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View Diary: Nooses, attacks and jail for black students in Jena Louisiana (66 comments)

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  •  Thank you for the advice, sheddhead (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, buckhorn okie, sheddhead

    What I would ask is for an independent investigation be done of the DA's conduct and of the incidents in Jena. From the Friends of Justice:

    • On September 6, 2006, Mr. Walters made intimidating remarks interpreted by many black students as a suggestion that any illegal acts committed in response to the noose incident would result in a life sentence.
    • Mr. Walters’ published comments in the December 13, 2006 edition of The Jena Times represent an unambiguous attempt to poison the minds of potential jurors and grand jurors.
    • Mr. Walters’ decision to increase the charges of defendants involved in the alleged fight at the school to attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to attempt second-degree murder have transformed a routine school fight into a premeditated gangland hit perpetrated by street thugs intent on murder.  This bizarre escalation of charges is impossible to justify on even the most extreme and pro-prosecution interpretation of the meager facts at hand.
    • There is strong evidence that Mr. Walters, in his role as counsel for the LaSalle School Board, has been so influenced by the atmosphere of paranoid trauma sweeping the school in the aftermath of (a) the noose incident, (b) the school fire and (c) a weekend of racial violence, that he has lost any remnant of professional objectivity.

    And what we are asking:

    • The Louisiana State Police must be assigned to the investigation of the alleged fight at the school.
    • District Attorney Reed Walters must recuse himself from the investigation and prosecution of the black defendants in the alleged school fight of December 4, 2006 or the incident at the Gotta Go Convenience store on December 2, 2006.
    • The legal cases cited above must be transferred to an alternative venue.
    • A special prosecutor must be assigned to prosecute whatever charges (if any) are deemed appropriate on the basis of an independent state police investigation.
    • The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice should launch a full investigation into events in Jena, Louisiana, beginning with the noose incident of August 31, 2006, and culminating in the alleged fight of December 4, 2006 to determine if the civil rights of Jena residents have been violated.
    • The inaction of the LaSalle Parish School Board on the noose incident represents a clear violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.  Therefore, a written complaint should be filed with the U.S. Department of Justice.
    • The LaSalle Parish school system must institute a rigorous program of diversity education beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school with a particular focus on the history of race relations in America and the virtues of pluralism, mutual respect and equal opportunity.  In addition, a yearly, system-wide in-service diversity training program must be provided for teachers and administrators.

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