Ramad Chatman (24) will spend an additional 5 years in jail despite being found NOT GUILTY for armed robbery.
According to The Independent, in 2012 Chatman, age 19, was convicted of breaking and entering for stealing a television worth $120. It was his first offense and Chatman was sentenced to five years’ probation. Chatman abided by his probation by attending all meetings, completing community service, and keeping a steady job. Then in 2014, a clerk who had been robbed in a convenience store identified him as a suspect in the crime one year after the event.
Chatman saw that his face and name were circulating for a crime that he did not commit. As part of his probation he had to submit his whereabouts to law-enforcement officials monthly. To clear his name, Chatman turned himself in. Judge Jack Niedrach was very adamant about sending Chatman to jail based on the clerks testimony. As some know, the justice system is very flawed and many young black men and women are encouraged to take plea deals to obtain a cleaner record or receive less time; Chatman tried this but the deals were rejected.
As a result, Chatman went to trial and was found NOT GUILTY because there was no evidence that he had committed the crime.
Judge Jack Niedrach did not care.
Niedrach revoked Chatman’s probation and resentenced him for his original 2012 crime.
If Chatman hadn’t been arrested for the convenient store robbery, he would have finished his probation and his record would have been clear in July 2017. He was sentenced because turning himself in broke the probation. He turned himself in because he wanted to CLEAR his name! The judge is a RACIST PIECE OF SHIT who wanted to make an example of Chatman. He saw that Chatman was trying to do right after his crime but did not care. These are the type actions that make someone delve back into crime and feel like they have nothing to lose. Please SHARE this story and info so that Ramad Chatman can receive some justice!
Hundreds of students and faculty met at Towson University’s Freedom Square to speak out against racial injustice, homophobia, Islamophobia, and discrimination following the presidential election. The faculty ahead of the Social Justice Collective organized the event to provide support and a platform for students to voice their opinions and concerns.
Students and faculty of different races, sexual orientation, and backgrounds spoke of support and oneness for one another but some students got right to the point. In regards to the safety pins that some white allies are wearing, TU student Bilphena Yahwon stated, “I want you to understand. A pin is not enough action. When lives are literally at risk, when people are being assaulted, when people are being killed, when Muslim women are having their hijabs pulled up in public, I don’t care about your goddamn pin.” Her and a few other students spoke about getting past abstract language like, “We’re all one people”, “We all bleed the same blood”, and resolving and speaking about the blatant discrimination that has and is still affecting millions of people in this country.
I was there with the Freedom School, an organization created by TU student, John Gillespie. The organization is a space for Black Radical teachings and discussions open to all every Thursday at the institute.
Today marks 37 years since members of the Black Liberation Army helped activist Assata Shakur escape the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey.
In 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout with two New Jersey troopers. One of the troopers along with a Black Liberation Army member, Zayd Malik Shakur, were killed. Shakur was shot twice in the arm. She was convicted of first degree murder even though evidence proved she was innocent. Shakur was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and various social movements so the she was under FBI watch.She spent 6 1/2 years in prison until her comrades helped her escape on Nov 2nd, 1979. In 1984, she fled to Cuba where she was granted political asylum.
Since May 2, 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture because they ain’t shit! Kudos to Cuba for keeping her safe.
*Graphic Footage is in the music video*
Vic Mensa released the music video for 16 Shots from the album, There’s A lot Going On. The video was inspired by the unfortunate 2014 police killing of 17 year old, Laquan McDonald. McDonald was shot 16 times while walking away from police officers. The cops lied about the incident saying McDonald attacked them with a knife but the dash cam video revealed other wise. In the video, Mensa encounters police brutality from tasers to multiple bullets as the real video of the incident cuts in and out. Watch below:
The new series, Queen Sugar, isn’t the only project Ava DuVernay has been working on these past couple of years. The brilliant director will explore the many parallels between slavery and mass incarceration in America in the documentary, The 13th. The trailer shows the government and many politicians enforcing racially motivated laws over the years including the war on drugs and the three strikes law. 2016 presidential candidates Clinton and Trump are also amongst the politicians who are seen implementing similar regulations. The trailer also includes snippets of the unfortunate and disturbing story of Kalief Browder, a teen who was unfairly held for 3 years at the notorious Rikers Island and who later committed suicide in 2015.
In a statement, DuVernay said the film “was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation.” This documentary is very important in presenting evidence on how mass incarceration disproportionately affects black Americans. Unsurprisingly, the trailer alone is already being met with loads of racist comments.
The documentary will be released on 7 Oct through Netflix and will premiere 30 Sep at the New York Film Festival, becoming the first documentary to ever open the event. Check out the trailer below.