I was thinking about Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Eric Garner and other blacks across the country killed by police. I was thinking about their images posted on YouTube for the world to see. I was thinking about how I don’t want to be like them.
See, I survived police interactions that could have gone bad at ages 13, 16, 18, 19 and 57.
I am now 58 and despite my advancing maturity, I have long understood there is no age-related statute of limitations on being a black male in America. I have also come to understand that many in this country believe that whipping out their smartphone to record these “incidents” is the ultimate fulfillment of their civic, if not humane, duty. (more…)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Facing a possible 60 years in prison for firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons, Marissa Alexander agreed Monday to a plea deal that effectively ends the four-year old criminal case against her.
According to the terms of the plea, Alexander was ordered to serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to all three counts against her. The Florida Times-Union reports the Alexander will get credit for the 1,030 days she’s already spent in jail.
That means she’ll have to spend 65 days in jail. Alexander will return to Duval County Jail following Monday’s hearing. She’ll be released on Jan. 27.
Because the second count against Alexander is considered an ‘open plea,’ she could still be sentenced to five years in prison at the hearing on Jan. 27. (more…)
My name is Luke O’Donovan. In the early morning of January 1st, 2013, I was attacked by a group of men at a party because of my sexuality. In an attempt to defend myself from the attack I thought could end my life I stabbed 5 of them, while also being stabbed 3 times myself. It is regrettable that anyone had to come to harm, but given the choice of whether to lose my life to a hateful attack or fight for the chance to live, I will always choose the ferocious refusal to go quietly into the night. This refusal was not fueled by hate for my attackers, but by my love for life. It is this passion for life that came in conflict with my attackers, and this same passion that was arrested by the cops and is being punished by the courts. It is this passion that they are trying to chain, to cage, to rehabilitate me away from, but it is this passion that will pull my gaze – always forward – through the dark. I can already glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be home soon.
On New Year’s Day in 2013, I was halfway across the world when I started receiving frantic messages from friends. Our mutual friend Luke was in an Atlanta jail,they said, being held without bond. He wasn’t my only friend to get arrested that week, and it’s not unusual for me to receive messages that someone I care about is going into or getting out of jail. But with Luke it felt different. The Atlanta metro media was circulating incendiary articles detailing a “stabbing rampage” that allegedly occurred on New Year’s Eve. Next to each article was a picture of our friend’s face, bruised and broken.
As we would soon learn, Luke was not, in fact, a “lunatic stabber”, but had fiercely defended himself in a terrifying situation. As he has been forced to retell countless times, Luke was at a New Year’s Eve party in Atlanta when he was called a faggot and attacked by a group of men, who continued to repeatedly call him a faggot while beating him. He defended himself using a pocket knife, and stabbed five of them. Luke was stabbed three times in the back that night, but the cops, courts, and their spokespeople in the media wrote off those wounds as “cuts” in what can only be understood as an attempt to skew the details of the event in favor of who they deemed to be victims. Luke was arrested while in the hospital being treated for the wounds he had obtained. Immediately upon recovery he was transported to the Fulton County Jail. (more…)