News


Written by Calvin Fortenberry    Thursday, 12 February 2015 23:51    PDF Print E-mail
Grand Jury indicts Brooklyn police officer Peter Liang in the shooting death of Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley lived and died in Brooklyn’s Pink Houses. The police officer who “accidentally” shot him in a “pitch black” stairwell never called an ambulance; instead, he called his union rep for advice. The ambulance was called by other residents of the public housing complex. Neighbors call Akai a peacemaker.

Akai Gurley lived and died in Brooklyn’s Pink Houses. The police officer who “accidentally” shot him in a “pitch black” stairwell never called an ambulance; instead, he called his union rep for advice. The ambulance was called by other residents of the public housing complex. Neighbors call Akai a peacemaker.

The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund supports the decision of the Brooklyn grand jury to indict NYPD Officer Peter Liang for the crime of manslaughter in the killing of Akai Gurley in November of 2014. Mr. Gurley was, in the words of New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, a “total innocent,” who was shot and killed while walking in the stairwell of the Pink Houses, a public housing development in Brooklyn.

“I miss my daddy,” 2-year-old Akaila Gurley told the crowd at a protest. – Photo: Reuters

“I miss my daddy,” 2-year-old Akaila Gurley told the crowd at a protest. – Photo: Reuters

While the indictment for manslaughter is the minimum criminal homicide charge that Officer Laing should have faced, it marks a significant departure from the decisions of the Staten Island, New York, and Ferguson, Missouri, grand juries not to indict police officers in the high profile killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Those decisions sparked peaceful national protests and inspired LDF’s call for such federal reforms as stricter accountability measures and training for police, as well as a national database documenting the cases of unarmed African-American men killed by police officers.

LDF believes that today’s indictment in the Gurley case, and the subsequent public proceedings, are important first steps toward achieving the transparency and accountability necessary to prevent other such tragedies from occurring again.

Sherrilyn Ifill

Sherrilyn Ifill

“We are gratified that D.A. Ken Thompson moved this process along quickly. This is a positive step in the right direction, and at this moment we can say that our justice system is working the way it is intended to work,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“Police officers, who set the highest standard for conduct and behavior should be held accountable just as any ordinary citizen would if they fired a weapon without cause,” she declared. “We hope that the facts of the case unfold in an impartial manor and that there is a full accounting of why Mr. Gurley was shot for no other reason than being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

LDF believes that today’s indictment in the Gurley case, and the subsequent public proceedings, are important first steps toward achieving the transparency and accountability necessary to prevent other such tragedies from occurring again.

Calvin Fortenberry can be reached atcfortenberry@naacpldf.orgNAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), is a leading voice in the struggle to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, LDF has been recognized as the nation’s finest civil rights law firm. Although initially affiliated with the NAACP, LDF has been an entirely separate organization since 1957.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Minister of Information JR Valrey    Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
The Bay Area mourns the Jacka

The Jacka

The Jacka

On Monday, Feb. 2, ‘15, one of the Bay Area’s most beloved and well known rappers was killed on 94th Ave, off of MacArthur in East Oakland. The Jacka was loved by many because of his street rhymes but also because of his political and spiritual consciousness.

He rose to stardom in ‘97, as one of the members of Sacramento rapper C-Bo’s Mobb Figaz, which included AP-9, Fed Ex, Husalah, Rydah J. Clyde and the Jacka. He soon went solo and recorded his first hit single, “Hey Girl,” which took Bay Area mainstream radio by storm.

In 2004, he was a member of a super-group called Dope Game, which also included Keak Da Sneak and BA of 3X Crazy as well as newcomer Chi-Town aka Pretty Black. The group did two albums, then Chi-Town was murdered in East Oakland.

Jacka 'Tear Gas' cover, webIn 2010, the Jacka released “Tear Gas,” which in my opinion was his greatest album. Since that time, he has released a number of collaboration projects, most notably with Philly-based rapper Freeway.

For those that knew the Jacka, he was a good-spirited, well-grounded dude, who always had something positive or funny to say. He was one of those people who was sincerely happy to see you every time you’d see each other – which for me amounted to every few months.

He also worked with a number of artists and business people from his camp he helped to employ, including his manager, PK, producers, Rob Lo, Maki and Traxxamillion, as well as rappers Dubb 20 and D-Dre. Reminiscent of the murders and political assassinations of young truth-tellers Tupac, Biggie and Malcolm Shabazz, the police claim they have no suspects.

Following is JR’s interview with the Jacka originally published June 26, 2009:

Ghetto intellect: an inner-view of the rapper the Jacka

The Jacka of the Mobb Figaz has been one of my favorite rap artists for a while, because of his subject versatility and the style he puts into his rhymes. In most cases, rap listeners know him for his drug infested, pistola packing street crime rhymes.

Ra’shida, rappers Freeway and the Jacka soak up the sun at Rock the Bells in Mountain View in October 2013. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Ra’shida, rappers Freeway and the Jacka soak up the sun at Rock the Bells in Mountain View in October 2013. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

People don’t look to him for spiritual guidance or political empowerment but, reminiscent of his Bay Area rap predecessors, 2pac, Askari X and Seagram, all of this is a part of the man. Classifications like these don’t always work because, like the organizing of Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, who was also from the Bay, you have to be in the ghetto for the people in the ghetto to listen to you, and that is where the Jacka spends a lot of his time, among the people.

On other coasts, you could just put on a red, black and green bandana or arm band and be talking to all white people but call your yourself a Black conscious or political rapper. Conscious of what I don’t know, but the Jacka, on his new album “Tear Gas,” shares the knowledge that he has with what revolutionary theoretician Frantz Fanon called “The Wretched of the Earth,” instead of thinking that the information he has makes him more elite, or better than someone else.

The Jacka, on his new album “Tear Gas,” shares the knowledge that he has with what revolutionary theoretician Frantz Fanon called “The Wretched of the Earth,” instead of thinking that the information he has makes him more elite, or better than someone else.

The Jacka and Lee Majors at a Keyshia Cole concert in 2007 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

The Jacka and Lee Majors at a Keyshia Cole concert in 2007 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

After listening to “Tear Gas,” I told the Jacka that this album right here might be his “Me Against the World,” which in my opinion was 2Pac’s deepest and most well rounded album, lyrically and insightfully speaking. Apparently a lot of rap fans feel similar about “Tear Gas” because it is selling like crazy in stores and online, and DJs have been banging the hell out of it in the Bay since it came out.

If you are into rap, go out and get this album. You will not be disappointed. Now let’s get to the Jacka to see what makes his mind tick …

M.O.I. JR: “Tear Gas,” the new album, just came out. Can you tell the people a little bit about this new album? What have you been up to?

The Jacka: You know, I just been working, man. I came up with the title first, “Tear Gas,” then you know sat on the title for a while and promoted the title before I got any songs done because I didn’t know exactly how I was going to put the album out or what avenue that I was going to take to getting the album out there like that. So when I was going through a thing with SMC figuring out if I’m going to do it with them, I started really recording the album, so every song on there is like brand new.

You know I just had the title first, and all of that. You know what I mean, it’s raw. I got E-40, Devin the Dude, Freeway, Paul Wall, Cormega, the Mobb Figaz, Cellski. I got producers from all over the place on it, MG, Bannon, the Incredibles, Rob Lo, Traxxamillion – all types of stuff. It’s big, you know what I mean? It was just something fresh that we needed for the Bay, man, so I just went all in on it.

They always aim the focus on the ghetto youth, and they try to kill our ghetto youth, and keep us in prison.

M.O.I. JR: I know that you address a lot of issues – spiritual, political, as well as street issues. What is your opinion of what has been going on in the Bay since the beginning of the year? You had the murder of Oscar Grant, but you also had the repaying by Lovelle Mixon. Can you speak on your opinions of that?

The Jacka of the Mob Figaz 'The Verdict' coverThe Jacka: Well, you know, everything happens for a reason. You know, when you spiritual, you believe in Allah, you believe in God, you know that everything is written already. It’s gonna happen. Allah knows, God knows everything, and it’s already written out even before you do it, you know what I’m saying? So it was all meant to be. Everything that happened was meant to be. It was all tragic.

And they always aim the focus on the ghetto youth, and they try to kill our ghetto youth, and keep us in prison and everything like that. Our whole thing is to try to stay out of the way, man, and remember that they got a plan for us, man. You know what I’m saying?

They don’t want us here. I know for a fact that everything happens for a reason, so you just gotta do whatever you gotta do to get that positivity in while you’re on the planet and while you’re breathin’, man, and get it right, because you never know what’s going to happen. They got a plan for us. They tryin’ to take us out.

They don’t want us here. You just gotta do whatever you gotta do to get that positivity in while you’re on the planet and while you’re breathin’, man, and get it right, because you never know what’s going to happen. They got a plan for us. They tryin’ to take us out.

M.O.I. JR: What’s the importance of the independent media, man?

The Jacka: Well, it’s important, because you know it is getting the real deal everything, you know what I’m saying? It’s getting everything that is actually going on. You know, the public media, they don’t really put out there everything. They just put out everything to keep your mind off of what it should actually be on.

The Jacka, Fed Ex and AP-9 – Photo: Apollonia Jordan

The Jacka, Fed Ex and AP-9 – Photo: Apollonia Jordan

You know, what we are doing right here is real. You wouldn’t see no interview like this on a main radio station or on a top TV show because you know they just ain’t real enough. They scared. You can’t be scared when you’re dealing with something like this.

You wouldn’t see no interview like this on a main radio station or on a top TV show because you know they just ain’t real enough. They scared. You can’t be scared when you’re dealing with something like this.

M.O.I. JR: Man, just tell the people how long you have been affiliated with Block Report Radio.

The Jacka: Me and this guy JR, we been knowing each other since around like 2002, and here it is finna be 2010. We’re in the summertime of 2009 right now, and you know we just been rocking, keeping it lit forever, man. And I don’t see us stopping.

Me and this guy JR, we been knowing each other since around like 2002. You know we just been rocking, keeping it lit forever, man. And I don’t see us stopping.

And we just gonna keep it lit 100 percent and all the way through ‘til the end. You know, we reppin’ this to the death of us, man. And we gonna be here, baby.

Man, we at Rasputin’s, at the in-store, and it was big. It was like 600 people here today. I just got the record. We sold 1,200 CDs today in one day out of Rasputin’s alone, so it was a blessing. And I love everybody for coming out; it’s ridiculous.

The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached atblockreportradio@gmail.com.

 

The Jacka’s latest album, “What Happened to the World”



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Minister of Information JR Valrey    Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
Love and Fit Hop: an interview wit’ Stic.man of dead prez

Stic.man of the revolutionary rap group dead prez and his wife, Afya Ibomu, have been together for over two decades, which is rare in the Black community, and they are both engaged in creating “Fit-Hop,” a subgenre that promotes sobriety and healthy living as opposed to the mainstream Hip Hop. After years of fit living, these two fitness experts are sharing some of the ways that they care for their bodies as well as their relationship, in a presentation called “Love and Fit-Hop.”

Afya Ibomu and Stic.man of dead prez

Afya Ibomu and Stic.man of dead prez

Rarely during Black History Month do we hear the topic of relationship building, but it is fundamental to growing healthy Black families and, in turn, communities. On Monday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Merritt College Student Lounge, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland, Stic and Afya will teach the seven strategies that this powerful couple has developed and lived by in building and expanding their relationship, family and commitment to personal and community health and wellness.

I appreciate Stic and Afya coming to the Bay to promote the topic and Stic for doing this interview. Check him out in his own words.

M.O.I. JR: What is your “Love and Fit Hop” presentation about? And why did you give it that name?

Stic: “Love and Fit Hop” is a conversation and a presentation on seven health and relationship strategies that my wife Afya and I have discovered on our 22-year journey together.

The popular TV show Love and Hip Hop often emphasizes dysfunction in relationships but what Love and Fit Hop offers is positive and practical strategies for loving relationships and healthy lifestyles. “Fit Hop” is a new genre of hardcore hip hop and optimistic lyricism that builds on holistic health and fitness, sobriety, martial arts, meditation and so forth. Kind of like straight edge music is for the punk scene. So love and fit hop is a presentation that shares our story as a couple still rolling strong with 22 years in and some of the best practices we have distilled for well-rounded wellbeing.

M.O.I. JR: Without giving up all the game, what does it take to be committed to someone for 22 years?

Stic: Oh, it’s no secret; it’s a process. The nutshell answer is “friendship and love.” It’s having a team vision and lots of willingness to grow and forgive and have faith in the family unit. We share our journey in the presentation of how we met and how we have influenced each other, challenges we’ve faced and how holistic health has been a central theme in our development and strength as a family.

Emory Douglas, minister of culture for the Black Panther Party, and Stic.man backstage at the Life is Living Festival in Oakland on Feb. 26, 2014 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Emory Douglas, minister of culture for the Black Panther Party, and Stic.man backstage at the Life is Living Festival in Oakland on Feb. 26, 2014 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

M.O.I. JR: Why is Black love important?

Stic: Well, love is universal and is universally important. But to speak specifically to your question about Black love, our community experiences so many oppressive conditions and is still facing so much injustice and dysfunction. Within the family unit is where it hits us the hardest.

When our personal love relationships are not prioritized and nourished, all the other compound socio-political relationships that we need are built on shaky ground. If the individual households ain’t together, so to speak, it’s harder to organize the block.

Black love is revolutionary; it’s outlaw, because it’s about the power in the people at work at the core unit of society, the family. Black love is hands on interpersonal activism that fortifies our relationships from within so that we can strengthen one another and so that our unions can be beneficial to our communities as well, which we believe is the highest purpose of our union, being a unified force of service.

M.O.I. JR: What made you get into martial arts and running?

Stic: I got into fitness as a lifestyle after being diagnosed with gout in my early 20s. My wife guided me in transitioning to a vegan diet and over the past 10 years, I have studied Jeet Kune Do, Wu Shu Kwan and Afrikan martial arts as well.

I got really into distance running and became a marathoner and just recently got certified as a running coach by the RRCA. I train to live and love to train. I think fitness is so much more than competition. For me it’s a spiritual practice that relieves stress, keeps me in shape and helps me cultivate the confidence and discipline to accomplish my goals in life.

I have a new single and video dropping soon for the Workout 2, so I’m thankful for the patient support, especially from the Bay Area which has always been home team for the RBGs.

DJ X1, Stic.man and Davey D in 2007 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

DJ X1, Stic.man and Davey D in 2007 – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

M.O.I. JR: Can you tell people about the books that you two have out, respectively?

Stic: My newest book will be out around my birthday, the beginning of March 2015. It’s called “Eat Plants, Lift Iron.”

I collaborated with my strength trainer, Scott Shetler, NASC-CPT, and my wife Afya who has a degree in nutrition and is a certified holistic health counselor.

We share the story, training details and meal plans and recipes of my experiment to see if I could gain 20 pounds on an all vegan gluten free, supplement free, high performance diet. While I kept up my long distance running! It was an awesome journey and I hope it can be helpful and inspiring to the skinny cats out there who wanna build some muscle without sacrificing their long term health.

My wife’s newest cookbook drops late February; it’s called “The Vegan Remix,” and Erykah Badu wrote the foreword. It’s ethnic cuisines from all over the world, remixed as soulful vegan versions, gluten free and minus many of the common allergens such as soy and so on.

M.O.I. JR: How can people keep up with what y’all are doing?

Stic: My wife and I are up to something that we are tremendously excited about and we are just about ready to debut a new website that combines both of our works in one location and provides a culturally relevant hub for people into well-rounded wellbeing.

My radio show, The Balance, will also be featured there! But I can’t reveal the website name just yet! Shhhh! So in the meantime you can catch daily updates with us both at

And our websites:

Gratitude and love!



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Shaun King    Sunday, 01 February 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
The 13-year-old boy who grew up in a Georgia prison: Michael Lewis, now 18 years into his sentence

From the docudrama

This is the first part of a six-week series on Michael "Little B" Lewis.

In January of 1997, as a 17-year-old high school senior, I submitted my application to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Eight months later I'd call Atlanta and Morehouse home. In the 18 years since, I became a student leader, graduated from Morehouse, married my high school sweetheart, had three kids of our own and adopted two more, wrote and published my first book, started a church, started a charity, bought and sold our first home in Atlanta, nearly died in a car accident, started and sold three businesses, moved to California, moved to New York City, and moved to South Africa. I've now been alive longer since I sent in that application than I was before I sent it.  

A few gray hairs are popping up on my 35-year-old head and I now have children in elementary, middle, and high school. In that same period of time, since January of 1997, a young brother I now see as my peer, Michael Lewis, has spent every day of every year in prison. As I reflect back on everything that's happened over the past 18 years, my mind can't even begin to fathom what it would be like to have spent all of them behind bars. No marriage, no kids, no college, no travel, no businesses, no charities.

When Michael entered prison, tried and convicted as an adult for murder in Georgia at the outrageous age of 13, Bill Clinton was president of the United States and hadn't been impeached yet. The top movie in the world was Titanic. Michael Jordan was still winning NBA championships. Michael Jackson had just gotten married, Princess Diana and Mother Theresa were still alive, and the internet hardly even existed. iPhone and Android and Bluetooth and Xbox and Twitter and Facebook were all make-believe.

Before we dig in to Michael's story, take a moment and think back to when you were 13 years old. Where did you live? What grade were you in? How great was your judgment?What did you like doing when you were 13?

Now, think for a moment about all that you've learned and experienced since you were 13 years old and imagine spending every single day since your 13th birthday in prison. It's hard to grasp isn't it?

Head below the fold for Michael's story.

http://images.dailykos.com/i/sub/featured/divider-doodle.gif) 50% 10px no-repeat transparent;">

Shaun King at Morehouse
Soon after moving to Atlanta in August of 1997, I began hearing stories on the news and in church about a 13-year-old boy named "Little B." His story had gripped the city and was regularly on the nightly news and on the front page of the AJC. They said he murdered a dad in cold blood in front of his kids on January 21, 1997. I didn't know if it was true or not, but I was immediately struck that it seemed like every politician and newscaster hated his guts. I haven't heard the word used since, but I never forgot hearing him called a "super predator" on television. What does that even mean?

When I finally saw Michael "Little B" Lewis for the very first time, I couldn't believe it. He wasn't even five feet tall, weighed less than 100 pounds, and actually looked about as nonthreatening as a sixth grader possibly could. He wasn't a bully. He was a pip-squeak in the truest sense of the word. A wee lad.

He had grown up just about a mile from Morehouse, in the shadows of the Georgia Dome, in a neighborhood called "The Bluff."  As students we were told exactly where it was and that we should never go anywhere near it. The epicenter for the Atlanta drug trade, it was the most dangerous neighborhood in the city and one of the most dangerous communities in the country.

I would eventually become a mentor at John F. Kennedy Middle School in "The Bluff" the following year. On my first day there a girl had her face cut with a razor and the reigning Teacher of the Year, a former Canadian League football player, told me if he had it to do all over again he'd never have become a teacher and that I should find another profession while I had the chance. He literally told me that I should consider finding another school to mentor in because he had grown to think he really wasn't helping anyone there. Two weeks later, the principal had a heart attack and I started mentoring at the elementary school around the corner, but I've always felt a deep connection to that neighborhood.

I was always surprised to find people actually living in most of these homes.
It was the roughest neighborhood I had ever seen. Dudes sold drugs openly on the street, every other house looked completely uninhabitable but actually had folks living in them, addicts and fiends roamed the streets like the Walking Dead. As an outsider, it felt like this entire area of town had been completely abandoned by anyone who could actually do anything about it. The people there, though, always treated me like gold.

On the side of a raggedy apartment building that "Little B" used to live in, graffiti covered the plaster with the words, "The Bluff Nigga. Welcome to Hell." The only church in the center of the community had been abandoned and burned out for at least the 15 years I saw it.

No boy typified and demonstrated the system's failure of Atlanta more than Michael "Little B" Lewis. For me, he is "The Bluff." The living, breathing product of a community that a world-class city like Atlanta felt easier to abandon than rescue, when Michael's boyhood descended into a grade-A clusterfuck. Instead of accepting him as the boy Atlanta made, he would soon be cast into a perpetual state of punitive abyss, apparently forever.

I don't know if Michael killed that dad in January of 1997. It's possible. I have serious, credible doubts. What I do know is that in the years before that night, Michael had been abandoned, by his parents, by his school, by social services, by the community, and by his extended family long before that fateful January day. The idea that we live in a nation willing to try a pre-pubescent 13-year-old sixth grader as an adult (mind you the state didn't think he was old or responsible enough legally to drive, vote, serve in the military, buy cigarettes or alcohol or lottery tickets) and banish him off to an adult penitentiary for the rest of his life is despicable.

Michael Lewis - 15 years into his sentence
Michael has, for all intents and purposes, grown up in prison. As far as we know, he has spent more continuous time incarcerated, now in a supermax prison designed for death row inmates, than any person starting his sentence as a 13 year old in prison in our entire country.

I'm going to spend the next six weeks sharing everything I know about Michael, his case, The Bluff, Atlanta, city politics, the education system, the social service system, the drug trade, and how Michael found himself caught right in the middle of it all as an abandoned orphan on the streets, fighting for his own survival. I'm going to go back as far as I can and tell the whole story. I hope you'll take the journey with me.

ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SHAUNKING ON MON JAN 26, 2015 AT 04:35 PM PST.

ALSO REPUBLISHED BY SUPPORT THE DREAM DEFENDERSBLACK KOS COMMUNITY, ANDDAILY KOS.



Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
Written by Sista Keita    Saturday, 07 February 2015 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
N.J. Supreme Court halts parole of man convicted with Chesimard in '73 trooper murder

N.J. Supreme Court halts parole of man convicted with Chesimard in '73 trooper murder
 
CLARK SQUIRE
The state Supreme Court has halted the parole of a man convicted with Joanne Chesimard — one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives — in the infamous killing of a New Jersey state trooper 42 years ago.

The state's highest court today granted the state Attorney General's request that Sundiata Acoli not be released until the court decides whether to hear arguments in the case against his parole.

Acoli, then known as Clark Edward Squire, was found guilty of murder in the 1973 shooting death of trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Also convicted in the case was Chesimard, who escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979 and allegedly now lives under the name Assata Shakur in Cuba, which granted her asylum. She is the first woman on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list.


MORE: N.J. State Police union president to Congress: Chesimard extradition is 'basic human decency'

Last September, a three-judge state appeals panel reversed the most recent decision by the state Parole Board to deny Acoli parole and ordered that he be released.

The Attorney General appealed to the Supreme Court to reverse that decision, arguing that the panel erred by not sending Acoli's case back to the Parole Board for another hearing, as required by the state Legislature.

"The Legislature has determined that he may only be released by a majority vote of the full state Parole Board," the Attorney General's office wrote in its brief.

Spokesman Leland Moore said the office expects Acoli, now 77, to remain in federal prison until there is an outcome in the case.

The Parole Board also asked the the appellate panel last October to reconsider its decision, saying it ignored laws governing the release of inmates.

Interest in the decades-old cade was recently reignited by President Obama's decision to ease relations with Cuba. Gov. Chris Christie, the New Jersey State Police and state and federal lawmakers have asked Obama to demand Chesimard's extradition. In 2013, the reward for information leading to her capture was increased to $2 million.

At the time of the murder, Acoli and Chesimard were Black Panthers and members of the Black Liberation Army, a militant organization whose members were accused of attacking and sometimes killing police officers in the 1970s.

Just after midnight on May 2, 1973, trooper James Harper pulled over Acoli and Chesimard's car for a broken tail light on the Turnpike in East Brunswick, according to court papers. Harper called Foerster for backup, and Foerster discovered a gun on Acoli, the papers say.

Soon, a firefight broke out. Chesimard shot and wounded Harper, and Foerster was shot when Acoli's gun went off during a struggle with Acoli on the other side of the car, the documents say.

The state argued that Chesimard then took Foerster's gun and shot the trooper twice in the head with it while he laid on the ground. But Chesimard's attorneys claimed she could not have pulled the trigger because she had also been shot and was too badly injured.

Acoli claimed he was hit by a bullet and blacked out, saying he couldn't remember exactly what happened.

A third man in the car, James Costen, was also shot in the scuffle and died from injuries not far from the scene.

Acoli was sentenced to life in prison plus 24 to 30 years in 1974. He was denied parole in 1993 and 2004.

The appellate panel wrote last fall it was "completely appalled by Acoli's senseless crimes."

"But Acoli has paid the penalty under the laws of this State for his crimes," the panel added.

Acoli was captured while trying to escape prison in 1982. He also received 27 disciplinary citations in prison before 1997, according to court papers.

But the panel wrote that the parole board ignored a report by a prison psychologist that said Acoli "expressed regret and remorse" about the killing and had changed over the years, as well as the fact that he has not received a disciplinary citation since 1996.

The judges also said the board focused too much on Acoli's past criminal record and a probation violation that happened decades ago.

"The evidence before the board failed to demonstrate that Acoli was substantially likely to commit another offense if released," the panel wrote.

Bruce Afran, Acoli's attorney, could not be reached for comment today.

 


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit! Del.icio.us! JoomlaVote! Google! Live! Facebook! StumbleUpon! Yahoo! Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »


Page 1 of 188

Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.

Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser. The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.

Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.