A Just Cause

Marginalizing African-American Feelings of Injustice Breeds Deeper Distrust, Says a Just Cause

Victimized Wives & Children of IRP6 Speak About The Uncaring American Justice System. Says A Just Cause.


Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/19/2016 --"Protests and cries of African-Americans seem to be falling on deaf ears as justice appears to exclude the color blue and officials show indifference to life and liberty of blacks," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. CBS TV News reported that A Baltimore judge has acquitted 4 out of 6 police officers, saying that failure of police to buckle-up a hog-shackled Freddie Gray in a patty wagon that resulted in his death is not criminal, it is only poor judgment. "If a parent exercised poor judgment and failed to buckle-up their child that was killed in an accident they would be charged and convicted of voluntary manslaughter or some other negligence-related homicide," adds Banks. "A hog-tied Gray is as vulnerable as that child because he is incapable of restraining himself from being tossed around a metal patty wagon," says Banks. "We should all be treated equally under the law," asserts Banks.

"On March 1, 2016, A Just Cause, Radio aired a show called the Silent Victims of Incarceration that featured the wives and children of six men known as the IRP6 who were wrongly-convicted and have spent the past 4 years in prison because the justice system failed to hear them," says Banks. "This was a very emotional show full of many tears," says Banks. "We are speaking, but is our government really listening?" asks Banks.

"That's the hard part; that no one seems to care. Nobody is going to change it" says Tesia Barnes, wife of Kendrick Barnes (IRP6). "I can't dwell too long on all the stuff that happened because I don't want to be angry and I don't want to be bitter," explained Tesia. "I see the justice system for what it is," says Tesia.

"Not everyone is going take Tesia's approach towards controlling their anger and frustration," says Banks, "and continuing incidents of unchecked killing of unarmed citizens are pushing some over the edge which is resulting in the unfortunate hunting and killing of police and causing more pain and suffering to families," adds Banks. "We need to listen to each other," laments Banks.

Tiffany, Clinton Stewart's (IRP6) daughter, who was 17, considered suicide when her father was taken to prison. "And I'm like what am I about to do? I'm alone. I don't have anybody else in my house but my Dad and now he's gone," said Tiffany. "I would say that America really needs to re-evaluate their humanity. How can you see injustice going on and not care? You see children out here with parents that are even killed," says Tiffany. Let us think about Eric Garner. His daughter watched him die on TV! And what are they doing about it? Nothing! So America needs to get a heart basically," lamented Tiffany.

Kayla, the daughter of Demetrius Harper (IRP6), was 13 when her father was taken to prison. Kayla told AJC that she was tired of crying. "It could be a sad tear. It could be mad...there are just too many tears. Speaking about the justice system, Kayla said "...we, as children have been taught by history that it is the best system...but when you sit in class and they are talking about how good it is, in your mind you are just like...this isn't true."

Braylon, Harper's son, was 6 when his father went to prison. "When my Dad was [home] it was like opening up presents, laughing, playing board games, having fun. But now it's like there is something missing. I felt really sad and didn't know what was going on," said Braylon.

"I think the justice system as a whole need to change. I think they need to get a heart," said Tasha, Wife of Demetrius Harper. "They need to think about families that are affected...to me they don't think about the children, the wives, the mothers, the grandmothers," added Tasha.

Kea, talking about her Father David Banks (IRP6): "He raised me that if you don't break the law, if you do everything right, you won't end up in prison," said Kea. "Until 16, I believed that," added Kea. Kea talked about her disillusionment with the system after watching what happened to her father at trial. "They have the truth. They won't go to prison," said Kea. But...it doesn't matter what you say in a court of law, it's about how the prosecution wants to spin something. If they want a conviction they will get one whether you are guilty or innocent. "If people across the country...if the legal system...if the judge...could just feel what I feel, maybe they would think about their actions and their choices and maybe that would make them do right," added Kea. "But I don't even think that would do it because people are too cold, they are too callous," said Kea.

The IRP6 injustice was the subject of a July 5, 2016 Washington Post article (http://wapo.st/29jXqSC) which speaks about a pending clemency petition before President Obama. "We ask President Obama to immediately end the suffering of the IRP6 and their families," concludes Lamont Banks.