The Jena 6 Documents

Economics & Law — By on September 27, 2007 at 12:00 am

For the past several weeks the blogosphere has been discussing the incidents involving the “Jena 6.” The reporting on the events in Jena by the mainstream media has been disappointing, with the focus being placed on the emotional reactions and protests rather than on the relevant facts.
In order to facilitate a substantive discussion of the case, Laura Curtis and I have decided to make public several documents, including: the official statements from the students and coaches that witnessed the assault on Justin Barker; the statements of Mychal Bell and Jesse Beard; the police reports related to the Gotta Go and Fair Barn incidents; the motion for post verdict acquittal; and a portion of the hearing to deny bail to Mychal Bell.
Every effort has been made to scrub the documents of any details that might violate the privacy of the witnesses.
Misc. Documents

  • Convenience Store Incident — Police statements on the incident involving Robert Bailey, Jr. and Theo Shaw at the Gotta Go convenience store.

Court Documents

  • Motion for post verdict acquittal [Note: Because Bell's case has been transferred to the juvenile court system, I've decided to pull this document.]
  • Walters’ Argument to Revoke Bell’s Bail — Provides the justification for the District Attorney’s case for denying bail to Mychal Bell [Note: Because Bell's case has been transferred to the juvenile court system, I've decided to pull this document.]
  • State of La v Munoz — Explains the criteria for determining whether an instrument (i.e., a tennis shoe) can be deemed a “deadly weapon.”

Statements of the Accused

Witness Statements



  • Tim L

    Absolutely Joe, stick up for the truth.
    But stick up for the truth, in love. All these facts (which are important and relevant) are nothing to a black person that wants to be understood regarding both real and perceived injustices in our system.
    I hear your facts but I don’t see any concern for the reason this is happening in the first place. And it’s not just Jesse Jackson’s fault.
    There are imperfections in our justice system that need to be addressed.
    Pray that the scales can be removed off of people’s eyes! (on both sides of this issue)

  • http://burningbird.net Shellely

    The medical report returns an error, and the link to Walters’ argument to deny bail is missing.

  • http://www.christianmusiclyrics.org.uk Christian

    Good Day :) God is Love, May you experience God’s Love this Day, may we really learn to Praise him in all things :)

  • Dale

    What does it mean exactly to speak the truth in love? Is it as simple as speaking the truth with lack of malice? Or does speaking the truth in love require understanding your audience and putting in the right number of empathic statements so that the truth you proffer is accepted? From a pragmatic perspective one want the truth being offered to be accepted but how are we to know who needs what amount of empathy, especially when the audience is a broad, vast, generally unconnected group of people. What one audience member may find helpful another might find insulting and demeaning. Simply put, I think stating the truth without malice with the intent to reveal the truth is the best one can hope for.

  • http://blog.psjs.net/2007/09/from-durham-to-jena.html good work

    There’s no substitute for source material. Thanks for doing the leg work and getting the evidence up.

  • dsf

    “[Mychal Bell] beat his girlfriend so badly that her eye became dislocated from its socket.”
    This is why Bell’s bond was denied.
    http://robertlindsay.blogspot.com/2007/09/on-jena-six.html

  • ex-preacher

    As much as it pains me, I’m going to have to admit that Joe is mostly right on this one. The more I learn about this case, the less sympathy I have for the Jena Six, especially their ringleader.
    I still think that the past sins of our society (slavery, segregation and racism) sowed the seeds that have resulted in much of the rage that leads to black crime. That does not excuse the crime or the perpetrators, but it might help us understand and address the root problems.
    I don’t pretend to know the solutions to the lingering hatred and mistrust between white and black in our society, but I think it is foolish to pretend that the ugly history of white mistreatment of blacks does not contribute to the problem. We cannot undo the past, but I think those of us who have benefitted from the centuries of white affirmative action bear some responsibility to improve things for those less fortunate in their choice of skin color. Didn’t Jesus say “To whom much has been given, much is required?” I’ve been told that Chris Rock says to audiences something like: “There is not one white person in this audience, including the janitors, who would trade places with me, and I’m rich!”
    On the political front, I think Republicans, many of whom are white evangelicals, should be concerned that their party is increasingly seen as anti-minority. Most Republicans seem to have written off the black vote and are moving in that direction with regard to the Hispanic vote.

  • texaskat

    Mr. Carter, you may not have noticed, but it might be best, for the victim’s safey, to redact the social security number from the records posted online…

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    dsf:
    “[Mychal Bell] beat his girlfriend so badly that her eye became dislocated from its socket.”
    This is why Bell’s bond was denied.”
    So, because a weblogger in California said this was rumored to have happened, it’s automatically fact? Do you have proof of this? Or is it because Bell’s black, you automatically believe it?

  • Voiceofreason

    A couple of things concern me about these statements. (1) It seems that most were made a week or more after the incident (2) The shotgun incident. Was any kind of permit required to have a shotgun in the vehicle? If so, why no action regarding that?

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    It’s sad to see Tim L and ExP justify this type of violence. Sad. But is it not the natural result forsaking Truth?
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • http://secularapostate.net apostate

    Ex-preach:
    “Black rage”.
    That’s all very nice as a theory, but I happen to be sitting in a hotel room, on another weekend of Christian mission to a southeastern prison, at this very moment.
    And I have several years experience with this mission and several years of experience working on a very personal level with black inmates.
    And, moreover, I have been incarcerated myself for major drug offenses, getting to know my fellow jail birds.
    I can tell you that, to a man, “black rage” has never been (in my experience) a motivating factor in the crimes that any of my friends here at the prison committed.
    You may well say that they don’t know what truly, really, actually, honest-to-God caused them to commit the crimes they did commit. And to you I would say: “Enough with the mind reading, cool smoke effects, and fancy theorizing. Listen to what the men in prison for violent crimes actually say about their motivations.”

  • Jacques Attali

    I read this medical report, 5,000 US dollars worth of nothing. It could have easily been a report written in school when a child wets himself and falls in the playground. The real issue here is the response of our Christian friends, who are concerned about their fellow man, only as much as a cat about the young of its prey. They are terribly disturbed and ignorant people, who are certain what they do is love, because they tell themselves so. I attest the cat feels the same, in reality. Only because they beLIEve they are afraid of a magic man in the sky. The black child in this matter is justified to be afraid of a torch bearing mob of half wits. Your idea of love is better reversed, making it e-v-o-l, like evol-ution. But you will not understand this, so read your bible by the paedophile King James I/VI, known in Scotland at the time as Shamie Jamie, for shame. He built a boys school in Edinburgh, with a tunnel to the Castle, for easy access. The idea of abuse has rubbed off well.

  • ucfengr

    I read this medical report, 5,000 US dollars worth of nothing. It could have easily been a report written in school when a child wets himself and falls in the playground. The real issue here is the response of our Christian friends, who are concerned about their fellow man, only as much as a cat about the young of its prey. They are terribly disturbed and ignorant people, who are certain what they do is love, because they tell themselves so. I attest the cat feels the same, in reality. Only because they beLIEve they are afraid of a magic man in the sky……
    It’s like Ludwig; same non sequiturs, but slightly better grammar and spelling. Lud, Jacques may be after your job. I’d be careful Jacque, Lud may go all Tonya Harding on you.

  • Tim L

    Collin,
    So you really have a problem when somebody has a different opinion than you!
    That is so sad!
    You really should get your self worth from Christ rather than thinking you are right.
    Where have I justified violence? Where have I disagreed or said otherwise that the sentences should be different than what they are?
    I haven’t and I don’t!
    All I am saying is that it isn’t enough.
    Go ahead stick you head behind just facts alone.
    You can’t handle the truth, Collin.
    (Sorry about that last one, couldn’t resist it).

  • Tim L

    Yuck,
    I hate it when I respond like that. I really should just wait an hour or so and respond better.
    Anyway, Collin, you are way off base. Not just on what my opinion about the case but, imo, on what truth is! (Look in the Bible on who Jesus would respond to social justice)

  • James

    Voice of reason
    You do not have to have a permit to carry a gun in your vehicle in Louisiana. The time of the incident was late Nov. and that would be in the middle of deer season. I would say 75% of all male in this area are hunters and would have a gun it their vehicle during this time of the year. 50% have one it hteir vehicle all year long. You have to have a license to carry a concealed weapon on your person.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    James, the gun was a 12 gauge riot shotgun. These are not used to shoot deer.
    To be blunt, if the Jena cops found a black man with this gun in his car, do you think they would have been so indifferent about it being pulled on three white guys?

  • FromJena

    Shelley:
    I know some of the cops here personally, and the ones I KNOW are very fair in applying the law. So before I tell you my stance on this issue, that opinion will sway my judgment of this. I’m not saying that to protect these guys, I’m saying that because the one’s I know are hard-working Christian people who have never struck me as the type to factor in race when making decisions such as these. I obviously can’t vouch for the ones I don’t know.
    I believe that, if 3 white guys had started walking towards a black guy in a threatening manner, then the cops in Jena would have applied the law the exact same way. From what I hear, the cops relied on the eye witness statement of the girl sitting in her car in the parking lot since Matt Windham’s statement mostly contradicts Theo Shaw and Robert Bailey’s. And if you’ll notice in Robert Bailey’s statement, he makes it obvious that they were getting ready to fight.
    Three on one is not fair. If I had a gun in my truck and I saw 3 guys who I knew wanted to fight me start walking towards me in a threatening manner, I believe I’d be prone to pulling out the weapon to show them “this isn’t gonna happen.”
    This is purely opinion (as is most of this post), but I feel if 3 or more people are coming at you in a threatening manner, you have a right to use any means necessary to protect yourself.
    In the Gotta Go incident, it all comes down to which group was being honest. Logistically, I feel the girls and gunowner’s version of the story makes more sense. If you need an explanation of that, please go to Laura’s site and read my blog post.

  • FromJena

    Shelley:
    I know some of the cops here personally, and the ones I KNOW are very fair in applying the law. So before I tell you my stance on this issue, that opinion will sway my judgment of this. I’m not saying that to protect these guys, I’m saying that because the one’s I know are hard-working Christian people who have never struck me as the type to factor in race when making decisions such as these. I obviously can’t vouch for the ones I don’t know.
    I believe that, if 3 white guys had started walking towards a black guy in a threatening manner, then the cops in Jena would have applied the law the exact same way. From what I hear, the cops relied on the eye witness statement of the girl sitting in her car in the parking lot since Matt Windham’s statement mostly contradicts Theo Shaw and Robert Bailey’s. And if you’ll notice in Robert Bailey’s statement, he makes it obvious that they were getting ready to fight.
    Three on one is not fair. If I had a gun in my truck and I saw 3 guys who I knew wanted to fight me start walking towards me in a threatening manner, I believe I’d be prone to pulling out the weapon to show them “this isn’t gonna happen.”
    This is purely opinion (as is most of this post), but I feel if 3 or more people are coming at you in a threatening manner, you have a right to use any means necessary to protect yourself.
    In the Gotta Go incident, it all comes down to which group was being honest. Logistically, I feel the girls and gunowner’s version of the story makes more sense. If you need an explanation of that, please go to Laura’s site and read my blog post.

  • James

    Shelley
    I was simply replying to another post. The only difference in this riot shotgun and the shotguns I hunt with is that it had a pistol grip and that you dont have a plug in it. I am sure that is over your head as is all the other post you try to argue against. I am sure he didnt have the gun itn there simply from a hunt. It is good he had it are he might have ended up like Barker. I suppose you cant comprehend the witness statements and police report. I have saw your posting on other blogs you are in denial.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    James, I was responding to your associating the gun with deer hunting. You don’t use a 12 gauge riot shotgun to go deer hunting.
    Witness statements that were taken on different days, after the students had a chance to compared notes, and after being asked leading questions — yep, that’s all you need in Jena, isn’t it?
    So, read all of them, and tell me without a doubt, who threw the punch at Barker. After reading _all_ of the witness testimony, you tell me that you can say, without a doubt, who threw the first punch.
    I’m not in denial, but I’m also not in Jena. Where I grew up, we convict people only when their guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt.
    So tell me: can you read all those witness statements and be able to say who threw the first punch, beyond a reasonable doubt?
    Nothing is going to change in Jena. It’s hopeless.

  • Luuk

    You can establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mychal Bell threw the first punch.
    The most reliable I witness is not from Coach Lewis (BL) in this case, he actually does not see the punch. From a considerable distance he sees Theo Shaw, whom he mistakes for Malcolm. No other testimony indicates MShaw was the instigator, only few indicate he was even at the fight, and those that do are not sure whether it’s Theo or malcolm. Theo however gets positively identified a lot, including by one person who pushed him in the chest. Shaw delivers the blow to Barker’s head which knocks him to the ground (which is the third blow, after Bailey/ small chance Jones punches him). The fact that the coach is an adult works against him here: he probably knows the kids less well and is further away.
    The key testimonies seem to be from the anonymous black girl’s, ES and Bell. Bell pretty much admits they were looking for some trouble early on and only disputes that he was involved in the fight. His and Jesse Beard’s seem contradictory, and I would strongly lean in favor of the girl’s version of events. Both times they were very similar except for Jones’s involvement, indicating the authorities were looking to see who threw the first punch. At that point the order Bell, Bailey and Shaw -> Barker to the ground -> Jones, Kenneth Purvis, RB (Bug), Bailey, Bell, Beard, Theo Shaw all together.
    It’s pretty clear really, as long as you value the testimony appropriately and allow for natural discrepancies related to chaos, a difference in the initial starting point of the fight, caused by the different times at which people looked, the distance of observers: the problem of 40 people seeing “exactly what happened”.
    It’s sad, cause Bell seems to be a smart kid. He really could have a bright future, but just seemed troubled.
    Notice as well that Shaw, Bell, Jones and Purvis (perhaps) each have a parent with a different last name as well. Indicating that the real problem might not be racism, but the case of several boys without strong positive (black) male role models, hard working mothers and the natural way in which teenage boys to confirm each other’s violent tendencies. It actually many in the community tried to help Bell (at least), but it seems it didn’t take. I hope he goes on to better things.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    Luuk, *beep* you’ve been disqualified as a juror because you know the people. You’re making judgments based on familiarity at a minimum.
    A juror would not, should not, be familiar with any of the witnesses or parties involved. They were, which means they should have been disqualified.
    Then you extrapolate from this to making assumptions that the coach really didn’t see what was happening, too far away, Shaw always looks like someone else, and none of these boys had mothers who married their fathers.
    “It’s pretty clear really, as long as you value the testimony appropriately..” in a fair and impartial trial, there is no valuing of testimony ‘appropriately’. There is physical evidence, eyewitness accounts, and hopefully a police and court system capable of finding which of the eyewitness accounts supports the physical facts.
    There should also be controls on contaminated testimony and leading the witness, as well as controlling for bias within the police and court system.
    The only way any trial associated with this event is likely to get at the truth is if this trial is moved out of that county.

  • Luuk

    Hehe, I live in Tilburg, the Netherlands. I’d say I’m pretty objective with regards to familiarity.
    In this trial there is physical evidence, you start from there:
    a boy in the hospital
    There is a crime:
    as soon as the ambulance got involved, the police are involved.
    There are witnesses, you start with the most reliable first:
    the teachers, sadly none of em saw the first punch. Coach Lewis indicates so himself first testimony: “dropped his books and ran towards the group”before he saw malcolm Shaw. “first saw the group that was fighting” before he saw Malcolm Shaw. All other teachers and coaches arrive later and only identify kids surrounding Barker, not kicking and punching. Think about it, if he got a great view, wouldn’t he have helped fight off the kids?
    Next: the kids involved in the fight. The kids surrounding the fight are taken to the office. The rest are told to go to class. The students involved identify Theo Shaw, Carwin Jones and Robert Bailey. These are confirmed by the testimonies of the teachers, and Malcolm Shaw is added due to Coach Lewis testimony. According to Jesse Beard, these four are the ones initially arrested.
    So far everything has been done right by the authorities: the school didn’t know how serious the injuries were, they notified the ambulance, who notified the cops. The cops listened to the testimony of the teachers and those closest to the fight first and acted accordingly.
    The crime: a group of black students beat up a white boy.
    I could continue point by point, but it would take hours. You have to take some things for granted, so you take the most likely story based on the facts laid out above. On december 6th a black girl provided it: a group including Bailey, Bell, Theo Shaw, Purvis etc had been harrassing TK, who walked away, when Justin Barker stepped in, told Mychal Bell off. Barker walked off, flipped the bird and Bell decided to “knock his block off”. No testimony directly contradicts this story, the witness is credible (she’s scared, not of the cops or the school, but of the black kids she’s ratting out and she’s black) and sees the fight and is the only witness who knows before hand what is coming.
    Again, think about it. If the cops were so racist, why didn’t they go after some of the other kids? RB (Bugs) could have easily been busted for conspiracy and the black girl implies the involvement of some kids we’ve never even heard of in other testimony.
    The fact that some people give two statements only shows the fact that the cops were doing their job well. Coach Lewis’ testimony is a problem but not detrimental to the case: he does not claim to witness the first punch, but the first punch he witnessess is thrown by Malcolm Shaw. He’s sure he saw Malcolm Shaw, but again, not deadly to a case. The black girl’s second statement (december 14th) only refers to “hitting”. In her first statement she clearly says Jones kicked and hit, but now she says he wasn’t one of the ones hitting. Indicating the authorities were asking her about the initial part of the fight before the kicking and before Barker was on the ground(only DA stomped). They were looking for the specific people who instigated the fight
    Your move

  • Ellen from Jena

    To Shelly
    You are obviously not from the country and you obviously do not hunt. A RIOT 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN IS MOST CERTINALY USED FOR HUNTING. Ever heard of BUCK SHOT? Don’t beleive me? Search it on the web. I promise you that you will find that a 12 gauge riot is used for hunting.

  • James

    Shelley
    Do you mind saying where it is that you live. I suppose it is a paradise with no crime ,no violence and everyone loves everybody. I talked to several students that day that didnt make statements that said it was Bell. Alot of ones that saw it never made statements because they were afraid the might end up in the same shape as Barker. This same bunch tried to bully kids all the time. In fact Mycal Bell was trying to extort money from one of the boys who put up the nooses. He told him the only way he would leave him alone was to bring him money every day. Another fact that is never mentioned was that coach Lewis told the 6 all to run so they wouldnt see who they were. In my opinion he should have been charged as an accessory. Again this was from a student who was afraid to make a statement because he feared for his safety. It is clear they waited outside for Barker and that Bell threw the first punch. I would tell you something else but you will find out about it in the next couple of days. Lets call it a surprise.

  • Luuk

    Seriously, Shelley, no hard feelings but it’s becoming increasingly more likely that the authorities tried to do everything right in this case. I was as convinced as you were, but I’ve spent a lot of time reading all the articles and pouring over the documents the folks here so kindly provided, and it’s not really so shocking: Bell seems to be a genuine concern, Bailey seems to have gotten his feelings hurt and despite an arrest still takes it out on Barker two days later. Theo Shaw seems to like provoking fights (at least on that monday). Bryant Purvis’ involvement is questionable, but I’m giving the authorities the benefit of the doubt on that one.
    It’s the only thing that I found to be supported by the “facts”.
    That or everyone in Jena is racist and is in on a massive conspiracy to frame six innocent young black youths. And the true prejudice becomes obvious: that a small Southern town couldn’t possibly change.

  • FromJena

    James:
    I get the feeling that there is a VERY big surprise waiting for the Jena 6 supporters. Something that will blow everyone’s perceptions of at least SOME of the Jena 6 OUT of the water. Let’s see if it materializes.

  • Ellen from Jena

    OOOOH WEEEEE! From Jena and James I just can’t hardly wait! I wish I knew what it was! But I’m afraid that even if the little thugs were caught on tape doing the dirty deed, the black community would still up-hold their thugish ways!
    White people deserve justice too!

  • FromJena

    Ellen:
    You know what bothers me? Is that we have little sympathy for these guys because WE KNOW that most of them are troublemakers. Yet Jena 6 supporters assume we are racist because of our lack of sympathy. It is NOT their race that most people in Jena have a problem with; it is their actions! People from every race is capable of committing a heinous crime. I take one person at a time, and EVERYONE in this country has a right to form their perceptions on people based on their actions. I refuse to “butter” the racial activists up by acting like I feel terribly bad for these guys. I HOPE THEY ARE PUNISHED! I hope ANYONE is punished who does something like this. I hope they can forgive me for having my sympathies with the victim in this case. It’s a shame how, when this whole Jena 6 movement started, that they never uttered a WORD about Justin Barker. No “I hope the boy is okay”, no “he is the real victim, and his perpetrators should be brought to justice.” NO! No sympathy at all!! If Justin Barker was black, every racial activist in the country would be backing him. They tried to make everyone FORGET that he was the victim. They tried to portray the Jena 6 as innocent victims, when they beat and stomped a kid while he lay unconscious on the ground. It angers me! There are double standards regarding the race issue, and it DEFINITELY IS NOT just in the white community. THIS….is why I have little sympathy for the Jena 6. They can make it into a race issue all they want, I remain firm and stand my ground. For me to be fair and balanced, I have to remove color out of the equation. When I do that, I see an innocent victim who was beaten while unconscious by 6 ATTACKERS! The eye witnesses make it VERY obvious that 5 of the 6 were the perpetrators.
    BACK VALID CAUSES, NOT VIOLENT CRIMINALS!

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    I live in St. Louis, Missouri. The city that’s rated the number one most violent in the country. The city that is considered one of the most pivotal in black history, especially in regards to slavery and abuse. I’m white, and live in a mixed race neighborhood: blacks, whites, Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Indian), and Hispanic. It’s a middle class neighborhood. We have little crime in our neighborhood, but we do keep our doors locked, because it is St. Louis.
    Sufficient information?
    Luuk, you’re reading a lot of assumptions about what people were thinking and feeling from the eyewitness reports. I read in the coach’s report that he saw the ones student hit Barker. Just from the report, that did not seem debatable, though whether he mistook who he thought he saw for another is hard to say.
    People have said that Bell is the ‘worst’ of the bunch. This could also influence what people thought they say. A bunch of black kids hit a white kid, Bell is involved in somewhat (bystander or hitter or kicker), Bell is the ‘trouble maker’, hence it become Bell being the ring leader in the whole thing. Hard to say. The DA thinks it was Bell, but then he also charged them with second degree murder, and even later second degree aggravated assault, stating that tennis shoes were the ‘assault’ weapon.
    Frankly, the space was too small, the time too short, too many people, and the injuries not sufficient for all six to have hit, kicked, and stomped on Barker. Remember, no bruises on his body but a graze on his hand, which could have happened when he fell. The account does map to the physical injuries.
    But listen to these comments, “White people need justice, too!” My god, considering the past in this country, and the fact that blacks are typically given longer and harsher sentences for the same crimes, to say something like this just has me dropping my jaw. Yeah, real fair attitude there. Poor whites have had it so horrid in this country for the last few centuries.
    How can I believe anyone in Jena when all I hear from Jena people is statements like this? It’s not the blacks have said, or Sharpton that really made me look at Jena–it’s what the white people say.
    All the whites are innocent as lambs. All the white actions, minor scuffles, pranks, defending oneself.
    All the blacks, thugs, vicious, lying, trouble makers.
    No one is saying that the blacks who were involved in the beating shouldn’t be punished. Frankly, if it were Bell? Nine months in jail and being expelled is sufficient, but that’s just an opinion.
    But the only way these young men will get a fair trial is if the trial is moved out of Jena.
    FromJena, stop with the hinting and teasing. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t play around. This is an adult conversation and you, “Oh, something new is coming” related to this serious a subject is distasteful in the extreme.
    Frankly, I don’t want to hear more on this until the new trials start.

  • Luuk

    Shelley, you can gather a lot of information from the eye witnesses, you are however reading things that aren’t there.
    Eyewitnesses get asked about specifics: what specific people they can positively identify and what actions. Look at Lewis’ last line: he says this. Who would say such a thing in normal conversation, which is the way the rest of the testimony is written: this is the question he is being asked. The kids are asked a similar question, but probably less formal: something like only tell us who you really saw and what they did. So Lewis doesn’t say he only sees Malcolm Shaw punching, it’s the only one he can positively identify.
    Again, no one is being asked to describe everything they think they saw, only the people and actions they KNOW they saw. So someone saying they see Mychal Bell doing something does not mean they only saw Bell and no others doing something at the same time, it means they can only POSITIVELY IDENTIFY Bell.
    Testimonies are really more pieces of a larger puzzle than stand-alone accounts of what really happened. Look for specifics: only two people indicate they see the first punch (LE and the black girl), none of the others state explicitly that they witnessed the first punch.
    You really have to look for the pattern that fits all the testimony, not the one you think is best! By valuing the testimony appropriately I meant that you really have to take into account where the witness is standing and the point in time when they first look at the fight.
    Also look at the testimony from the defendents in all the incidents: they show similar patterns. They’re always true upto a certain point. They seem to paint an extremely positive picture of themselves: the alibis for Bryant Purvis indicate he actually pushed them out of the fight’s way so they wouldn’t get involved, Shaw states he is scared for Bailey, who says he’s gonna bring the gun in, Bell wants to move through the crowd to seemingly help Barker, Beard is helping to find the truth. Beard and Bell both indicate an authority saw them and figure absolved them of guilt (Coach Manning in Beard and Mr. Burgess and a police officer in Bell’s). Notice Malcolm Shaw, who I really don’t believe is involved, does none of these things. he states what happens, no elaborate stories or excuses. He provides an alibi, but it’s just some kid. I really don’t know what to make of Carwin Jones’: he’s either a genius or an idiot, he’s either really experienced with trouble or this is one of the first times.
    I have to speculate more than the cops, because I don’t actually know the kids nor can ask them any question that I want. And with each statement made, they can check. Some of them give very specific things: one indicates he skipped school after some of the attackers made threats, asking a named teacher to go to the bathroom, Malcolm Shaw says Jason brown saw him and asked a question.
    Bell’s probably being truthful when he says Mr. Burgess checked his locker. The “You’re cleared” bit is cute, cleared of what, Bell innocently asked? He indicates himself he knows Bailey and the others and hangs out with them, they get into a fight, he gets within arms length but can’t identify anyone? Again, he’s trying to provide a nice picture: I’m so innocent, I don’t even know that when a fight breaks out, the vice-principal and cops show up they might ask me questions about it.
    Shelley, you’re letting him do it. He says someone called people niggers, he was trying to help the poor white boy and really doesn’t have a green jacket so can’t possibly be involved in a group fight with at least 15 black kids surrounding a couple of white ones!
    The black girl is the only one to provide the entire picture of the fight: Bailey got upset that people were saying he got his ass kicked, they looked for some trouble but no one really took the bait. When TK gets up and leaves, Barker steps in. And it’s most likely because he’s upset that they’re all picking on his friend/fellow student. When Barker flips him the Bird, Bell decides immediately, that’s the kid they’re gonna get! Remember, he’s not even the one who was looking for . Barker mouths off, almost definitely didn’t use the N-word cause it would be like throwing 2 punches! Bell’s on probation and should think about the fact that he is going to prison, but he doesn’t seem to consider it. A few minutes later he gets up and the fight really begins: the black kids all set up, Bell starts the fight, Bailey, Shaw and another jump in, Barker goes down then a few more, the rest block the view. Even though ES jumps in, no one goes after him! They’re only after Barker, they each want a few punches and kicks in before they run away. Of course the space is small but they’re most likely all touching each other and not every punch and kick lands! That and ES jumping in is why Barker is not really all that hurt. The fight is not supposed to last long and they exit the same way in which they entered: Bell, bailey and Shaw, some more including Bryant Purvis and Jones, RB and Beard last. They’re experienced and have clear roles: Shaw, Bell or Bailey as the instigator, Jones and some of the others as support, Beard and RB to make sure the person doesn’t get up.
    This is the only scenario which is supported by all the testimony.
    Theo Shaw as an instigator: too many of the kids are positively identifying Theo as someone who was trying to pick fights throughout the day. Even if some of the kids are making it up, them clearly indicating Theo still creates a pattern: Theo Shaw is the kind of kid who does this.
    I’m still not sure what to make of Bailey: I think both his parents are still together, but they seem to make excuses for his actions. Perhaps they truly believe the kids at his HS make fun of him cause he’s black, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Many of the white kids positively identify Bailey, which indicates he’s at least well known. Bell indicates two white girls talked to Bailey openly about a fight Bailey was in, so he’s at least not too infamous. I think most kids actually like him.
    They all seem to be good kids generally. Theo Shaw likes to pick fights, Bailey I think likes the attention and is emulating the wrong lifestyle and Bell is a problem.
    Bell is a really smart kid who knows how to get in and especially out of trouble. The first few sentences show the education is not really working, but his logic is sound. But he is making all the moves of a guilty kid.
    The cops have a lot more information than us, including at least one confession. Again, speculation but they arrested two juveniles as reported by the Town Talk, a local LA paper, the only one to cover the events from the very beginning (the protests against the nooses). Jesse Beard (14) we know to be one and I think the other in is RB (Bug). He’s the only one with a nickname, it’s not flattering and he shows the same behavior as Jesse: doesn’t really kick or punch (perhaps once) and is the one who yells “Y’all are next” as he’s running away.
    Maybe it might be best if I take you through one specific testimony, you seem to prefer Lewis. let me know if you’re interested.
    It makes perfect sense to me, but I’ve also spent a lot, a lot of time reading these testimonies and trying to think of the possible scenarios. I also thought there was only one punch thrown initially, but it really can’t be the case.
    There’s only one other alternative: everyone in town is in on a massive conspiracy to frame the boys. And the fact that Bell has three arrests while on probation for a battery charge, during a fight on CHRISTMAS (I’m thinking domestic dispute), would more likely indicate that they’ve been soft on him before now.
    The attempted murder charge is absolutely meaningless except for symbolism: to show the kids they’re serious, to show the parents they’re serious, to pit them against each other and to make sure someone confesses and rats out the others. It most likely occured and notice that Reed has already lowered the charges against Bell before or on the first day of trial, way before Sharpton (the first black leader to show out of state support) arrived on August 5th.
    Most of the black kids are great kids, but they seem to be getting caught up with Bell, Bailey and Shaw’s bad antics. Even these three we should try to do everything for…EXCEPT TELL THEM SOME INSANE INJUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE TO THEM. We really should not be sending these, or any other kids, the message that group fights like these are “school yard fights” and that Bell and Bailey are somehow heroes. They’re really not, they’re kids who seem to have been given plenty of chances and really need to be set straight. And if the entire black community (which they obviously don’t) thinks these are school fights, then we have a serious problem.
    I agree with you that Bell has spent enough time in prison. Lets see how he copes and especially if people keep him in line (his parents, his friends, the community). I’d also agree the trial was a farce: but only because it’s the jury system and not because Bell is black and the Jury is all white. The case is really clear, you have the black girl’s testimony, which would convince most and probably a confession (if need arrises). Not by Bell himself, but another. Williams sees the testimony from the black girl and pretty much knows there’s only one important part of the trial: the sentencing. While everyone was focused on the all-white jury and the one male, we actually should’ve focused our attention on the fact that five were women. I’m a law student myself, and I’ve been told that a defense lawyer always wants a lot of women in the jury with regards to violent crime. No one wants to see their son being beat up, but no woman would ever want to see their son imprisoned until after she herself dies. Whether it’s true I don’t know, but the most outrage I’ve witnessed regarding the case is from the African-American male and female and white female population.
    There’s only one other point of contention and that’s bell’s status as adult. And again it’s not for a jury of your peers, it’s a technicality best left to the appeals court. If Bell was tried for attempted murder, under Louisiana law, he would HAVE to be tried as an adult. Bell was tried for battery which requires the age of 17. But any jury (who I think decides on this matter, if it’s the judge, it’s more problematic but he can also be swayed) could see that a boy on probation, who is 16 years 10 months and a little over two weeks old when he and a group of friends attack another boy (Bell’s probation would have ended on his 18th Birthday, January 18th, 2008. He was therefore born in 1990).
    See how long these posts are. I really wished people didn’t think a mere incident of racism (the nooses, it’s possible they’re racist, I’m still not entirely convinced) could cause such a calculated attack over 3 months later. I wish life was that simple!

  • Luuk

    You also gotta understand the outrage from the Jena people (and please those that are, correct me at any point):
    this is not the first time such a fight occured. I think it’s the first time the other kid didn’t throw the first punch or uttered a racial slur, but something exactly like this has never occured before (I personally believe the fire and the confined space caused things to get out of hand…all the different groups of kids were much closer together than they were used to, remember it’s the first day of class after someone set fire to their school).
    Bell gets into trouble a lot and is actually being treated quite gently by nearly everyone: the school, the coaches and certainly the cops. I personally think he might have been kicked out of the house a couple of times before and might have even been taken in by one of the white coaches. But this is really pure speculation.
    But this is a big incident and it becomes clear to most that something needs to be done, both in the white and black community. The cops take every precaution to handle the case correctly, arresting only the boys they know to be involved. The only ones on trial are the ones implicated by one of the teachers as present and by multiple white students and the black girl as both “kicking and punching”. Bryant Purvis is doubtful from the testimony alone, but I think the cops have much more than we do (possible prior arrests, school records, confession…etc), and either way either him or his brother Kenneth are involved (most likely both and they do the right thing by arresting only one from the family).
    They take every precaution because this is a serious case against a few serious problems who happen to be black, who committed a clear crime against a person who so happened to be white. It’s a small Southern town so the authorities try especially hard to make the right moves to not get accused of racism.
    And what happens?

  • Luuk

    I think I might even know what the people in jena are alluding to:
    one of Bell’s juvenile arrest records. It seems very possible to me that he is the one who punched the kid in the back of the head. The kid also reportedly went to the hospital (According to the Jena Times and the Town Talk)’. It seems to fit with Bell’s personality that his MO is attacking from behind. I know he got arrested for a few violent crimes between dec 25th, 2005 and Dec 4th, 2006. So that would be one of Mychal Bell’s get out of free cards: the noose-incident happened, he probably claimed the kid called him the n-word and the authorities are hesitant to act.

  • http://naacp.com I’m not a cracker

    To Shelly
    You are obviously not from the country and you obviously do not hunt. A RIOT 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN IS MOST CERTINALY USED FOR HUNTING. Ever heard of BUCK SHOT? Don’t beleive me? Search it on the web. I promise you that you will find that a 12 gauge riot is used for hunting.
    posted on 09.30.2007 8:11 PM
    folding stock, pistol grip, shorter barrel. Yeah its use for hunting. HUNTING PEOPLE !

  • Luuk

    Nope, best info I have is that Bell was arrested on Sept 2nd and the fight occured on the 6th. September 2nd was on a saturday in 2006, so he was not arrested for an incident at school. Still? Could a teacher have driven the student (he only needed stitches, and was taken to the emergency room. No mention of an ambulance, so the cops didn’t need to get involved. Another fight occured the day before…was Bell having a bad week? It’s reported that the nooses were taken down by 7:15 AM on the 1st and Bell doesn’t seem like the kid who shows up early for school. At this point he might have heard a bit about it, but just rumors. It’s not unthinkable he doesn’t link the rumors with a joke he may or may not remember. Probably only the black parents and teachers, perhaps some of the history teachers associate the nooses with race. Because the two nooses are painted in the school colors, the coaches and some of the other men might think of it as a prank they might’ve pulled when they were kids: Rodeo vs Football-kids. There’s not much else that you can do but hang nooses from a tree (post a sign to keep away perhaps) to send a message of “this is ours”. I would say the rodeo and school colors connection would indicate it is an innocent prank.
    So did something happen at home, which Bell took to the community and then the school?

  • Luuk

    Nope, best info I have is that Bell was arrested on Sept 2nd and the fight occured on the 6th. September 2nd was on a saturday in 2006, so he was not arrested for an incident at school. Still? Could a teacher have driven the student (he only needed stitches, and was taken to the emergency room. No mention of an ambulance, so the cops didn’t need to get involved. Another fight occured the day before…was Bell having a bad week? It’s reported that the nooses were taken down by 7:15 AM on the 1st and Bell doesn’t seem like the kid who shows up early for school. At this point he might have heard a bit about it, but just rumors. It’s not unthinkable he doesn’t link the rumors with a joke he may or may not remember. Probably only the black parents and teachers, perhaps some of the history teachers associate the nooses with race. Because the two nooses are painted in the school colors, the coaches and some of the other men might think of it as a prank they might’ve pulled when they were kids: Rodeo vs Football-kids. There’s not much else that you can do but hang nooses from a tree (post a sign to keep away perhaps) to send a message of “this is ours”. I would say the rodeo and school colors connection would indicate it is an innocent prank.
    So did something happen at home, which Bell took to the community and then the school?

  • FromJena

    Shelley:
    Read State of LA vs. Munoz above. As crazy as it sounds, tennis shoes as lethal weapons are a valid approach to a case! The appellate court verified this in the case cited above. Like the maximum sentence for Bell was used before his case was thrown out, the “tennis shoes as a lethal weapon” is used as a shock factor. It plays off people’s lack of knowledge regarding our justice system. Logic tells most people that a tennis shoe is not a lethal weapon since it is an object so familiar to them, yet the court case cited above shows that even the appellate court agrees that tennis shoes can kill a person, surely when connecting with an unconscious head. This is where brain injuries are much more likely.
    Your theory about Bell seems to be circular logic in some ways. Bell is violent. Community sees him as violent. Bell starts a beating on a high school student. BELL IS VIOLENT. COMMUNITY SEES HIM AS VIOLENT, and so the circle goes. Does the community see Bell as violent because he is indeed violent? Or is Bell NOT violent and just an innocent bystander? Not very likely, his history shows he has a propensity for violence. The acts leading up to the attack imply that he planned on attacking Barker. The evidence against him is compelling. I find it hard to believe that Bell said “I swear on my Mama I’m gonna knock his block off” just to walk outside and watch some other boys beat Barker.
    “All the whites are innocent as lambs. All the white actions, minor scuffles, pranks, defending oneself.”
    Here’s the problem, Shelley. Our town has been lambasted in the media so heavily that we are FORCED to take up for the side that is not represented here. Some Jena 6 supporters have sprinted away from objectivity in this case, and now we are starting to see a countermovement. Some of these Justin Barker supporters are so sick of hearing about all of the inaccuracies about this case that they DO seem to polarize the story a little too much. But I am here to tell you, there are SEVERAL things white people in this community should be held accountable for in these situations. I’ve spoken about them several times. I guess my point is, BOTH sides have removed objectivity to an extent. Both sides have people who are simply typing emotions and not truth, fact, or true accounts.
    I agree with you about Bell, I believe his punishment was sufficient enough. I consider what he has already received the “bottom rung” on my scale of what is a fair punishment for him. I also agree that a change in venue is necessary for a fair trial to occur.
    “FromJena, stop with the hinting and teasing. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t play around. This is an adult conversation and you, “Oh, something new is coming” related to this serious a subject is distasteful in the extreme.”
    I’ll say what I want. I’ve found some of your comments distasteful. Maybe I’ll call you on them next time.
    Luuk:
    WOW!! You are on the mark. In fact, your logic regarding this case is admittedly far more advanced than mine. I have yet to construct the attack as specifically as you have, and I commend you for it. Here are a few things you may find interesting:
    1.) The last issue of the Jena Times has an article written by Craig Franklin that says “During the Fall of 2006, when all of the so-called “racist” events were occurring, Mychal Bell, one of the “Jena Six”, was living with a white family in Jena. For whatever reasons, his father was in Texas, and he was not living with his mother in Jena. And yet, though displaced in the black community, it was a white family that opened their doors and cared for him while he attended school and played football.”
    2.) The black girl being afraid to give her name shows who SHE is afraid of. If she were afraid of the “white authority”, she would have simply not said anything.
    3.) Go to smalltownpapers.com. Click down and find The Jena Times. You can go to the bottom of the Jena Times page and run a search on a particular name. When I typed in Carwin Jones, one of the matches I found was an arrest on October 23rd of 2006 for aggravated battery. The Justin Barker beating was on December 4th. So I’m almost certain this incident is not connected with the events being reported.
    4.) Notice that Bell claims Barker said the “n” word, yet the anonymous female black student seems close enough to the altercation to give detailed accounts of what happens. She mentions nothing of Barker saying a racial slur aimed at HER OWN race. That appears questionable to me. Yeah, he may have said it, but I’m not convinced. It’s so easy to throw that word in their and garnish support from an entire community.
    5.) I’ve HEARD that another student was arrested for involvement in the Justin Barker beating. My friend claims he read it in the Jena Times, but I have thumbed through the last issue and can’t find it. I’m not sure if this is correct, but I would THINK if it is true, the student arrested was probably R.B. And don’t assume that things like this go reported. Several incidents have happened in the past several months that have not been reported by the media.
    6.) You are so right, the mainstream media does everything but take the public’s hand and lead them to believe that these events were all connected. SEVERAL people who were directly involved with this case (including the FBI) say these incidents were not all connected! The Jena Six never mention anything about a noose during the altercation. Using the nooses as a scapegoat, as far as I’m concerned, is like blaming a gory movie for someone murdering another.
    7.) You are correct, this is not the first time a black vs. white fight has occurred in this town. They do happen from time to time. Whether they were all spurred on by racism, I highly doubt it. But I know one of my friends I grew up with was attacked about 5 years ago by 3 or 4 black guys. His ankle was broken as well as other rather severe injuries. Yeah there were fights that led up to it, but this was the only one where he was vastly outnumbered. His mom was actually on Dr. Phil. Back to the point, I am very sure that not all of these fights were started by the black participants.
    8.) About the nooses: I am certainly not convinced that the noose hangers meant it as a racial gesture. At the same token, I can’t assume that they were not meaning it as such. The fact that THREE students sat under the tree and TWO nooses were hung adds steam that they may have not. There WAS a game that night against a team called the Mustangs. I know from personal experience that this tree has been a sort of “pulpit” for years for students to show their Giant pride by smearing the other football team on game day. And I’m almost 100% sure nooses have been hung in that tree before. I have also heard from people who were AT school that day that the kids laughed about the nooses. Some have said a male black student was sticking his head in the ropes and laughing. It was when the parents found out about the nooses was when the controversy developed. So a lot of evidence implies that maybe it wasn’t. The fact that they were hung in the same tree the day after 3 black students sat there is questionable. The fact that they are all rednecks adds leverage to it being a possible racial gesture. But again, I’m not fully convinced they were up to ill will.

  • stickler

    “the gun was a 12 gauge riot shotgun. These are not used to shoot deer.”
    Yes, they are. Deer hunters use slugs, rather than shot.

  • Luuk

    I think another point of interest with regards to the noose-incident. Considering it was said at an all-boys assembly, none of the girls should know of the joke. The only adult I have as present is the assistant principal, Mr. Burgess, so it really is very likely that no one connects the nooses to race.
    Until, like you say, one of the black girls or black boys tells his parents about it. And their concern should be taken seriously, it’s obviously something that would shock some of em (even if it’s not the first time).
    I found an interesting quote by Bailey recently “Real Nooses! Like the kind they use to hang people on tv” (paraphrased). Even a year after the fact, it doesn’t really seem to register to him as something offensive to his race.
    With regards to racism in jena: two of the adults only refer to the groups as students (both black and white), and even though several black people get into fights in white majority areas, they are never really ganged up on.
    FromJena, thanks for the additional information. It really does seem like you guys have a pretty nice town to live in. My sincerest apologies for the way you all have been treated by everyone.
    I personally think the attacks usually happen as such: Bailey or Shaw provoke, the one kid either throws a punch or racial insult, and Jones, Purvis and one of the youths help overpower the one. I think Bell is not really all that tight with the rest. He’s either a bit of a loner, or else he’s the “leader” of another group of black kids. Again, I believe due to the fire and smaller space, all the black kids are hanging out together and because Bell is the one that gets slighted, whikle Bailey and Shaw were already looking for trouble, most in the group attack. Usually it would only be one that instigated and 2 or 3 that would provide support. With the size of the black student population, you could easily have three specific cliques: one led by Bailey, one by Bell and one by Shaw.
    Bell uses violence to prove his point (and a bad one in this case, beating up Barker for standing up for someone else or trying to impress KR), making me think he’s been subjected to this from an early age (mom and dad are interesting here, I’d argue everyone uses violence against everyone in the Bell household). The fact that he plays the race-card as a defense shows to me that he knows how to get out of fights that he clearly instigates (by punching someone in the back of the head). Bailey and Shaw get away with it because their victim usually throws the first punch.
    Bell only seems to get in trouble for specific reasons, most likely stemming from something conrete that happened at home and him taking it out on the community and the school.
    I’m also curious. Is Matt Windham the principal’s son or nephew? I think Bailey and Shaw got into an altercation with Matt, which caused him and Sloan to get even later on (dec 1), and Bailey and Shaw again on that saturday. He’s 18 at the time, so was he already graduated from school?

  • Luuk

    And obviously the white kids are not without blame. I think they have mainly a reactionary role though, one of their friends get beat up and they try to get even. Race plays a small role in the whole equation: it just so happens that the biggest troublemakers in Jena are black. There are probably some white kids that show similar characteristics, but their tendencies probably don’t get “encouraged” by the other kids nor the authorities (including parents).
    Shaw and Bailey really seem to only want to “fight”, one on one with some additional support from friends, with the altercation starting head on.

  • FromJena

    Luuk:
    Again, you are very much on the mark. You have a great accumin for piecing together a situation like this.
    Though I’ve never been able to publicly say this on here without being lambasted, I have known all along that the group of black boys were the instigators. I heard way before I saw the eye witnesses that there were several black boys going around town trying to pick fights with guys they saw as “rednecks”, and I heard repeatedly that they had a list. The white students do play a reactionary role, but also they are not at fault. Justin Sloan was the clear provoker of the fight at the Fair Barn, and I felt he was punished accordingly (judging by what I know as of right now).
    And no, Matt Windham is DEFINITELY not Scott Windham’s son. They are very different people. They may be kin somewhere along the line, but I’m not real sure.
    Regarding Bell. This information may be useful to you. His mom, Melissa Bell, has a large rap sheet. My friend actually pulled up her criminal record as well as Bell’s dad. Before this case evolved, I remembered her name. She has been accused of stabbing two of her ex boyfriends. Whether or not she did it and was convicted, I’m not sure. But my friend says he wrote down all of her convictions and could barely fit it on a sheet of paper. Bell’s dad, Marcus Jones, has lived in Texas for the past 7 years, with very little (if any) contact with Mychal. He has 6-8 criminal offenses on his criminal record as well, including several assault & battery charges. So it’s very apparent that Bell is a product of poor parenting. I think it shows what kind of father Jones is. He took a very limited role in his sons life until stepping in became advantageous to himself. He is now driving around in a Cadillac Escalade and has likely made a ton of money off of this.
    And one last thing: ALL of these events occurred in a 4-day span of time, 3 months after the nooses. So this tells me that:
    1.) It seems like these incidents were escalated more by each other and less by the nooses. The outrage over the nooses would almost certainly be a contributor to an extent, but I don’t feel it is a valid reason.
    2.) The school fire happened on the SAME WEEKEND all of these events occurred. To say that they were not connected would be simplistic. Honestly? MANY people in town think Bell & co. did it, but no charges have been filed as of yet. I get the feeling that they’ll make some headway on that case, though.
    I’ve had to reserve my “gut feeling” towards Bell, Shaw, & Bailey because of the vehement backing they have received from the black community in this country. But I’m glad I’m finally able to say it without fear of reprisal. Just because I feel these guys are the instigators does not imply I’m racist. People in Jena know what happened, it is only a town of 3500 people. I’ve heard from MANY people in the black community who’ve made comments such as “This is all bullsh*t.” and “That was blown way out of proportion.” Yes, the entire community is MOSTLY in agreement that these guys are troublemakers and they do not just deserve a slap on the wrist for this. The community is also mostly in agreement that anything over 5 or so years for what they did would be unfair. The community is also in agreement that the noose hangers should have been expelled.
    So our community is alot less divided on this issue than the American public is. It’s sad how the media has pulled out our couches, opened our closets, and looked in our attics to find anything they can to make us look bad. Few small towns would pass the horrible test that has been put on my home town.

  • http://www.cheaperthandirt.com Chris

    stickler writes:
    40″the gun was a 12 gauge riot shotgun. These are not used to shoot deer.”
    Yes, they are. Deer hunters use slugs, rather than shot.
    posted on 10.03.2007 3:04 AM
    riot shotguns are not nomally used for hunting. Hence the name RIOT.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riot_shotgun
    Most riot shotguns are modify from the orginal manufacturing
    which include shorter barrel, vented top handguard, pistolgrips, and may include side folding stock.
    Riot shotguns also have the ability to hold more shells.
    On this note, I really doubt that child even goes hunting.
    You do the crime , You do the time.

  • Luuk

    FromJena, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to someone from the now infamous town. I bet by now, most if not all the out of towners have left . Shelley.
    I’m starting to strongly suspect there were actually two fights involved on December 4th. We’re gonna get really weird here and very speculative.
    Bell grew up with violence (imagine if he saw one of the stabbings!..if they occured of course). The only thing that works for him is violence: it keeps him in check and it’s what he uses to prove his point. I think he’s been beat by both parents far too often to really act out in a significant way. He doesn’t fight like Shaw and Bailey, in a group confronting their victim. Bell just punches people from behind to prove a point he really wants to make. He vandalizes around town when he gets in trouble at home.
    So because Bailey and Shaw are smarting from the weekend before, they rub off on Bell, who really doesn’t seem to look for a fight until Barker yells at him. So Bell decides that he, himself (“I’m gonna knock his block off”), is going to fight Barker in his usual way…yell something and throw a punch from behind, followed by a few more (a kick or two) and run away. But because Bailey and Shaw were already looking for a fight, they also decide (independently from Bell) to make Barker their victim! Bell initiates the fight, Bailey and Shaw react to him screaming and their crew reacts to them. That’s why it gets out of hand. This really isn’t something they would usually do. Barker wobbles after Bell’s punch, after a few more is knocked to his knees and later is on the ground between the gym door and concrete beam.
    Most of the black kids are probably scared after this one. The black girl talks to her parents about what happens, they talk to the school or cops and make sure she can take the testimony safely and anonymously (which would explain the 2 day delay between the fight and the testimony). You’re absolutely right of course, she’s clearly afraid of her friends.
    So it really seems to be a combination of the fire and the previous weekends incidents, plus Bell’s volatile tendencies.
    I think there are 2 groups of trouble makers in Jena: one white, one black. Windham and Sloan seem to be two, maybe Barker and probably some of the kids that were threatened. And it’s not really skincolor that sets them apart, it’s that they probably dislike all the things the others like: down to sports, music and fighting style. The white kids like one on one fights, Bailey and Shaw like having the upper hand and Bell is just trouble by himself, dragging the other kids with him. They both get into trouble, but the black kids just a little more. Probably cause the white community is a bit hesitant to act tough on a group of black kids picking fights with a group of troublesome and probably not very forward thinking boys.
    Your town is really much more interesting than the charicature the media made it to be. It’s very indicative of the America of 2007 I know. I spent my high school years in Rockville Centre, NY (graduated 5 years ago) and it seems very much like Jena, except we were a bit larger and the groups of troublemakers could avoid each other more easily. We really didn’t have any racial tenstion, but most of the times the specific groups around school stuck together. Because there were less black kids, they usually all hung out together, but there were specific hierarchies in there as well.
    I think less fights occured and we really didn’t have someone like Mychal Bell around. I really wouldn’t be surprised if he started the fire. Maybe that got out of hand too, but regardless. He really seems to be a smart kid who knows that the schools and cops are not gonna punish him too harshly if he acts up once and a while (the cops probably know of the kid and his family history better than anyone else in the town!).
    Hehe, don’t get too scared of him, but I would advise against pissing Bell off. He probably causes more problems for the black community than the white.

  • James

    Chris
    It really doesnt matter what kind of gun Windham had or if he used it for hunting. I do know for a fact that he hunts. As for your comment do the crime do the time, that is what we all want. The only problem is Windham didnt commit a crime he was attacked as he started to go into the store he ran back to the truck while they were still attacking and got the gun. How else do you think they would have been able to wrestle it away from him. They had to be right on top of him. I know you dont believe he pulled the gun and that these black boys thought they were bullet proof enough to say hey lets run over there and take that gun he probabaly wont be able to shoot all of us. That had no idea it wasnt loaded. If the way they told their story was true that would have been the fastest 100yds any of them had ever ran getting away from there. Nobody is that stupid. So as you said do the crime do the time. They attacked Windham and stole his gun he simply acted in self defense. Witnesse prove this. You need to read a little before making your assumpions.

  • James

    By the way chris I know a black man who lives near one of the 6 and he told me that boy has a bedroom full of stolen guns. I also know he doesnt hunt. There is one group of blacks in this area that hunts and this bunch is not in it.

  • http://www.blackperspective.net Yobachi

    FromJena, the law dictates that if you can escape an attack it is your duty to do so rather than perpetrate violence; and particularly instead of using a deadly weapon.
    So, if the gun puller could go to his car to get his gun, he could have gotten in the seat, started the car, and put his foot on the gas. His story doesn’t fly!!!
    And what is “a threatening manner”? It was 3 Negroes, so they must be threatening, right? Because he says he “perceived a threat”, therefore it was. White is always right.
    It’s funny that I see no one here, none of you stanch law and order crusaders, calling for the prosecution of those who made the noose threats; even though the FBI recommend such charges to the Dept. of Justice. Wonder why that is, cause there’s clearly no race biased here *dripping with sarcasm*

  • http://www.blackperspective.net Yobachi

    FromJena, the law dictates that if you can escape an attack it is your duty to do so rather than perpetrate violence; and particularly instead of using a deadly weapon.
    So, if the gun puller could go to his car to get his gun, he could have gotten in the seat, started the car, and put his foot on the gas. His story doesn’t fly!!!
    And what is “a threatening manner”? It was 3 Negroes, so they must be threatening, right? Because he says he “perceived a threat”, therefore it was. White is always right.
    It’s funny that I see no one here, none of you stanch law and order crusaders, calling for the prosecution of those who made the noose threats; even though the FBI recommend such charges to the Dept. of Justice. Wonder why that is, cause there’s clearly no race biased here *dripping with sarcasm*

  • http://www.blackperspective.net Yobachi

    FromJena
    “I get the feeling that there is a VERY big surprise waiting for the Jena 6 supporters. Something that will blow everyone’s perceptions of at least SOME of the Jena 6 OUT of the water. Let’s see if it materializes.”
    That’s just wishful thinking. You’re just telling on yourself now. You couldn’t show your ingrained biased more, if you just came out and said that you want them to go to jail for as long as possible, no matter what.
    I bet you call the noose threat just a juvenile prank too.

  • http://www.blackperspective.net Yobachi

    Ellen:
    “You know what bothers me? Is that we have little sympathy for these guys because WE KNOW that most of them are troublemakers. Yet Jena 6 supporters assume we are racist because of our lack of sympathy.”
    We think (know) you’re racist because you don’t believe in equal protection under the law, proportional enforcement of the law, and the fact that you all had a white’s only tree at your high school and call hanging nooses in response to blacks daring to sass you and sit under that tree, a nere “prank”.
    Black kid get’s jumped and beat by whites, probation is offered to one, the rest go free. White kid gets jumped and beat by blacks, charged with 80 frigging years in prison, and you chear.
    Your racism is undeniably evident!
    If they’re trouble makers then they should get trouble maker punishment. Suspension, maybe expulsion, maybe even misdeamenour assault – but murder charges? There’s no justification. Life in prison, nothing you can beging to say that will ever take the stain of racism off of supporting that.

  • FromJena

    Yobachi:
    Dry that sarcasm off, buddy.
    Here’s my response:
    “We think (know) you’re racist because you don’t believe in equal protection under the law, proportional enforcement of the law, and the fact that you all had a white’s only tree at your high school and call hanging nooses in response to blacks daring to sass you and sit under that tree, a nere “prank”.”
    I believe in equal protection under the law, so does most people in Jena. You have no basis for comparison regarding the DA’s actions until an investigation can positively conclude that his PAST cases reflect harsher treatment on black defendants. If this proves true, we can go ahead and say that the DA is a racist, but STILL not the entire town. So don’t jump the gun. All you have is gut feelings and the race card.
    The whites only tree idea is about to be blown out of the water. Anyone who went to Jena High School knows this is not true. Me and several people are thumbing through old yearbook pictures looking for pictures of black students under and around that tree. We’ve already found one. We’re sure to find more. When we find these, we will submit them to several news publications and make sure the word gets out that this is NOT the “white tree”.
    Regarding the nooses, I’ve thoroughly explained my stance on them in Post #39 above. There is ample reason to believe these guys were not trying to threaten the black students with a racial gesture; and to be fair, there are some reason to believe they may HAVE been meant as such. But as I say above, I’m not convinced.
    “Black kid get’s jumped and beat by whites, probation is offered to one, the rest go free. White kid gets jumped and beat by blacks, charged with 80 frigging years in prison, and you chear.”
    Wow! Where do I start? The Fair Barn incident is VERY different from the Justin Barker beating. Let’s compare. I will use Robert Bailey’s statement above for comparison, and assume he is being 100% truthful.
    Fair Barn Incident: Two fought one, while several fought two.
    Justin Barker beating: Six to nine fought one!
    Fair Barn Incident: All involved parties in the fight were conscious while the altercation took place.
    Justin Barker beating: the one being ganged up on was not conscious
    Fair Barn Incident: No one made a trip to the hospital that night.
    Justin Barker beating: the one being ganged up on was rushed to the ER
    Fair Barn Incident: Though Justin Sloan’s punch to Bailey was clearly wrong and illegal, it was not a “sucker” punch. Robert Bailey saw it coming.
    Justin Barker beating: the initial punch was a sucker punch from behind
    I could go on and on. So if YOU expect equal punishment, maybe you should compare equal cases? As I said before, comparing these two incidents that are DIFFERENT in nature does not constitute selective prosecution, or unequal justice. The only way this can be proved is if an investigation occurs into Reed Walters’ past prosecutions.
    “Your racism is undeniably evident!”
    I’ve never denied racism is an issue here. I just deny that it exists to the degree that the media has made it out to be. Racial activists are trying so hard to make this case as purely racist as they can so they can push their agenda. Though I don’t necessarily disagree with their agenda (to ensure the judicial system is color-blind when prosecuting), I disagree with the inaccuracies they are using to distort the public’s view of the events in Jena.
    “If they’re trouble makers then they should get trouble maker punishment. Suspension, maybe expulsion, maybe even misdeamenour assault – but murder charges? There’s no justification. Life in prison, nothing you can beging to say that will ever take the stain of racism off of supporting that.”
    This statement alone speaks volumes about your knowledge of the events that took place in Jena. NONE of these 6 were EVER facing murder charges; all faced attempted second degree murder but have since been downgraded to aggravated battery; one is having his case tried in juvenile court and is playing on the football team as we speak. Life in prison? Where in the WORLD do you get this from? Collateral News? Democracy Now? GET YOUR INFORMATION STRAIGHT!! I would be VERY surprised if any of them serve more than a few years in prison, assuming they are found guilty.
    If you want to, I can point you to some articles that can better inform you of what has happened. You seem to have read snippets of information off of inaccurate articles online and feel like you know alot. It’s very easy to get angry about this case, but you should remove your anger and look at it objectively.

  • Luuk

    C’mon, Yobachi. Robert Bailey indicates so himself: he gets ganged up on inside the party but is perfectly fine to “wrestle on the ground” with Sloan a little later. It’s clear that we are talking about a fight here.
    With regards to the Gotta Go incident it’s not that the white people and black students testimony contradicts, it’s that the testimony of the two black students involved contradict each other. Theo Shaw states they’re just sitting around and Matt Windham instigates, while Bailey clearly says “we were getting ready to fight”. So both can’t happen at once, the eye witness report becomes crucial. She supports the self-defense story (the gun doesn’t even get taken out of the car) and Bailey gets a slap on his wrist…then 2 days later he’s involved in a group fight.
    They charge the kids with battery, then find out Bell is involved and is the instigator and up the charge to attempted murder to show that they’re serious. By the time the trial starts, Bell is charged with the crime he committed: aggravated second-degree battery.
    I think we all know, in our gut, that if the Jena Six had been all white and Barker a black boy we would’ve heard of this on December 5th, 2006.
    The truth is that America is pretty good with racial violence. In 2004, there were only 5 bias-related murders in the entire country: one anti-black, 2 anti-white, one anti-gay and one anti-atheist/agnostic.
    African-American males don’t get charged more harshly for similar crimes, there’s only one set of laws where it occurs and that’s those that make up the War on Drugs (the cops and courts try to use it to stop the violence within the African-American community). With regards to violent crime the punishments are relatively equal. With regards to black on white and vice-versa, the American Justice system is actually in favor of the African-American community.
    And the authorities do have a problem: it’s not white youths causing the large number of deaths among the young African-American male population, it’s the result of black on black violence. It’s been decreasing over the years, but it’s still a problem. It has nothing to do with race, but everything with socio-economic status and culture.
    And with the harsh response to a pretty open and shut case, I think the real problem in America becomes apparant:
    no one seems to want to admit how far along America actually is. There’s still an extreme distrust within the African-American community towards the white majority and the institutions and (I would say) that’s the main factor why black America is still subjected to conditions below the national average of the white majority. Of course there’s still racism and everyone discriminates (even you, Yobachi), but by large, things are heading the right way.
    If you read FromJena’s comments, and those from the others from Jena you can clearly see that no one wants to string up these “poor” black boys. The Jena community just wants to deal with their problems in the way they feel is right.
    And unless we have strong indications that they can’t do so fairly, we should back off and focus on our own.

  • FromJena

    You all may find this very interesting. The Jena Times just wrote an article involving school board members, the DA, and police department. They give specific explanations about each incident that occurred. They say it’s the first time alot of this information has been publicly released.
    Go here to read it:
    http://www.thejenatimes.net/home_page_graphics/home.html

  • Ellen from Jena

    Wow FromJena, I didn’t even have to get finger cramps to type a response for Yoboghi’s ignorance. Thanks! People that post the garbage like that have nothing better to do, and they sure don’t know the facts. They don’t live here and they have no idea. I’m sure they have a racial issue in their home town they could address before they try to sweep off the door steps of our town. If they think TJ6 is so innocent, I wish that they would come and get them and let them live in and terroize their neighborhood and the innocent children at JHS.
    YO! YOBOCHI, I’M NOT A RACIST. HOW BOUT YOU? I’VE GOT LOTS OF BLACK FRIENDS, BUT THEY AREN’T THUGS. AND “THUGS” HAS NO COLOR.

  • A_B from not far from Jena LA

    I know that some of these facts have been distorted by the media, but come on people. Yeah, much of what the media has reported turned up to be exaggerations or complete BS altogether, but that’s always the case.
    First, let’s not forget that even the DA himself does not deny making the pen statement. I don’t care if he was looking at the black students or not when he said it. He basically said he can lock anyone he wants away just because he feels like it. And you know what? That makes him a tyrant. It’s no surprise that a simple assault case is leading to people being sentenced to over 20 years, racially motivated or not.
    And on that note, no, I don’t consider a tennis shoe a deadly weapon. We walk everywhere with shoes on nowadays, I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that most times people get kicked, it’s with a tennis shoe. And guess what? This is the first I’ve ever heard of such a charge, at least pertaining to shoes anyway. Not saying it hasn’t happened, but I’m fairly certain it’s rare.
    As far as racially motivated, well it has been reported that a few white kids assaulted a black kid and weren’t charged. The nature of the attack may have been different, but it’s still an assault case in which white people attacked a black person and weren’t charged at all for it. Justin barker did get hurt pretty badly, but he was also asking for it. He basically got a black eye and a few head bumps, that’s not worth 20 years. There’s been arguments about how long they continued attacking him after he was knocked out and what “could” have happened to him, but the law isn’t about what could have happened, it’s about what did happen. And frankly, what did happen doesn’t warrant a 2 decade sentence, especially when you consider he was asking for it.
    He made a racial comment of some kind about Robert Bailey being attacked by a white kid. That’s clearly racist. It’s not hard to imagine 6 people from a crowd getting mad about a racial remark and beating on the person who made it in an outrage. Now I agree that they shouldn’t have reacted the way that they did and the law does have to be objective, but they deserve to be charged with assault, not the charge they are getting. But the same also goes for the white kids who had assaulted a black kid. Even if you wanted to upgrade the charge to battery that wouldn’t be so bad since Barker did receive quite a beating, although I would argue it was more an unintentional case of what happens when you have 6 on 1.
    Now the white kids not being charged might be an oversight, but that still makes Walters a tyrant, he’s trying to send people to jail for over 20 years for simple assault. He also is recorded saying, and doesn’t deny that he said, that he can lock people up at will, just because he feels like it. It also irks me that he dared declare Jesus on his side.

  • A_B from not far from Jena LA

    I know that some of these facts have been distorted by the media, but come on people. Yeah, much of what the media has reported turned up to be exaggerations or complete BS altogether, but that’s always the case.
    First, let’s not forget that even the DA himself does not deny making the pen statement. I don’t care if he was looking at the black students or not when he said it. He basically said he can lock anyone he wants away just because he feels like it. And you know what? That makes him a tyrant. It’s no surprise that a simple assault case is leading to people being sentenced to over 20 years, racially motivated or not.
    And on that note, no, I don’t consider a tennis shoe a deadly weapon. We walk everywhere with shoes on nowadays, I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that most times people get kicked, it’s with a tennis shoe. And guess what? This is the first I’ve ever heard of such a charge, at least pertaining to shoes anyway. Not saying it hasn’t happened, but I’m fairly certain it’s rare.
    As far as racially motivated, well it has been reported that a few white kids assaulted a black kid and weren’t charged. The nature of the attack may have been different, but it’s still an assault case in which white people attacked a black person and weren’t charged at all for it. Justin barker did get hurt pretty badly, but he was also asking for it. He basically got a black eye and a few head bumps, that’s not worth 20 years. There’s been arguments about how long they continued attacking him after he was knocked out and what “could” have happened to him, but the law isn’t about what could have happened, it’s about what did happen. And frankly, what did happen doesn’t warrant a 2 decade sentence, especially when you consider he was asking for it.
    He made a racial comment of some kind about Robert Bailey being attacked by a white kid. That’s clearly racist. It’s not hard to imagine 6 people from a crowd getting mad about a racial remark and beating on the person who made it in an outrage. Now I agree that they shouldn’t have reacted the way that they did and the law does have to be objective, but they deserve to be charged with assault, not the charge they are getting. But the same also goes for the white kids who had assaulted a black kid. Even if you wanted to upgrade the charge to battery that wouldn’t be so bad since Barker did receive quite a beating, although I would argue it was more an unintentional case of what happens when you have 6 on 1.
    Now the white kids not being charged might be an oversight, but that still makes Walters a tyrant, he’s trying to send people to jail for over 20 years for simple assault. He also is recorded saying, and doesn’t deny that he said, that he can lock people up at will, just because he feels like it. It also irks me that he dared declare Jesus on his side.

  • James

    A_B
    Can you not read? The boy who jumped on bailey was arrested for simple battery as he should have been. If Bell had jumped on Barker one on one it would have been the same thing. But that didnt happen. Bell should have been arrested and expelled when he toook a swing at the sherrif detective the same day Walters gave the famous speech. Again he got another chance and no chargers were pressed. Did you know he was the reason Walters and law inforcement officers were called to the school that day. How many chances does one person get? I can show you a white man that has been in jail since his teens for the same type behavior. He is a habitual offender. I believe after 3 strikes you are out. His mother is a criminal so is his father so what do you expect. You keep saying everything you know has been reported. Thats is the problem you wont look at the facts and make a honest judgement. You rely on the reporting of the media who cares nothing about the 6 or the truth. They just want to profit from it. I also believe that the Barkers should file a civil suit against the 6 so they wont be able to profit from future revenue from their so called story. Just like OJ any moneys made from this should be awarded to the Barkers. I am sure their are plenty of lawers who would love to do it. What do the rest of you think. Lets hock the “cadis” and give the victim the money.

  • FromJena

    A_B:
    —-”First, let’s not forget that even the DA himself does not deny making the pen statement. I don’t care if he was looking at the black students or not when he said it. He basically said he can lock anyone he wants away just because he feels like it. And you know what? That makes him a tyrant. It’s no surprise that a simple assault case is leading to people being sentenced to over 20 years, racially motivated or not.”
    Yes, the way he said it was arrogant, but if you’ll read the article above, it shows his words were taken out of context. His entire sentence said “With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.” So it sounds very different when you put the entire sentence together. On its face, the sentence he said that is being reported sounds very distasteful.
    You may view it as a simple assault case; a prosecutor in New York City may consider it a simple assault case. But I don’t take it that lightly, the DA doesn’t, and most people in the town of Jena don’t. And many I have heard arguing the case from the law community agree with Walters. So that is purely opinion. And who is saying the simple assault case is leading anyone to get 20 years? NOBODY has been sentenced, and ONLY ONE went to trial. And his MAX was 15, which he probably would have received far less of. You shouldn’t take advantage of the shock factor by throwing out his numbers for prison sentences; your claims are grounded by VERY little fact.
    —–”And on that note, no, I don’t consider a tennis shoe a deadly weapon. We walk everywhere with shoes on nowadays, I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that most times people get kicked, it’s with a tennis shoe. And guess what? This is the first I’ve ever heard of such a charge, at least pertaining to shoes anyway. Not saying it hasn’t happened, but I’m fairly certain it’s rare.”
    Did you read the case above? State of LA vs. Munoz? A case where tennis shoes was successfully considered a lethal weapon to uppen charges to aggravated battery. The appellate courts backed the prosecutor. If you’ll read further into that document it says “any gas, liquid, or other substance or instrumentality which, in the manner used, is calculated or is likely to produce death or great bodily harm.” So under the LAW codes, tennis shoes fall directly under the classification of a lethal weapon. Keep in mind that a tennis shoe can end someone’s life if they are unconscious, and it can cause serious brain damage. THAT’S why I feel it is not “simple assault”, but aggravated battery. The DA has a very legitimate case, backed by similar past cases and reasonable evidence. He may not have done everything perfect and reasonable, but he deserves more credit than he has been given.
    —-”As far as racially motivated, well it has been reported that a few white kids assaulted a black kid and weren’t charged.”
    Wrong. The instigator of the fight, Justin Sloan, was arrested and plead guilty to misdemeanor assault.
    —-”Justin barker did get hurt pretty badly, but he was also asking for it.”
    Asking for it doesn’t cut it. That’s like saying someone was “asking for it” because they flipped someone the bird in traffic and got shot in the head for it. It’s basically saying the victim is at fault, which is obviously far from the truth.
    —-”There’s been arguments about how long they continued attacking him after he was knocked out and what “could” have happened to him, but the law isn’t about what could have happened, it’s about what did happen. And frankly, what did happen doesn’t warrant a 2 decade sentence, especially when you consider he was asking for it.”
    Again, the “2 decade sentence” is used for shock factor, and is grounded in ZERO fact. Your logic may say that people should be punished based on what did happen, as opposed to what could have happened, but our judicial system seems to think different than that. Say you open up your door to go to work tomorrow, then a man whips out a gun, aims and fires it at you. It grazes your ear and he takes off. If he gets arrested, do you want him arrested on “simple battery” charges, or are you gonna be thinking “NO HE TRIED TO MURDER ME!”? So our judicial system is alot more complex than your “gut feeling” and anyone’s moral code. It’s meant to break down specific facts and put a description to everything so that information is laid out in a manner that allows objectivity to take over, not “gut feeling”.
    —-”He made a racial comment of some kind about Robert Bailey being attacked by a white kid.”
    Read above. Mychal Bell’s statement is the only one that says Barker said the “n” word, but keep in mind his eye witness statement is also contradicted in several respects by 8-10 eye witnesses who say HE was involved with the attack. So I feel his statement has less validity than others because of this. Also, read the statements under “Unidentified Witness” above. A female black student explains in detail the argument that took place before the beating. She mentions nothing about Barker saying a racial slur, only that he flipped Bell off and got in his face.
    —-”although I would argue it was more an unintentional case of what happens when you have 6 on 1″
    I believe what they did was very intentional, and the eye witnesses make it pretty obvious. They threatened 3 or 4 other male white students that day. One was pushed repeatedly (D.M.), one was almost slapped in the back of the head, one was gathered around while some of them were saying “Robert, hit him!”. Barker definitely escalated the issue when he did what he did, but it is VERY clear to me what their intentions were that day.
    You seem like a fair person and your logic makes sense in alot of respects, but keep in mind there is a wealth of information on this case online now. You can form a more accurate judgment of the events.

  • A_B

    Hmm, well I don’t live in Jena and you do, so I will just have to take your word for it. I will say this however, my pointing out about him asking for it was not meant to dismiss the fact that the reaction as wrong, only to point out that it’s at least understandable. Also, on the “what could have happened” thing, yes, attempted murder is a crime, but that has to do more with intent than what could have happened.
    It’s pretty bad if the media is so filled with rhetoric that even those of us who don’t live all that far from Jena don’t necessarily know what’s going on.

  • FromJena

    A_B:
    You seem like a very reasonable person, and I understand where you are coming from. It is VERY sad how the media has handled all of this. It disgusts me, and that’s why me and others are getting the truth out. It angers me when people think on here “oh, there’s a Jena person” and suddenly every opinion I have can simply be written off as racist. It’s like a big joke, almost. Again, I’ve said all along, there are valid racism issues across the south that need to be addressed, including in Jena, but it’s difficult to will yourself to step up and fight racism when everybody in the country has deemed you a racist simply because of where you live.
    I understand how Barker calling Bell the “n” word would make Barker less of an innocent victim and more of an adversary. I’m not convinced that he said that, though (read my theory above). But that doesn’t mean he didn’t say it.
    If you want to keep up with this case as best as possible, read the Town Talk online and the Jena Times. Though the Jena Times DOES appear to lean towards a more reactive role to all of the negative publicity elsewhere, they do have information that no one else is reporting that will put a good perspective on it.
    If I’ve learned one thing about this case, it’s that you can’t trust what the media has to say. You really can’t even rely on what they say are “facts”.
    The older I get, the more I realize that you HAVE to have a tough skin living in this country in this day and age. People are used to looking at shocking content and the media is always looking for more ways to upstage itself and other media outlets by reporting more shocking content. It isn’t just a media problem, it seems to be a societal problem. Look how advertising is now. People’s mindsets are changing and the country has less and less time to “validate” truth and accuracy, so it is being thrown to the wayside. Something to think about.

  • truthiness

    I get the feeling that many of the “Jena 6″ supporters have never been in a fight before, much less a 6 vs. 1 beating.
    If you’ve ever been in a position where multiple assailants are kicking you in the head, I think that you’ll find that tennis sneakers can be deadly weapons.
    Being punched in the head a few times is one thing. Being stomped on the ground is quite another. If someone forced you to bite the curb, and then stomped on your head, is it really that implausible that your assailant is using his shoe as a deadly weapon?

  • A_B

    Yeah, y’all make some pretty good points. In actuality, I lived in the north once, and there is way more racism there than here in the south. Even if it were the other way around, it is definitely a logical fallacy to assume everyone from the south would be racist because of it. To be honest, I didn’t believe everything the media said, I knew they were exaggerating some of it because that’s how they are, but I had no idea just how bad it was.
    I tend to avoid reading legal documents because they are so worded around making 100% they are not taken out of context, that the language they use can be next to impossible for a left brain analyzer like myself to understand. And I understand the point about the tennis shoes too, although when you put it that way, it is worth noting that you can beat someone to death with your fist too.
    Then again, that just means our justice system needs to penalize actual damage done, instead of what was used to cause that damage.

  • truthiness

    A_B:
    Quite true–you make several good points. However, the fact that you can beat a person to death with your fist does not prevent other (more efficient) ways of killing that person from being classified as the use of a dangerous weapon.
    We have to determine a weapon’s ‘dangerousness’ in the context of the situation at hand. A pencil in the hands of a professor is probably not a deadly weapon; a pencil in the hands of Jason Bourne is extremely dangerous! Which is not to say that the ‘Jena 6′ were a group of deadly assassins — but when you have a situation where six people are kicking an unconcious person in the head, I think that this is more analogous to a situation where those shoes could plausibly be deadly. I am sure that if I were lying unconscious on the ground, I would greatly prefer being kicked without a shoe (toes don’t hurt very much) to being bludgeoned with the blunt end of a sneaker.
    Arguably, the punishment should reflect the harm done, and not the actual instrument. That does make intuitive sense. But then you might run into problems in situations where there is no harm done, but there is the intent to inflict bodily harm upon someone (e.g. inchoate crimes).
    Perhaps using a shoe as a deadly weapon is not what the legislature envisioned when they enacted the statue (they probalby aimed the statute at people running around with guns and knives), but I think that it’s a colorable claim given the “on-the-ground” nature of the attack.

  • Ellen from Jena

    What you stated shows ignorance. “White people deserve justice.” When do you not get it. Try living as a black person for one day.
    White people have had justice for years, and yet you want to seem as the victims.
    I’m not condoning what the young men did to Barker, but I would like to know why the man who attacked the black student at a party isn’t in jail? Double standards I would say. Of course you disagree because “white people deserve justice too.
    I willl answer the question for you. He’s not in jail because he is WHITE.
    THAT’S JUSTICE FOR YOU!!!
    WHY IS HE NOT BEHIND BARS SINCE WHITE PEOPLE DON’T GET JUSTICE. YOU NEED TO WAKE UP!!!

  • Luuk

    Justin Sloan, the white person, is not in prison because it was his first (violent?) offence: he was charged with simple battery and put on probation.
    Robert Bailey and Theo Shaw committed a similar crime (they punched Matt Windham at least once) the next day and were also not put in prison: they weren’t even charged with assault or battery, only theft of a firearm, second-degree robbery and disturbing the peace.
    Carwin Jones was arrested in October for battery and was not put in prison.
    Mychal Bell committed the same crime twice, once while on probation, and did not go to prison.
    So we have 6 cases of battery, all with the same legal outcome, regardless of race.

  • FromJena

    Luuk:
    And keep in mind that the day of the assembly, Mychal Bell took a swing at a police officer and missed, but THEY NEVER ARRESTED him. He was up for expulsion NINETEEN TIMES yet they still let him stay. It really ticks me off when people like Ellen make it out like whites get off with everything. Many BLACKS get off with things because the disciplinarians are afraid they will cry racism if punishment is appropriately given! It’s not fair. Everything should be perfectly balanced, not leaning towards either race.
    I have a cousin who got in all kinds of trouble in high school. He broke in a car and stole a radio, did several other things. Reed Walters wanted to put him away for TWO YEARS, but he went to an alternate program and got his life straightened up. Reed Walters is an asshole to many people, it’s not a racism thing.
    Here is something to chew on. If someone has a gun pointed at you, would you walk up to them and yell “You loser, kiss my ass!” NO, because you know the threat exists. The same theory can be applied in a practical sense to what the Jena 6 did to Reed Walters. He TOLD the entire school that violence would be punished to the fullest extent of the law, he was angry, he has an enormous amount of power. What did they do? They thumbed their nose to him and violently gangbanged someone less than a week later. No, Reed Walters has NO RIGHT to abuse his powers, but you don’t thumb your nose to someone like that. You don’t ignore stern warnings like that. Reed Walters did exactly what he SAID he was gonna do. So you gotta give him some credit for backing what he said.
    Nonetheless, I still feel an investigation into Reed Walters’ past prosecutions needs to be conducted by an independent party. This will either exonerate him or show bias in his judgment. Let’s all push for this, because this is what will become the defining factor in this entire case. If there is two systems of justice in Jena, that needs to change. I’ve lived there almost my entire life and I’ve never sensed it, but it needs to be factually proven true or untrue.
    I got off-topic there, I know.

  • Ellen From Jena

    To From Jena,
    I have never said whites get away with everything. Are you thinking of someone else? I said that the black students got away with things repeatedly! So, race could not be a factor. What’s up with that statement?

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  • BlakeB

    Wow, now let me start this long rant here by pointing out that this whole case, from start to finish, has been bizarre and depressing. I’m sure (or perhaps not so sure after reading some of your posts) that as christians we want fairness, a positive resolution, and redemption and growth among all those involved directly with the case.
    That said, how are there possibly so many apologists here for the actions of white racists in the Jena incident? Certainly in this case there were instances where the black students were out of line, but are a lot of you looking at the facts in this case? I’m a white person, and as a white person I know I cant completely understand the struggle blacks in this country have faced, but I try my best to relate, understand, and empathize with said struggle-especially in situations where overt racism and unfairness is involved.
    Now what we clearly had in Jena was a domino effect of actions that lead to the jena 6 assaulting the white student. Looking at the facts objectively, it is clear to me that at the Jena highschool, and indeed, the greater Jena area, there was (and still is) a double standard for black citizens in at least a few aspects of day-to-day life. Okay, so black people don’t have to drink from a different waterfountain anymore, and race relations are slowly improving, but lets stop patting ourselves on the back for ending segregation and realize that grave racial injustice still exists on a broad scale. Stop demanding “justice” for white people and open your eyes to the injustice most blacks are still forced to endure to this day.
    In realizing that, which Im sure most apologists here don’t, try to look at this case through that prism. Jena was essentially a kettle that had been heated up and heated up, and eventually that heat is gonna make that water boil. These black students, and certainly not just the Jena 6, were subject to unfair treatment from the school administration. After what was a horrible hate crime in the noose incident the administration failed to act accordingly and fairly. To classify the incident as a sophomoric prank that wasn’t a big deal fails to acknowledge the gravity that racial threats harkening back to the Jim Crowe era carries. It isn’t a prank, it isn’t throwing someone’s old sneakers up a telephone pole, it isn’t even keying a car, it is a straight up racist attack on black people, and personally I would very much see it as a threat.
    Most of you whites here who are tripping all over yourself to cry foul and demand justice for the whites involved fail to realize the gravity of such racism; whether its overt as seen with the nooses, or whether its less apparent, like black students asking for fair handling of the noose incindent, or even more disturbing, like the black student being charged with attempted murder when his victim was able to attend ring ceremony hours later. Certainly, the act of attacking anyone cannot be tolerated… but the issue here is about the fair way to punish someone when they break the law. It’s also about the way in which local, state, and fed. officials have, more or less, mishandled the whole situation. It’s ALSO about the kind of environment racism creates; racism which was in no short supply in Jena.
    What sort of environment does it create? Well, the kind of environment where confused young black men see the injustice, big and small, all around them, and sometimes turn that frustration into outward and inward destruction. And, of course, if that frustration manifests itself as aggression and they do something illegal… they’re quite likely to be held to a different standard than a white person committing the same crime.
    There’s no question that the Jena 6 were out of line in their actions, and even though their actions can’t be blamed solely on racial inequailty and the powder keg atmosphere of Jena at the time of the incidents… we no less need to look at those things. We need to address the obvious injustices and racial backlash present in this case, look for ways to improve things, and essentially say “As a people, not as white people or black people, but as a people we could and we should do better.” We need to take real notice of the continuing inequality of the legal system, we need to recognize that racism still does exist (burning as passionately in the hearts of some as it did during Jim Crowe) and that it should continue to be addressed, but most of all, we need to listen to one another more-we’ve got to use times like this to grow.
    I pray that out of this bizarre, depressing, and eye opening incident… that society, well, keeps its eyes open and uses this otherwise misfortunate event to learn from its mistakes. That’s why, sitting here and reading some of your replies, I’m appauled at what is overlooked or misunderstood. Instead of praying for progress on the path of justice for all, some of you are actually missing the whole lesson to be learned here and ignorantly demanding “justice for whites”. Instead of focusing on the heated racial atmosphere of Jena, and the fact that numerous people were threatened and delt injustice simply because of the color of their skin… some of you would rather point out how one of the Jena 6 has had a few run ins with the law post-incident when, infact, it has nothing to do with anything.
    I’m not here to judge, that is no man’s duty, but I just must reiterate… open your eyes. Some serious problems have been brought to the light in the town of Jena; all one needs to do to see is… open their eyes.

  • TDT

    “Most of you whites here who are tripping all over yourself to cry foul and demand justice for the whites involved fail to realize the gravity of such racism; whether its overt as seen with the nooses, or whether its less apparent, like black students asking for fair handling of the noose incindent, or even more disturbing, like the black student being charged with attempted murder when his victim was able to attend ring ceremony hours later.”
    I am not white, nor am I black. But Asian. And I have seen racism from both (more so from whites than blacks, though the racism comes from small percentage of both groups, and not indicative of how they are as a whole).
    But I would like to say that those who support the Jena 6 on this have no credibility with me on this. None. Actually, if there is less than zero, I would say that.
    Do you realize how those who defend the Jena 6 look when they make remarks like since the victim was able to attend a ring ceremony later on that night after what he suffered?
    Cruel, insensitive, heartless are words that do even begin how those words come across. And for them to demand hate crimes be prosecuted, yet give those guys a pass on this speak also to their own racism that they won’t acknowledge and are not looking at themselves in the mirror.
    Look, the reason why the student was not worse than he was is because people put a stop to the beatdown before it got much worse. But he was still in alot of pain while he was picking up his ring, which he was not going to let anything stop him from doing so. Had the roles been reverse, people would not make such an asinine, borderline remarks that he attended a ceremony, so it must not be that bad. They would be applauding a black victim for being able to overcome the pain and injury he suffered to get what he dreamed of getting. Next time, people make these remarks need to put themselves in the shoes of the person who was assaulted. And also asked how much pain he was in. He was in alot by all accounts of the extent of his injuries, and would feel that way for weeks.
    And the arguments that sneakers don’t constitute a deadly weapon don’t wash. Not by a legal long shot.
    Try having someone stomp your head with sneakers on next time you claim it could not possibly be attempted murder. Or better try, having six people stomping and kicking at your head and body at the same time while you are still and defenseless. People have died as result of that kind of beatdown.
    The same Al Sharpton who make that claim you did on Jena 6 said sneakers are deadly weapons when the roles are reverse!
    Yes, racism exists in blacks, as well as whites. And for that matter in Asians.
    But to play the race card amounts to demanding a free pass for those who are guilty of a horrific crime. And it is inexcusable and reflects very poorly on those who make that demand. Should whites get to march for five teenagers in SC tried as adults and could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for beating a black teen (though they ended up getting less than the max time)?
    There is no comparison between hanging nooses as racially insensitive as those are to knocking someone out from behind and then beating on him when he is unconscious. And nor is the argument no punishment was handed down defensible. It might not be enough for some, but the fact the students got suspended, had to deal with detentions on top of that, quarantined from other students, and go through mental evaluations showed the school took what they did very seriously and sent out a message to them that what they did was intolerable and they needed to be taught that.
    One of the Jena 6 is a serial offender who has been given multiple passes for his violent crimes.
    If Jena is so racist, how come Mychal Bell has been allowed to walk? How come he is never suspended or expelled from his school despite a bad rap sheet?
    If the noose hangers deserve to be expelled for what many argue to be inciting violent against others, what then about Bell who committed multiple crimes that actually involve assaults, battery, and destruction of property?
    If people are screaming racism because one white got let off easy for simple battery at private party incident (which both whites and blacks in the melee should arguably be arrested), then just remember Bell got let off so many times.
    Equal justice in this case would mean the white teenager offenders have to commit as many violent crimes as Bell before they can be tried as adults.
    What is fair is fair, right?
    Now, I don’t know if Jena is not racist or if it is racist.
    All I know is that those who marched for the Jena 6 have sacrificed all logic, rationale, and yes, fairness, in their demands.

  • TDT

    “Most of you whites here who are tripping all over yourself to cry foul and demand justice for the whites involved fail to realize the gravity of such racism; whether its overt as seen with the nooses, or whether its less apparent, like black students asking for fair handling of the noose incindent, or even more disturbing, like the black student being charged with attempted murder when his victim was able to attend ring ceremony hours later.”
    I am not white, nor am I black. But Asian. And I have seen racism from both (more so from whites than blacks, though the racism comes from small percentage of both groups, and not indicative of how they are as a whole).
    But I would like to say that those who support the Jena 6 on this have no credibility with me on this. None. Actually, if there is less than zero, I would say that.
    Do you realize how those who defend the Jena 6 look when they make remarks like since the victim was able to attend a ring ceremony later on that night after what he suffered?
    Cruel, insensitive, heartless are words that do even begin how those words come across. And for them to demand hate crimes be prosecuted, yet give those guys a pass on this speak also to their own racism that they won’t acknowledge and are not looking at themselves in the mirror.
    Look, the reason why the student was not worse than he was is because people put a stop to the beatdown before it got much worse. But he was still in alot of pain while he was picking up his ring, which he was not going to let anything stop him from doing so. Had the roles been reverse, people would not make such an asinine, borderline remarks that he attended a ceremony, so it must not be that bad. They would be applauding a black victim for being able to overcome the pain and injury he suffered to get what he dreamed of getting. Next time, people make these remarks need to put themselves in the shoes of the person who was assaulted. And also asked how much pain he was in. He was in alot by all accounts of the extent of his injuries, and would feel that way for weeks.
    And the arguments that sneakers don’t constitute a deadly weapon don’t wash. Not by a legal long shot.
    Try having someone stomp your head with sneakers on next time you claim it could not possibly be attempted murder. Or better try, having six people stomping and kicking at your head and body at the same time while you are still and defenseless. People have died as result of that kind of beatdown.
    The same Al Sharpton who make that claim you did on Jena 6 said sneakers are deadly weapons when the roles are reverse!
    Yes, racism exists in blacks, as well as whites. And for that matter in Asians.
    But to play the race card amounts to demanding a free pass for those who are guilty of a horrific crime. And it is inexcusable and reflects very poorly on those who make that demand. Should whites get to march for five teenagers in SC tried as adults and could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for beating a black teen (though they ended up getting less than the max time)?
    There is no comparison between hanging nooses as racially insensitive as those are to knocking someone out from behind and then beating on him when he is unconscious. And nor is the argument no punishment was handed down defensible. It might not be enough for some, but the fact the students got suspended, had to deal with detentions on top of that, quarantined from other students, and go through mental evaluations showed the school took what they did very seriously and sent out a message to them that what they did was intolerable and they needed to be taught that.
    One of the Jena 6 is a serial offender who has been given multiple passes for his violent crimes.
    If Jena is so racist, how come Mychal Bell has been allowed to walk? How come he is never suspended or expelled from his school despite a bad rap sheet?
    If the noose hangers deserve to be expelled for what many argue to be inciting violent against others, what then about Bell who committed multiple crimes that actually involve assaults, battery, and destruction of property?
    If people are screaming racism because one white got let off easy for simple battery at private party incident (which both whites and blacks in the melee should arguably be arrested), then just remember Bell got let off so many times.
    Equal justice in this case would mean the white teenager offenders have to commit as many violent crimes as Bell before they can be tried as adults.
    What is fair is fair, right?
    Now, I don’t know if Jena is not racist or if it is racist.
    All I know is that those who marched for the Jena 6 have sacrificed all logic, rationale, and yes, fairness, in their demands.

  • The kids that beat the boy werent racist?

    I really dont understand why everyone is crying about the six kids that BEAT A KID, being innocent! of course they need to be punished for this, they are the ones who were wrong, not the kid that was laying on the ground getting kicked and punched…

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  • Roy Dahlin

    I see all your documents and I know how the criminal justice system works. I myself have been subjected to this fundamentally flawed system. I have demonstrated incontrovertably to the judges, both at the trial level and appellate level how they violated their own rules & in breech of oath and fiduciary, but they ignore these allegations & go right on railroading w/ their own agenda.
    I viewed Walter’s remarks in his dismal attempt to set the record and it has nothing to do with the administration of justice that he claims. On the contrary, it has everything to do with his unlawful agenda.

  • Roy Dahlin

    The statements are unvarified & lack a notary. This stuff is mainly inadmissible.

  • TOO YOUNG TO BE SO TIRED

    I AM SO TIRED AND CONFUSED ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING BECAUSE SINCE WHEN DID SCHOOL FIGHTS BECOME 22 YEARS WORTH OF CRIME LOOK AT THIS SITUATION HOW U MAY THESE BOYS ARE CHILDREN AND SHOULD BE TREATED AND SENTENCED AS SUCH WE MUST AL LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE HERE THIS WAS NOT THE FIRST INCIDENT AND WHEN THIS ALL STARTED IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN AS FAR AS IT DID PARENTS AND OTHER ADULTS SHOULD BE FAULTED BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE U STEP IN THE THINGS THAT THESE STATEMENTS ARE SAYING COME ON.. I MEAN REALLY THINK PEOPLE THIS SCHOOL IS 10% BLACK AND 80% CAUCASIAN JUST LIKE WE ARE SUPPORTING OUR PEOPLE THEY WILL STAND BEHIND THEIRS, THESE GUYS ARE NOT BEING JUDGE BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS AND TO TOP ALL THIS OFF IT TAKES TWO TO FIGHT(WOW) AND FOR THE EX PREACHER UP TOP MAYBE YOUR ASLEEP BUT IM GONNA PRAY YOU WAKE UP BECAUSE THESE BOYS ARE HUMAN AND ONE MISTAKE SHOULD NOT DETERMINE THEIR FUTURE AS YOUNG AS THEY ARE AND LIKE I SAID JUST LIKE WERE PROTECTING OURS THEIR PROTECTING THEIRS
    I’M A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I’M AFRAID OF THE WORLD I LIVE IN ALREADY I HOPE TO ONE DAY BE A LAWYER AND MAYBE A POLITICIAN…… PEOPLE YOU SHOULD LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY AND LOVE PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU BUT IN THE MEAN TIME PRAY FOR YOURSELF,ME AND EACH OTHER

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