Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Jena, La.

Mychal Bell was tried and convicted by an all white jury of aggravated second degree battery for his role in a fight between white and black students at Jena High School. The cause of the fight, the black students wanted to sit in the shade of a tree previously restricted to "whites only". The next day, there were 3 nooses hanging from the tree, a child's prank according to school officials. While 3 students were suspended, tension in the small town mounted. At school two days later, a group of white students, including the noose hangers, taunted students, calling them “niggers.” A white student was beaten by a group of black students, taken to the hospital and released within three hours. He attended a school function that night. Six black students, including Bell, were charged with second degree attempted murder for the fight. The day before that fight occurred, one student was charged with simple battery after he cracked a bottle over anothers head.

Mychal Bell and the other 5 students did not use a weapon of any sort but was charged with a crime that requires the use of a weapon and one that mandates that serious bodily harm occurred. Now in reading this you might think this came from the 60's or even earlier. Wrong, this started in September 2006 and Bell, the first tried, was to be sentenced yesterday. Sentencing has been postponed while the Fed's investigate. They should take a hard look at the LaSalle Parish DA who told the black student population "I could end your life with the stroke of a pen".

Oh, and the offending tree? It received the death penalty and was cut down.

1 comment:

mielikki said...

I saw that yesterday on the news, and was very disturbed by it.
Sadly, I wasn't surprised. The last time I was in Mississippi, I was in a small town called Wesson. And they were still segregated as well. To the point that a young black woman I met was calling me "Miss Traci". I didn't like it. . .