santiago.

Despite the public defender’s assertion of innocence, it would appear that the police, along with West, are certain that they have the right people in custody. But then, there is this from the First Coast News/ABC Affliate in Jacksonville, Florida:

As the investigation into the shooting death of a 13-month-old Brunswick toddler continues, some people are beginning to question the mother who’s child was shot and killed during a morning walk. The daughter of Sherry West, Ashley Glassey, said she does not want to falsely accuse anyone but she wants the truth. Glassey, 21, lives in New Jersey and said her mother lost custody of her when she was 8. She said she has forgiven her mom and has spoken to her every day since Thursday’s shooting but said some of her mother’s responses have her concerned. Glassey said she started to have her doubts after receiving a phone call from her mother telling her that her brother, Antonio Santiago, had been killed. She claims the night of the shooting her mother asked, “How soon do you think life insurance policy will send me a check?”

Glassey also goes on to state that her mother is bipolar and has schizophrenic tendencies and said that she reported her suspicions to the Brunswick department but hasn’t yet received a response. This new angle has been lighting up message boards around the web from those questioning certain suspicious behaviors of West after the murder, including interviews she had given so soon after the murder to various news organizations. In one such interview with WJXT in Jacksonville, West curiously speculated if the shooting of her 13-month-old baby was related to the death of her 18-year-old son Shaun Glassey, who was fatally stabbed five years ago in New Jersey. The boy who stabbed Glassey was never charged in the case because the police thought he acted in self-defense, after it was determined that Glassey and four other unnamed juveniles lured the boy via text message to a secluded location and initially tried to use the knife in the murder on him.

I don’t think I can really stomach the possibility that not only do we live in a world where someone was cold-hearted enough to shoot a baby in the face, but a world where there is a possibility that two other children might be wrongfully blamed for it. Personally, I don’t know what to believe. However, I do believe that it is too early to make judgment calls either way. And what this story does illustrate is the rush to judgment that tends to happen when the offender is black. A lot of it is how we have been conditioned. Night after night, we see mugshots of some menacing and bugged-out looking black folks plastered on nightly news and on the front page of newspapers. Usually the crimes that people have been arrested and accused of are so heinous that it has become natural inclination to be repelled and want to disassociate ourselves away from them. However, we forget that they are just accused and not every person accused of a crime is actually guilty. Immediately after local law enforcement released to the media the description of the boys suspected in the shooting, I heard just as many black folks as there were whites praying that police “hurry up and find the person that did it.” Unfortunately when it comes to high profile cases like the shooting of this baby, “hurrying up and finding someone” is what usually happens. And doesn’t mean that they necessarily got the right “someone.”

Like most people, I want justice served in this case. And there are lots of subtleties here, which could make for a perfect storm of debauchery, which will ensure that it will not happen. First, there is the history of racism, classism and segregation in Georgia, which has often served as a historical backdrop for a miscarriage of justice. And let’s not forget about the Central Park Five, the Susan Smith case, the Troy Davis case, and a whole laundry list of other instances where people who had been accused or served time were later revealed to have been wrongly convicted for crimes. Sometimes we forget that even with the best of intent, law enforcement does sometimes make mistakes; get it wrong and flat-out engage in misconduct.

The Death of Troy Davis and What It Means to Us

September 22nd, 2011 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news already. But after a a four hour delay, Troy Davis was executed last night around 11 p.m. by lethal injection. The delay was caused by the fact that Davis filed an eleventh hour plea to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay on the execution. The stay was denied. After hundreds of thousands of signatures to prevent the execution circled around with the help of Amensty International, Change.org, the NAACP and others, along with Davis offering to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, justice wasn’t served, and reasonable doubt all of a sudden meant nothing.

For those looking for the President to step in, a statement was released yesterday by press secretary Jay Carney saying, “It is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.” So it was up to the people who kept getting signatures, spreading the word through social media and protesting.  Davis’ sister Kim, who created the campaign for Troy’s life on Change.org, wanted people, including supporters around the world, to know that Troy was grateful:

“When Troy saw that more than 650,000 signatures had been delivered to the board in his name, he called to tell me he was deeply moved. He told me he knew that he had supporters around the world, but he had no idea that the support was that widespread. ”

While we’re very sad that Davis had to be executed, especially with so much doubt surrounding the case, we hope that this spurs people to step up and fight and not deal with injustices like this in the future. We aren’t silly enough to believe that Davis was the only man on Death Row or in prison in general possibly wrongfully convicted. It’s better to know you tried to make your voice heard and fight, than to just shake your head when it’s all said and done. Don’t take these things lying down folks! On top of that, as many of our Facebook followers pointed out, stay doing positive things with positive people so that you don’t find yourself in a situation like this. Tell that to your children and let them know about this case so they know what the justice system is capable and incapable of. That goes out to young men, grown men, young women, grown women, children, anybody–spread the word.

There have been some really deep and thought-provoking articles about Troy Davis’ case, the issues with the death penalty and the impact of Davis’ execution all over the web. We leave you now with a few links to those. R.I.P. Troy Davis:

Troy Davis Execution: 9 Reactions From Black Celebs and Activists

September 21st, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Alexis Garrett Stodghill

As the state of Georgia prepares to execute Troy Davis for a murder conviction tonight at 7 pm, people around the world are decrying what they see as a violation of justice. Davis, whose case has hung in limbo for 20 years as the courts remained indecisive about whether to take his life, was refused a polygraph test requested in a last-ditch attempt to prove his innocence. Even though seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have recanted their testimonies, and two jurors have changed their minds, Davis remains condemned to death. Executing a man despite persistent doubts paints a picture of America’s justice system as one that is not just at all. Folks worldwide are expressing their anger at this revelation. Here is a sample of the negative reactions our judicial process has prompted from luminaries for refusing to grant Troy clemency after a last-minute appeal — plus a statement of acceptance of his fate from Davis himself.

UPDATE: Troy Davis was executed and pronounced dead at 11:08 pm on Tuesday, September 21.

Troy Davis

Troy Davis

“The Struggle Doesn’t End With Me”

From The Washington Post: “Amnesty International… posted a message that Davis, 42, had asked to share on its Facebook group: ‘The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath.’”

Seeking Justice for Troy Davis

September 20th, 2011 - By nativenotes
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Troy Davis

A man is set to be murdered, legally, by the State of Georgia tomorrow, September 21, at 7 p.m. That man’s name is Troy Davis, a man born in the same state as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. only a few short months after the hatred, bigotry and injustice King spoke out against cut down our fearless leader in Memphis, TN. Davis now stands to lose his life courtesy of the same injustices King spoke about and we are all witness to this travesty.

Troy Anthony Davis stands accused of murdering a white off duty police officer in a Burger King parking lot in 1989. There is no physical evidence that links Davis to the crime. Seven of nine witnesses who testified during the original trial have recanted their story and have said that they were coerced by the police to implicate Davis in the murder. According to the Daily Mail, Davis and his lawyers argued that the racial composition of the jury and poor advocacy from his lawyers had affected his right to a fair trial.” Davis was convicted and sentenced to the death by lethal injection in August 1991.

Foreign Investors Go After Cheap African Land, To The Detriment of Many

June 30th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Charlotte Young

When investors think of Africa, cheap labor and cheap land are what come to mind. And they’re not holding back in new land expansion ventures.

San Francisco Bay View reports on a new study by the Oakland Institute on the investments. The study finds that as interest in African land grows, small farmers and communities are being forced to leave their native land, often with no compensation, to make room for foreign vision.

China and India are some of the major players in African land investments. Many European and US firms connected to large banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have also jumped on board at the opportunity, exploiting the resources of Tanzania and Sierra Leone, for example. Universities with large endowment funds are also getting a piece of the action.

The report states that “these largely unregulated land purchases are resulting in virtually none of the promised benefits for native population.” Job creation is minimal.

A recent land acquisition in Mali was large enough to sustain more than half a million people. In the hands on the 22 investors that now own it, it has the possibility to create only about a few thousand jobs.

In response to the injustice of these recent land acquisitions, the Oakland Institute declares that concerned people and organizations must not stand idly by.

Harvard, Spelman and Vanderbilt are among the universities investing in Africa. The Institute is urging that students and alumni be made aware of the ill effects of the acquisitions. In addition investment and pension funds must also be held accountable for their actions before they further destroy the lives of these disenfranchised residents and communities.

A “Sneaky” Situation Leaves Family Members of a Slain Man Unheard

June 14th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By Charlotte Young

The Los Angeles County Superior Court didn’t use blind folds or gags, but they succeeded in taking away the right of slain Oscar Grant’s family to protest the early release of his murderer.

Former transit officer Johannes Mehserle, 29, was released Monday morning after only serving 11-months of a two year-sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Mehserle, who is white, was convicted of shooting and killing the unarmed Grant, who was black, at a train station in Oakland on New Year’s Day 2009.

Cephus Johnson, Grant’s uncle was on the phone with a court clerk as the judge made his decision to release Mehserle early for good behavior. The clerk told him the hearing on the release would take place Monday morning but when he got to the jail, Mehserle never appeared.

Johnson tells the Los Angeles Times that the situation was “very sneaky.” Mehserle had been allowed to leave out the back door of the jail while Johnson received a recorded message of the release a half-hour after the inmate had left custody.

“We are entitled under the Victim’s Bill of Rights to speak, and we would have liked to be heard,” Johnson said.

About one and a half months ago, he met with the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. The division says they are investigating the case but they “can’t promise any charges at this time.”

So much for putting your faith in the justice system in 2011. This case just goes to show that if you’re a cop and you shoot a black man, more than likely, you can still get away with it.

Community Rallies Around Sisters, Against Mississippi Governor

April 1st, 2011 - By TheEditor
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By J. Smith

 

There’s a difference between wanting to be perceived as “tough on crime” and just being stubborn and arrogant. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a potential presidential candidate, is refusing to pardon two sisters for a crime that, if they were guilty, would have earned them $11.

Jamie and Gladys Scott, black women, each served 16 years of a life sentence and were released from prison earlier this year on the condition that one donate a kidney to the other, The Grio reports. However, despite one of the sister’s illness, 16 years already served, a plea of innocence and a rally of supporters calling for their permanent release, Governor Barbour will not pardon the Scotts. “I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Barbour said, rudely.

The Scott’s lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, says they’re innocent and has planned a rally with hopes of putting public pressure on the governor to permanently release them from jail. “If he wants to tell people coming here tomorrow that — don’t hold their breath — then we’ll give him the message. We don’t intend to hold back our outrage at injustice, and we don’t intend to stop fighting for justice,” he said.

A spokesman for the governor that he “has not granted pardons to anyone who does not admit their guilt and express remorse.”

Basically, Barbour doesn’t like uppity Negroes.

 

Read more: Rally Aims to Sway Barbour On Pardon For Sisters

 

Ex-Chicago Police Officer On Trial For Torture

May 28th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(NPR) — Jury selection resumes in the upcoming federal trial of Jon Burge, Chicago’s former Police Commander. Burge stands accused of lying about his involvement in getting scores of confessions to crimes through the use of torture. Guest host Tony Cox talks with reporter Kathy Chaney, of The Chicago Defender newspaper, about the upcoming trial and Burge’s alleged torture victims.

Listen….

Ex-Chicago Police Officer On Trial For Torture

May 28th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(NPR) — Jury selection resumes in the upcoming federal trial of Jon Burge, Chicago’s former Police Commander. Burge stands accused of lying about his involvement in getting scores of confessions to crimes through the use of torture. Guest host Tony Cox talks with reporter Kathy Chaney, of The Chicago Defender newspaper, about the upcoming trial and Burge’s alleged torture victims.

Listen….