The Case Around Fla, Teen Kiera Wilmot is Part of a Bigger, More Disturbing Pattern

***Important Update***As folks read the original story I penned below I wanna give a quick update..The prosecutor behind this case Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty, has charged Kiera with two felonies, yet two days later this same prosecutor did not charge a white 13 year old boy Taylor Richardson for shooting his 10 year old brother with a bb gun.. Glotfelty said it was an accident. She spent over a month examining the case. With Kiera he didnt spend as much as a day.. You can read the entire story here  http://raniakhalek.com/2013/05/02/prosecutor-behind-kiera-wilmot-arrest-filed-no-charges-for-white-teen-who-killed-little-brother/

Straight Student Charged wit two felonies for Science Experiment Gone Wrong

Not sure if folks have heard about this story, but its disturbing and should make all of us pause and then take some major steps to bring about change.. and I mean real change.. Here’s whats been reported in the New Times out of Florida

kiera wilmot

Kiera Wilmot

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn’t the kind of kid you’d expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that’s exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong.

On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree.

“She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone,” principal Ron Pritchard told the station. “She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too.”

After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult.

You can peep the full story here http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/04/florida_teen_girl_charged_with.php

Brittany Rowley

Brittany Rowley

In looking at this story, I hope folks who are ready to react and kick up dust , keep a few things in mind. First, whats being described here is not unusual..Attacks  and harsh punishment like this is happening all over the country at alarming rates with young Black children and teens being the main targets by far..For example it was just a year or so ago that New York Police beat down a 15-year-old honor student named Brittany Rowley who fit the description of a shop lifter..She had done nothing of the sort.. read about that HERE

The year before that an honor student named Jordan Miles who is also an accomplished violinist who performed for First Lady Michele Obama was beaten down by police in Pittsburgh who thought he might have drugs on him. Miles was beaten so bad, his dread locks were pulled out..The cops in question were all honored and given promotions by the police chief Nate Harper who has since been charged with bribery and is looking at jail time.  Below is a video outlining the case with Jordan Miles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONPo-wslB40

With respect to Florida, we can’t separate this harsh treatment being meted out to Kiera Wilmot from the way officials have handled other cases. For example, who can forget what police in St Petersburg did several years ago with a 5-year-old who had a temper tantrum, had calmed down, but was dragged off in handcuffs anyway..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVv1rcMYZ2Y

Is Ms Paltrow real enough to help out someone like Marissa Alexander and the injustice she's recieving?

Marrissa Alexander

What we find in Florida is that there seems to be a pattern of DAs aggressively overcharging people with crimes so that they will either be charged as an adult if they are juveniles or be forced to plea bargain or face long sentences if they don’t.. Such is the case with Marissa Alexander who is currently serving 20 years after she fired off warning shots in the air to scare off an abusive husband who had a restraining order on her and was threatening to beat her while she was pregnant. You can read about that HERE

As we look at this case around Kiera Wilmot we should be looking at the role of the DA and his/her track record. Does he/she normally charge people so harshly? What sort of leeway did he/she have in charging Kiera? Was this politically motivated? We’ve seen in the past DAs who wish to run for higher office coming down hard on folks as a way to make a name for himself..

We should be examining the zero tolerance laws and seeing what sort of patterns emerge and how they are applied. We should also be looking at ways to change these laws and ways to replace the people who are selectively applying them..In short we have to look at Kiera’s case from a systemic stand point and not just as one lone case that went wrong. If we view this case in isolation we will do more harm then good..

Someone on my twitter feed reading this story about Kiera Wilmot summed it up best..this girl should be graduating and going to science camp! not funding some privateer’s jail biz -@scissorkim

written by Davey D

For folks wishing to make some noise around this..Here are some addresses and phone numbers

Bartow High School Principal Ronald Pritchard / Address: 1270 S Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830 / EMAIL: Ronald.Pritchard@polk-fl.net PHONE:(863)- 534-7400 Fax: (863)534-0077

Polk County Superintendent: Dr. John Stewart /Address: 1915 South Floral Avenue, Bartow, FL 33831 Phone: (863) 534-0521 Fax: (863) 519-8231 Email: Dr. John Stewart

Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Ctr

ADDRESS: 2155 Bob Phillips Road, Bartow, FL 33830

TEL: 863-534-7090
FAX: 863-534-7024
EMAIL:
pio@polksheriff.org

Everyone Should Stand Up to Corporate Tyranny this May Day

may-1-immigrationmarches-SEIUToday is May Day and many will be taking to the streets to express a variety of concerns. First and foremost around the world is worker’s rights…This is important.. All one has to do is look at the recent fires and building collapse in Bangladesh where over a 1000 people have died to understand that corporate tyranny is the order of the day.  One must remember all those workers who died were making goods for pennies a day under harsh slave-like conditions for Western companies including Walmart and H&M to name a few, who all refused to improve working conditions in spite being warned that disaster was right around the corner..

Smashing down on wages, keeping people in a state of economic fear and demanding folks skip vacations, forgo overtime, work longer hours while they rake in obscene profits that are not shared with workers or the surrounding community is a trend all must oppose.

On top of that many of the Draconian Laws via lobbying organizations like ALEC that allow for our privacy to be compromised, that threaten our safety while leaving corporations immune to lawsuits and overall accountability is another trend that must be opposed at all costs…We should not forget the damage done by corporate interests around Citizens United where these 1% corporate outlets can pour unlimited amounts of money into elections..We should not forget that a number of our corporate media outlets and banks have invested in private prisons…

There will be some who are reading this who are so thirsty to be put on by some employer that they will go along with the program and like a backwards thinking slave, will actually be a stronger, more strident voice for the corporate interests than the corporate owner himself…That’s a short-sighted position and one should really rethink why they are riding so hard for outfits that do so much global harm…

May Day protestsFinally today on May Day there will be many who are seeking better conditions for those who are immigrants and undocumented. Some will say ask does this have to do with labor issues? It has everything to do with them.. To the degree that corporations are able to exploit people for cheaper labor affects us all both in wages and overall conditions.. One best be happy that we see folks out in the streets by the thousands in both here at home in immigrant communities as well as in so-called Third World countries demanding better treatment, living wages and the same rights to be global citizens as the corporations..

One must remember the reason why so many folks leave their homes looking for a better way of life in other places is not because of so-called freedoms per say.. It’s because corporate interests have raided their lands and wrecked havoc on the economy, resources and respective political situation…May Day is about putting an end to exploitation and I hope many of y’all who are reading this take this to heart and do better by your fellow workers.. Don’t buy into the BS that many corporate outlets that they are somehow suffering…Their success is based upon our collective labor efforts.. and thus everyone is deserving of a piece of the pie sans the exploitative aspects

-Davey D-

Lauryn Hill Pens Open Letter About Her Sony Deal and Money Woes

Many folks have taken shots at Lauryn Hill for a variety of reasons.. It may be because she is notoriously late for her shows.. For me it’s always been a good 2 hours. For others it’s because at times she’s come across as disjointed and not always clear with her thoughts. When folks heard that she might be going to jail for not paying taxes, the jokes continued, with the aforementioned problems being cited as the likely cause for her dilemma… Lauryn Hill decided to set the record straight and she does so in fine fashion.. Here’s her open letter.. A lot of ground is covered here, especially around the issue of artist freedom and commerce..

lauryn hillIt has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released. And yes, I am working on new music.

I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.

It took years for me to get out of the ‘parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.

The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal. Keep in mind, my past recordings have sold over 50,000,000 units worldwide, earning the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me).

Only a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements could put someone who has accomplished the things that I have, financially in need of anything. I am one artist who finds value in openly discussing the dynamics within this industry that force artists to compromise or distort themselves and what they do, rather than allowing them to make the music that people need. There are volumes that could (and will) be said.”