Friday, April 17, 2015

My friend died in a police van. That could have been me - if I were black

The guardian reports -- "My friend Hanuman was cremated two weeks ago, his ashes now sit in a wooden box on his parent’s alter. The cause of his death is still being investigated, but we know he died shackled to a bench in the back of a prison van. He was 21 years old. Hanuman’s experience with the criminal justice system and ultimately his death, could easily have been my fate, were it not for the color of my skin.
Eight years ago, I was arrested for stealing prescription pills from houses in my neighborhood. I was charged with numerous felonies and subsequently plead guilty to four burglaries and two attempted burglaries. My total points, under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, came to 203. That meant that the minimum amount of time I was supposed to serve was 10.9 years of prison.
Incredibly, though, I was only sentenced to one year in county jail, two years probation and mandated drug treatment. Not a single day of prison time.
Hanuman also had issues with drugs and was charged with several burglaries. Under the Criminal Punishment Code, he accrued 115 points. Even if a previous charge, for which he had not yet been sentenced, had been factored into his score sheet, his points would total 129. That’s still 88 less than I had. Hanuman was not shown the same judicial leniency I was; he was sentenced to six years in prison.
He was black...."
Full article:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/16/my-friend-died-in-police-van-that-could-have-been-me?CMP=share_btn_fb
After reading this article, I felt compelled to share because it hits too close to home.  I've had my own run in with the military's "in-justice" system and I'm thankful to be alive, unfortunately, my best friend Major Gloria Davis is not alive to tell us what really happened during her grueling interrogation which took place hours before her alleged "suicide."  
Be it police brutality or military injustice, I pray for a complete overhaul of our criminal justice systems, because its long overdue!! 
Post a Comment