ben-fields
YouTube

150,000 People Signed A Petition To Prosecute Spring Valley High Officer

150,000 signatures have been submitted for the petition to seek legal action against police officer in the Spring Valley High School assault.

In late October, a video of a South Carolina officer flipping a young black student out of her desk took the Internet by storm, igniting controversy and rage at the continued brutality and injustice toward black individuals. Now, months after the incident with no official case brought against the police officer, supporters have channeled that incitement into forming a petition, calling for him to be prosecuted for his actions.

Activist organizations Color of Change, the Alliance for Educational Justice, and the Justice for the Spring Valley Two Coalition helped form the petition, which earned 150,000 signatures, Newsweek reports. The organizations delivered the petition to Solicitor Dan Johnson at the Richland County Justice Center in Columbia, S.C. on Thursday afternoon.

The officer, later identified as Ben Fields, was fired from his position at the high school for misconduct, but was not charged for the incident. But the firing is enough action for the event that severely injured a high school teen, according to the petition. The motion is seeking legal justice.

"The entire nation reacted with disgust and disbelief at the video of Officer Ben Fields violently assaulting [the student in the desk] and arresting Niya for videotaping the incident," Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, said in a statement. "Even though Fields was fired for his actions, the arrests he made are still being treated as though they are legitimate. These two young women have suffered enough without the justice system dragging out the process of eliminating these ridiculous charges."

Although the petition has gained a massive backing, it seems as though it will not alter the current standing of the case. Johnson offered a statement after receiving the petition: "Until we receive the FBI’s findings at the conclusion of their investigation, the incident involving Ben Fields is not a pending case within the Richland County Solicitor’s Office.  Please be advised that the cases involving the students and the FBI investigation involving Ben Fields are inextricably linked.  Therefore, while one is under investigation, the others cannot be resolved and will not go forward.  No prosecution decisions in these cases will be made, nor can they be fairly made, until all investigations are complete, and all evidence is collected and assessed according to the relevant laws."

The incident has joined a long list of unfortunate hashtags this year. But as the FBI further investigates this case, hopefully some justice will be brought to the victim.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Scott Olson

Illinois Man Awarded $1.25 Million After Cops Tackled Him For Stealing His Own Car

A former Northwestern University doctoral student was awarded $1.25 million after police tackled the then 25-year old assuming he was trying to steal a car that was actually his own.

The Associated Press reports Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz confirmed the settlement amount had been reached Wednesday. (Jan. 23) Crosby was an engineering major in 2015 when the incident occurred.

Crosby’s attorney Timothy Touhy said his client was attempting to repair something with his car when a white woman watching called local police to report what she thought was a robbery.

The unidentified woman then followed Crosby in his car as he left his apartment and headed to a science building on Northwestern's campus, giving police his location.

Crosby reportedly exited his vehicle with his hands up but was immediately tackled by law enforcement when he didn't obey orders to get on the ground. Cops later determined Crosby was the owner of the vehicle but charged him with resisting arrest.

A spokesman for the Evanston police said the use of force was justified at the time because officers assumed a theft was in progress. Crosby was the victim of knee strikes and open-handed strikes.

A judge threw out the charges.

“It’s his hope that as a result of this case, that all of us begin a discussion on implicit bias and begin to recognize it and begin to discuss it between yourselves and your friends,” said Steven Yonover, who represented Crosby in the case.

Continue Reading
Scott Olson

Chicago Man Has Wrongful Murder Conviction Overturned After Serving 17 Years

A Chicago man who accused a retired cop of framing him for a murder he didn't commit has finally had the conviction overturned after spending 17 years in prison.

According to Buzzfeed News, Geraldo Iglesias was released from prison in 2010 for the 1993 murder of Monica Roman, who was shot and killed while sitting inside her car in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. However, Iglesias spent the last nine years fighting to have the conviction removed from his record because it prohibited his ability to get a job or find housing.

Iglesias is the 10th man to have a conviction overturned after being investigated by Reynaldo Guevara. Buzzfeed invested the former detective and found 50 men accused him of framing them for murders they allege they didn't commit.

At Iglesias' 1995 sentencing, he spoke directly to the victim's family and expressed his condolences while maintaining his innocence.

"I would like to say that I apologize and I’m sorry for what happened to the young lady and I send my condolences to the family but I would like to say I had nothing to do with it and the Lord knows I had nothing to do with it.”

Iglesias' conviction was sealed on the testimony of a jailhouse informant Francisco Vicente who alleged Islesias confessed to him about killing Roman. Vicente said Iglesias said, "I shot the bitch in the head.”

In the past Guevara and his partner, Ernest Halvorsen have used the 5th Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination. Buzzfeed reports at least 17 defendants who allege Guevara framed them are still behind bars.

 

Continue Reading
Martin H. Simon

Donald Trump Doesn't Have Any MLK Day Activities Planned

President Donald Trump has no public events scheduled for Dr. Martin Luther King day.

On Friday (Jan. 18) the president signed a proclamation in which encouraged “all Americans to recommit themselves to Dr. King’s dream by engaging in acts of service to others, to their community, and to our Nation.” The Daily Beast reports. However, Trump may not have included himself in the proclamation.

NEW: @realDonaldTrump won't be participating in any Martin Luther King Jr. Day service activities tomorrow. According to the White House schedule, he "has no public events scheduled."

— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 21, 2019

While the president's plans on the national day of service are unclear, Vice President Mike Pence compared Dr. King's legacy of peace to the current U.S. partial government shutdown. On CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday (Jan. 20) Pence quoted the late civil rights leader.

"One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,’” Pence said. "You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union...That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do: Come to the table in the spirit of good faith.

We’ll secure our border. We’ll reopen the government and we’ll move our nation forward as the president said yesterday to even a broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead.”

As of Jan. 21, the United States government has been shut down for 31 days. More than 800,000 federal employees have gone without pay due to an impasse between the Democratic Congress and the White House. Donald Trump has asked for $5.7 billion for a U.S.-Mexico wall, while the Democrats are refusing to budge.

Continue Reading

Top Stories