Custom Search

Friday, May 14, 2010

N.C. Racial Justice Law Creates Major Civil Rights/ Race War

"Any Concept of one person being Superior to another can lead to Racism".
Walter Lang

"Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both".
Eleanor Roosevelt

"As much as everyone wants to downplay Racism, it exists. There's a Great Mistrust among some African-Americans of White people".
Steve Mitchell

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere".
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Widow of Slain officer asks lawmakers to narrow Racial Justice Act

Jennifer Shelton is not a Politician but for the last few days she has been lobbying lawmakers in Raleigh.

"I believe that a person is tried for their crime and not for the color of their skin," said Shelton.

Her husband, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Jeff Shelton, and his partner Sean Clark were gunned down three years ago as they answered a domestic disturbance call in east Charlotte at the Timber Ridge Apartments.

Demeatrius Montgomery was scheduled to go on trial for the murders in July, but a judge postponed it until October, which stunned the families.

"None of us saw that coming. We were all taken aback by that," Jennifer Shelton said.

The trial was delayed because of the N.C. Racial Justice Act. It requires experts to examine data on a county-by-county basis to determine if Blacks are more likely to get the death penalty than whites for committing the same types of crimes.

Proponents counter that the unintended consequences should not be a surprise to anyone because it's written in the bill that the N.C. Racial Justice Act can be used prior to a trial.

"From the moment I saw it, I saw it as a fatally flawed bill that was as likely to create as many injustices as it was supposed to correct," said Republican House Whip Thom Tillis.

He believes changes need to be made and he's glad Shelton is helping him make that case.

"In a case such as ours it gives a person charged with murder a chance to avoid a death sentence based on statistics from other cases," Shelton said. "I believe people should pay for their crimes. I believe victims deserve justice."

Shelton says the lawmakers she talked to seemed receptive to her plea. She is hoping that will be enough.

Kevin Parks Ponders Filing Racial Profiling Suit Against N.C. (DWB)

A Black N.C. Star High School Football player is challenging the charges against him, stemming from a run-in with N.C. deputies that ended up with the player being stunned with a Taser.

West Rowan High School running back Kevin Parks and his attorney, Ken Harris, are also conducting their own investigation into what happened.

They're hoping to find answers to what they say are several unanswered questions and see whether their findings constitute enough to proceed with a civil lawsuit.

Parks, who goes by KP, never met an end zone he couldn't reach in a flash while running over defenders.

"59 touchdowns this year," he said.

That's just one of his many football records.

Others include being named to the 2010 Parade All-American Team as well as the Old Spice Red Zone National Player of the Year. That prowess earned Parks a football scholarship to Virginia.

But it's another record Parks is fighting, which includes accusations of improper passing, following too closely and resisting a public officer.

"I was feeling like -- is this really happening right now?" Parks said, referring to an incident two weeks ago in Davie County.

"This day started with him traveling to see a friend. It ended up with him Tased and unconscious," said Harris.

Investigators say Parks was driving too closely to an off-duty trooper, who was on his motorcycle with his wife, and then Parks passed the motorcycle in a no-passing zone on Highway 601 in Davie County.

Plus, police say Parks' car was weaving and the trooper suspected impairment.

That trooper followed Parks until he stopped. Help arrived to take Parks into custody. Investigators say that's when an argument ensued and Parks was stunned with a Taser.

Parks isn't talking about the arrest, but Harris says there are plenty of questions his investigation hopes to answer.

"Whether or not Mr. Parks should have been stopped in the first place, whether or not he engaged in any traffic violation to begin with, whether or not he should have been restrained, whether or not he should have been arrested, whether or not he should have been Tased," Harris said.

Harris says other issues includes Parks' Taser injury and when the off-duty, non-uniformed officer flashed a badge.

"Is it shown 8 miles after you follow someone?" Harris said. "The mere showing of a badge doesn't give you license to do whatever you want to do."

Since Parks' arrest, investigators now say Parks was not impaired, even though that's what they suspected.

Parks hasn't filed a civil suit, but Harris says that could change depending upon what their investigation finds.

Highway Patrol officials say the trooper was doing his job -- on or off duty -- and did what he felt was right.

They also say Parks likely is an outstanding young man but in their words, "they arrest outstanding young men all the time."

Judge Delays Accused Charlotte Cop Killer's Trial Due To N.C. Racial Justice Law

The family of two murdered police officers will have to wait a few months longer for a trial.

For the second time, lawyers for the alleged cop killer tried to have their client declared mentally incompetent. The judge didn't buy the claim, but the trial will still be delayed.

Now, the families of officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton will have to wait until October to go to trial.

The suspected killer, Demeatrius Montgomery, walked into court Thursday without a hint of emotion and has continued to remain silent, even refusing to speak with his attorneys.

"His behavior has become increasingly bizarre, odd," said defense attorney Duane Bryant.

Montgomery's attorneys say he is not competent to stand trial, but the judge disagreed with their assessment.

Still, the newly enacted Racial Justice Act proved to be a winning hand in delaying the trial.

"It is an act that looks at the reasons or reported reasons behind the exposure to death or life in prison," Bryant said.

The act is designed to determine if there is racial bias in the system when it comes to the death penalty. Prosecutors say they have looked at 10 years worth of death penalty cases and found no bias.

But the judge agreed to wait for the completion of a statewide study, which includes Mecklenburg County. Prosecutors argued there is no reason to make the families of Clark and Shelton wait any longer.

"I think the Legislature did not make a provision for this hearing on purpose, and therefore it's the state's position that there is no need to hear this," said assistant district attorney Marsha Goodenow.

Officers Shelton and Clark were killed three years ago in March. They were both shot in the head as they stood outside the Timber Ridge apartments while responding to a domestic dispute.

View Larger Map

Sources: WCNC, WBTV, McClatchy Newspapers, N.C., North Carolina General Assembly, Brainy Quotes, Wikipedia, Google Maps

No comments: