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Walmart security guard shoots 'shoplifting' mother dead in parking lot as she tries to escape with two young children

  • Shelly Frey was shot dead attempting to drive away from off-duty sheriff deputy Louis Campbell who suspected her of shoplifting 
  • He fired when Frey and her two alleged accomplices accelerated when he opened the car door
  • There were two small children in the car at the time of the shooting



A 27-year-old mother of two has been fatally shot by an off-duty sheriff's deputy after he suspected her of shoplifting at a Houston Walmart.

Harris County Sheriff's deputies have said that victim Shelly Frey, Tisa Andrews and Yolanda Craig  were stealing when they were confronted by Louis Campbell a 26-year veteran of the force who works as a security guard at the store.

According to Campbell the women ran to their car and when he rushed to open the door, they accelerated away - at which point he fired the deadly shot into the car which hit Frey in the neck.

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Shelly Frey [left and right) was shot in the neck and died after failing to stop for off-duty sheriff's deputy in Houston, Texas
Shelly Frey [left and right) was shot in the neck and died after failing to stop for off-duty sheriff's deputy in Houston, Texas

Shelly Frey (left and right) was shot in the neck and died after failing to stop for an off-duty sheriff's deputy in Houston, Texas

Security at the store on the 14000 block of the North Freeway had noticed the three women 'stuffing items inside their purses' and notified Campbell, who was working an extra job that evening.

Investigators with Harris County said the three women even attempted to pay for some small items to act as a cover for the shoplifted ones.

After chasing Frey and the other two women to their car, Campbell opened the door and commanded Frey to get out. But she refused, officials said




Andrews began to drive away while the deputy was standing between the open door and the driver's seat.

'She threw it in reverse and tried to run over the deputy,' said Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Deputy Thomas Gilliland.

'He confronted the suspects at exit of the store before they left. One female wouldn't stop, struck the deputy with her purse, ran off.'

'I think it knocked him off balance and, in fear of his life and being ran over, he discharged his weapon at that point.'

Tiasa Andrews, Yolanda Craig were arrested at 1300 block of Greens Parkway where their friend Shelly Frey had died from her gunshot wounds

Tiasa Andrews, Yolanda Craig were arrested at 1300 block of Greens Parkway where their friend Shelly Frey had died from her gunshot wounds


The Walmart store at 14000 block of the North Freeway in Houston where the alleged robbery occurred

The Walmart store at 14000 block of the North Freeway in Houston where the alleged robbery occurred

Inside the car as it was speeding away were two small children - investigators have said that they were not Frey's children.

Gilliland said it was clear that the deputy was law enforcement.

'He was clearly marked in uniform as a Harris County deputy. And identified himself as the suspects were leaving the establishment,' said Gilliland to KHOU.Com

Despite the shooting, the women fled but eventually they stopped at The Worthington at the Beltway apartments in the 1300 block of Greens Parkway.

Paramedics from the Houston Fire Department arrived to try and save Frey, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

'Shelly was the perfect mom, perfect friend, perfect daughter,' said her father, Shelton Frey.

He said that his daughter had moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina to start a new life, but the amount of work she could do was limited by her two-year-old who has sickle cell anemia.

The deceased's mother Sharon Wilkerson was devastated that the deputy fired into a car with two small children inside
The deceased's mother Sharon Wilkerson was devastated that the deputy fired into a car with two small children inside

The deceased's mother Sharon Wilkerson was devastated that the deputy fired into a car with two small children inside and killed her daughter

'Why couldn’t you just shoot the tire, shoot the window?' said her mother Sharon Wilkerson. 'Was it that serious?'

She added that even if her daughter had committed a crime, she did not deserve to die and she worries now for her two young grandchildren.

'How do I tell these children she's not coming back,' said Sharon.

'To me, it should never (have) happened. I wish the officer didn’t shoot her. I wish he shot her tires just to slow her down. That’s a mother you know. And now they have to figure out what to do with the kids,' said Angel Gaines, a neighbor.

Kesha Sapp, a woman who knew Frey, agreed.

'What that look like with him shooting with the darn kids in the car? There were kids in the car with them. Why is he shooting at the car? Come on now, that makes him look bad. That don’t even look right,' said Sapp.

Both Andrews and Craig, the two other women allegedly involved, have been charged with shoplifting.

Tragically, Frey wasn't even supposed to be at a Walmart that evening.

Earlier in the year she pleaded guilty to stealing shirts and a package of meat from another Walmart and as part of her plea arrangement she agreed to never enter Walmart stores again.

Deputy Campbell is on three days paid leave as is standard protocol. He's been with the Harris County Sheriff's Office for 26 years. 

The Harris County Sheriff's Homicide Unit, Office of the Inspector General and the Harris County District Attorney's Office will investigate this incident. The case will be turned over to a grand jury. 

Walmart offered the following statement: 'This is a tragic situation and we recognize this is a difficult time for all parties involved. We're committed to working with law enforcement and providing any information we have as they determine the facts of the case. Because this is an active investigation, any specific details of the incident should come from law enforcement.

'We hire off duty officers to provide security to some of our stores. While we have policies in place for our associates to disengage from situations that might put them or others in harm's way, off-duty officers working at a WM store are authorized to act in accordance with their department's code of conduct.'


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Fri Dec 07 19:16:37 PST 2012

Family: Mother suspected of shoplifting at Walmart didn’t deserve to die

A mother of two who was fatally shot by a deputy after she was suspected of shoplifting at Walmart didn’t deserve to die, her family said. view full article

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"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









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First Degree Murder Charges for Shooter of Florida Teen



4 hours ago

White motorist was arrested and charged with second degree murder and pleaded not guilty


A grand jury has indicted 46-year-old Florida software developer Michael Dunn for first-degree murder on Thursday in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, an unarmed, black high school student after an argument over loud rap music. Dunn, who is white, was arrested the day after the shooting, charged with second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty. The state attorney’s office later decided to upgrade the charges to first-degree murder. Dunn also faces charges of attempted murder for firing at Davis’ car, which contained three of the teen’s friends. People have drawn parallels between the Davis case and that of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Davis’ father has pledged to fight Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to defend themselves if they believe someone will hurt them. Dunn said he believed someone in Davis’ SUV pointed a shotgun at him, although police did not recover a weapon on the scene. (Reuters):


Charges upgraded to first degree murder in shooting of Florida teen


JACKSONVILLE, Florida | Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:59pm EST

(Reuters) - A grand jury indicted a Florida man for first degree murder on Thursday in the shooting death of an unarmed, black high school student last month after an argument over loud rap music.


Software developer Michael Dunn, 46, shot high school junior Jordan Davis, 17, through the window of a sport utility vehicle at a Jacksonville convenience store gas station on November 23, before driving away, authorities say.


Dunn, who is white, faces charges of attempted first degree murder for firing at the car which contained three other passengers, all friends of Davis.


Dunn was arrested the day after the shooting for second degree murder and pleaded not guilty. He was being held in Duval County without bond awaiting arraignment.


The state attorney's office later decided to upgrade the charge to first degree murder, which in Florida requires a grand jury decision.


Dunn's arraignment on the new charges is scheduled for December 17.

Davis's father, Ron Davis, has pledged to turn his son's shooting death into a crusade against guns and Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law which allows people to defend themselves if they "reasonably believe" someone will hurt them.


Widespread opposition to the law has emerged after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, also an unarmed, black 17-year-old, in February by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in central Florida. Zimmerman, whom police initially declined to arrest, will stand trial next June for murder.


Dunn's lawyer says he fired out of fear for his life when someone in the SUV brandished a shotgun and threatened him.


Dunn and his fiancé Rhonda Rouer were in Jacksonville on the night of the shooting to attend a wedding when they stopped at the store to buy a bottle of wine before returning to their hotel, authorities say. They parked next to the SUV containing Davis and his three friends who were listening to rap music on their way home after shopping at Black Friday sales at a mall.


Dunn asked the teens to turn down the volume of the music, but, his attorney said, the teens turned up the volume, threatened Dunn and brandished a shotgun. Dunn grabbed a pistol from the glove compartment of his car and opened fire, before driving away, authorities say. Police said no weapon was found on the teens.


Dunn was taken into custody at his oceanfront townhome about 170 miles south of Jacksonville the day after the shooting.


(Editing by David Adams and Mohammad Zargham)




Police Say Another Handcuffed Young Man Shot Himself in the Head

Man Shoots Himself While Handcuffed
It has happened again! Another African American male in handcuffs has managed to shoot himself, or at least that what police are saying. The first time it happened in Jonesboro, Arkansas where police claimed that Chavis Carter, 21, committed suicide while in the back of a patrol car. He supposedly shot himself in the head, while handcuffed.

Now it has happened again to a 17-year old from Harris, Texas. Apparently, he was being detained by police because a friend reported him as a suicide risk. While in the back of the patrol car in handcuffs, he reportedly shot himself but did not die. He is in critical condition.

This second case in Texas seems more credible than the first case in Arkansas because the young man was arrested for a suicide risk. But how did he manage to shoot himself while in handcuffs? And how did the police not find his gun when they searched him?

What do you think?

Maryland Mother Fights for Son who was Jailed for Defending Himself

Though Brandon Jackson was fending off a mob of white males, he was the one charged and jailed


In October of 2006,  21-year-old Brandon Jackson of Solomons, Maryland (pictured), was reportedly jumped by 7 to 8 White males.

Now, six years later, Brandon has been sentenced by a nearly all-White jury to 12 years in prison for attempted murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a weapon for simply defending himself.

Brandon’s mother, Gloria Fisher, spoke with NewsOne about how she won’t stop until she gets justice for Brandon.

Read the whole story and watch a video atNewsOne.

Miami Man Doused In Gasoline At Station, Set On Fire

Miami Man Set On Fire At Gas StationA man pumping gas at a station in Miami was doused with gasoline and set on fire Tuesday night, according to the Miami Herald.


SEE ALSO: The Year Democrats Got Their Groove Back

44-year-old Darrell Brackett (pictured) sustained third-degree burns in the attack and is fighting for his life at a local hospital.


Thursday afternoon, Bennett’s mother distributed flyers at the station, hoping somebody with information on who attacked her son will come forward.

“We are trying to think positive, but the next three days will be critical,’’ Bridgett Brackett said.


Brackett and his girlfriend had stopped at the U-Gas station in Brownsville after running out of fuel. Around 11:30 p.m., a man approached Brackett, grabbed the gas can he was carrying, and doused him in the liquid before setting him on fire. Brackett ran into the street, where a Good Samaritan helped him into a grassy area where he dropped and rolled until the flames were out. Almost 50 percent of his body was covered in burns.


Miami-Dade authorities are investigating the incident as a potential homicide, thought they have no leads as of this writing. It has been reported that Brackett had some brief words with some men prior to the attack, but it is not known if they played a role or if this was a random assault.



Brackett was rushed to the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where doctors performed bedside surgery to relieve pressure from acquired fluids. Next, Brackett will undergo another operation where doctors will temporarily add in skin from a pig cadaver. New, permanent skin will be taken from parts of his body that went unscathed in the attack. The road to recovery won’t be easy, doctors say.


“He has some burns over some critical joints particularly elbows, hands…..This is going to be a lifelong process,”  Dr. Carl Schulman, a trauma surgeon at the center said.


Charles Dinkins, a local pastor from nearby Hosanna Community Baptist Church, noted how frequently these incidents happen.

“It’s just tragic in terms of how this occurred, and even more tragic is we in the community have become so accustomed to seeing shootings and death, that to some extent, we view it as being normal.”


Bridgett noted that while her son has a rap sheet for multiple drug offenses, he had pulled his life together and was not known for starting trouble.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade County’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 305-471-8477.

  You know that's been happening in Cali lately.  Had a man in my hometown of Pasadena dosed with gas and lit on fire and again in the valley  where a homeless woman was set on fire by a brotha around 30 something.  All in the last week or so. The man looked deranged.  He was caught by a passerby who followed him while calling the police.  They think he is involved in both incidents.  It is something in the holiday season that is causing folks to go nuts? 

Texas Man’s Murder Conviction Overturned, Sits In Prison 30 Years Waiting On Re-Trial

Jerry Hartfield

In this Dec. 11, 2012 photo, Jerry Hartfield speaks from a visiting area at the Hughes Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice outside Gatesville, Texas. Hartfield remains in the middle of a legal dispute between the Texas attorney general’s office, which insists he’s being legally held, and a federal appeals court that says he’s been wrongly imprisoned for 30 years. Hartfield was convicted in 1977 of killing a woman in Bay City, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)

GATESVILLE, Texas (AP) — Jerry Hartfield was still a young man when an uncle visited him in prison to tell him that his murder conviction had been overturned and he would get a new trial.

Not long afterward, he was moved off of death row.

“A sergeant told me to pack my stuff and I wouldn’t return. I’ve been waiting ever since for that new trial,” Hartfield, now 56, said during a recent interview at the prison near Gatesville where he’s serving life for the 1976 robbery and killing of a Bay City bus station worker. He says he’s innocent.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield’s murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, and on March 15, 1983 – 11 days after the court’s second rejection – then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield’s sentence to life in prison.

At that point, with Hartfield off death row and back in the general prison population, the case became dormant.

“Nothing got filed. They had me thinking my case was on appeal for 27 years,” said Hartfield, who is described in court documents as an illiterate fifth-grade dropout with an IQ of 51, but who says he has since learned to read and has become a devout Christian.

A federal judge in Houston recently ruled that Hartfield’s conviction and sentence ceased to exist when the appeals court overturned them – meaning there was no sentence for White to commute. But Hartfield isn’t likely to go free or be retried soon because the state has challenged a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision favorable to Hartfield, arguing he missed a one-year window in which to appeal aspects of his case.

A 5th Circuit panel of the New Orleans court agreed with the district court in an October ruling, but last month it made a rare, formal request to the Texas appeals court asking it to confirm its decades-old decision to overturn Hartfield’s conviction.

Hartfield’s current attorney, Kenneth R. Hawk II, recently described the case as a “one-in-a-million” situation in which an inmate has been stuck in the prison system for more than three decades because no one seems to know what to do with him.

“When you see it, it’s kind of breathtaking,” he said. “It was tough story for him so far and it’s not over yet. … The bottom line is the commutation came after a mandate was issued. It wasn’t valid and it’s time for him to get a new trial.”

Several factors appear to have contributed to Hartfield’s unusual predicament.

Hartfield said that when his uncle read him the article about his conviction being overturned, he didn’t fully grasp the meaning of it. Furthermore, Hartfield’s trial lawyers, who worked on his initial appeal, stopped representing him once his death sentence was commuted, said Robert Scardino, who was the lead trial attorney.

“When governor commuted the sentence, that’s when our obligations to Hartfield ended,” Scardino said.

Hartfield was 21 in June 1977 when he was convicted of murdering 55-year-old Eunice Lowe, a bus station ticketing agent who was beaten with a pickaxe and robbed. Her car and nearly $3,000 were stolen. Lowe’s daughter found her body in a storeroom at the station.

At the time, Hartfield, who grew up in Altus, Okla., had been working on the construction of a nuclear power plant near Bay City, which is about 100 miles southwest of Houston. He was arrested within days in Wichita, Kan., and while being returned to Texas, he made a confession to officers that he calls “a bogus statement they had written against me.” That alleged confession was among the key evidence used to convict Hartfield, along with an unused bus ticket found at the crime scene that had his fingerprints on it and testimony from witnesses who said he had talked about needing $3,000.

Scardino said he tried using an insanity defense for Hartfield and that psychiatrists called by the defense described Hartfield as “as crazy a human being as there was.”

Virginia Higdon, who lived next door to Lowe and knew her most of her life, told the AP that she spoke to Lowe the day she was killed and her friend complained of about a man who refused to leave the station.

“‘I can’t get rid of this guy. He’s just sitting there eating candy, a bag of candy,’” Higdon said her friend told her. “And it was Jerry Hartfield.”

She said it’s “absurd” that Hartfield might ever be released or retried.

Jurors deliberated for 3 1/2 hours before convicting Hartfield of murder and another 20 minutes to decide he should die, Scardino said. He said the jury foreman later told him the jurors were “all farmers and ranchers down here, and when one of our animals goes crazy, we shoot it.”

Matagorda County District Attorney Steven Reis said with the appeal still pending, it’s premature to discuss a possible retrial of Hartfield. Lowe’s killing was particularly bloody and investigators found semen on her body, but Reis declined to say whether there was crime scene evidence from the case that could undergo DNA testing, which wasn’t available when Lowe was killed.

Scardino said that if Hartfield’s confession, which he believes authorities illegally obtained, is allowed at a retrial, Hartfield risks being sent back to death row.

“You have to think: Why would you undo something like that now when you might be looking at something like the death penalty?” he said.

But in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed executing mentally impaired people, a threshold generally accepted as below the IQ of 70.

Hartfield insists that he’s not angry that he’s spent nearly all of his entire adult life locked up, and he says he holds no grudges.

“Being a God-fearing person, he doesn’t allow me to be bitter,” he said. “He allows me to be forgiving. The things that cause damage to other people, including myself, that’s something I have to forgive.

“In order to be forgiven, you have to forgive.”

Tyler Perry offers $100K reward for answers in cold cases of 2 missing Florida men


(Naples Daily News, William DeShazer/ Associated Press ) - Marcia Roberts, the mother of Terrance Williams, reacts after an unidentified person comes forward with information during a news conference to discuss the special missing-person investigations of Williams and Felipe Santos, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at the Collier County South Regional Library in East Naples, Fla.


Filmmaker Tyler Perry is offering a $100,000 reward for information in the decade-old case of the two men, who went missing after separate encounters with Collier County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Calkins. The man stepped from the front of the crowd to tell Perry something, indicating he had information to offer.


Video Captures Death of CVS Toothpaste ShoplifterUpdated January 17, 2013 8:30am

CHICAGO — Chilling video has surfaced of the 2010 choking death of a homeless shoplifter at the hands of a CVS store manager who chased him into an alley.

And a U.S. congressman is now calling for a special investigation into the death of 35-year-old Anthony Kyser, who stole toothpaste from the drug store before his death nearly three years ago.

The grainy surveillance video from the alley near the Little Village CVS was obtained from a source by Chicago.

It shows Kyser's final minutes on May 8, 2010, and the beginning of the police investigation into the case. No charges were filed in Kyser's death, which police ruled an accident. CVS has said the manager acted in self-defense after being attacked by Kyser.

The video appears to capture Kyser fleeing to the alley with the store manager close behind him. There's a brief struggle before Kyser hits the pavement, with the store manager on top of him.

Another man appears to punch and kick Kyser, at one point stepping down on his hand while the store manager remains atop Kyser. More bystanders join in, helping to hold Kyser down. Eventually, Kyser stops flailing his legs, the video shows.

A police officer arrives minutes later, followed by more cops and then an ambulance. But emergency responders are unable to revive Kyser.

Sprawled on the pavement, Kyser's dead body remains in the frame when the recording stops.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death a homicide. But police decided it was an accident and no charges were filed. 

"The video was reviewed by detectives as part of their investigation at the time," Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said. "It was determined that criminal charges were not warranted."

Kyser's mother, Ann Marie Kyser, filed a lawsuit claiming the store manager committed battery and that CVS is liable. That case is still pending in Cook County Circuit Court. The video has been discussed in sworn statements taken as part of the case.

"The video shows that Anthony Kyser was being choked by the CVS store manager and that no one did anything to help," said Jack Kennedy, an attorney with Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith & Montgomery, the law firm representing Kyser's mother.

"I think it’s appalling that CVS maintains that an employee can choke someone to death if they steal from a CVS store."

A CVS spokesman would only tell that the company does not comment on pending litigation. An attorney representing CVS and the store manager did not return calls for comment.

But in court filings in the civil case, CVS lawyers argue Kyser punched the store manager — identified in court papers at Pedro Villanova — in the face and the manager was acting in self-defense.

Through his attorney, Villanova acknowledges he "held onto Anthony Kyser on the ground while defending himself after being struck," according to court records.

In a deposition, Villanova said: "As soon as I got hit by Mr. Kyser, that's when it went from I'm here trying to recover the product and he can leave to all of a sudden he just punched me, so now I need to defend myself."

In court filings, Villanova acknowledges his "arm came into contact with decedent Anthony Kyser's throat" and he heard Kyser say "I can't breathe."

Soon after Kyser's death, an outraged U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, sent a letter to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez demanding action for the "brutality visited upon a homeless man."

Rush now says his "calls for justice" were not heeded. Now, after being shown the video by, he said he hopes its release will reopen the investigation.

"This videotape ... presents an undeniable moment where [his] life was snatched from him," he said after viewing the footage. "Thank God for the videotape."

Rush compared the way Chicago authorities handled the Kyser case to the case of David Koschman, who died in 2004 of a head injury he suffered when Richard J. "R.J." Vanecko knocked him to the ground with one punch during a Division Street encounter, authorities say.

"You see in Koschman to Kyser a pattern of flagrant disregard for justice," he said.

Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of involuntary manslaughter only after the case was assigned to a special prosecutor following a series of stories by the Sun-Times.

anthony kyser

Anthony Kyser, 35, died after being choked in an alley behind a Little Village CVS in 2010, says an attorney representing the man's mother. His crime was stealing toothpaste.


Rush is calling on Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans to "open a special investigation" and appoint a special prosecutor.

"The store manager who killed [Kyser] is walking around today free as a bird," he said. "Anthony Kyser is crying from his grave for justice."


Read more:

Parents Keep Fighting For Slain Son On One Year Anniversary [VIDEO]

ramarley graham one year later rally
Even though Constance Malcolm (pictured center left) and Franclot Graham’s (pictured center right) buried their 18-year-old son last year, after he was shot by the NYPD, the two parents managed to show a powerful resilience on their son’s anniversary, one that proved they were stronger than the tragedy that changed their lives forever.

RELATED: Ramarley Graham Update: Cop Who Killed Teen Turns Himself In

Ramarley Graham Shooting

On Febraury 2, 2013, the one-year anniversary of their son Ramarley Graham’s (pictured above) murder, the duo kept things together for the crowd that showed up to rally for the 18-year old at the home where his life abruptly ended. It was this very house Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit officer Richard Haste chased young Ramarley into. Haste and colleagues were staking out a nearby bodega suspected as a front for drug activity, when Ramarley exited and began fidgeting with what Haste claimed looked like a gun in his waistband.

After identifying themselves as police officers, Ramarley reportedly bolted for his grandmother’s second-floor apartment in the three-story house. Cameras show Ramarley calmly entering the home, with Officer Haste frantically running after him and breaking down the front door. Sargent Scott Morris was also at the scene.

Watch the surveillance video of the cops pursuing Ramarley here:

A brief struggle in the upstairs bathroom between Ramarley and Haste culminated in a gunshot wound to the chest that ended a life full of promise. Perhaps the only crime Ramarley committed was reportedly flushing marijuana down the toilet when he was shot.

As is often the case with these types of incidents, no weapon was found on Ramarley’s body.

Ramarley Graham Shooting

On Saturday, the crowd rallied around the parents at 749. E 229th Street in the Bronx’s Wakefield section to remind them that they weren’t alone in their grief. And as Franclot and Constance lead the group in protest to the 47th Precinct Haste and Morris operate from, they showed that they were committed to getting justice for their son.

Constance marched with a sign that read, “NYPD, We Are Tired Of Hearing, ‘I Thought He Had A Gun’” while Franclot chanted, “I Am Ramarley!”

Watch video of Franclot Graham and Constance Malcolm marching for Ramarley here:

“I miss when Ramarley would go cut his hair and come back and he [didn't] wanna say, ‘Mom, look at me,’” Constance reminisced about her son.  “He just [stood] there and [had] his hand brushing the top of his head, like, ‘I’m cute. Look at me.’”ramarley graham one year later rally

“In the morningtime, nobody [got] to sleep in the house because the music [was] blasting because he loved music. These are the things I’m gonna miss. Sometimes I might oversleep now because the music’s not on. I knew once the music came on I had to get up because it was blasting so loud.”

Ramarley was also shy around the ladies, a side that his mother had never seen. “We didn’t know he had a girlfriend. She used to call the house, but I didn’t know who she was. And I was like, Why [is] this young girl calling the house when she’s supposed to be in school? But she was actually calling him to walk her to school, which I didn’t know until after he passed.”

After leading protests for Haste’s dismissal at the precinct, Constance and Franclot lead the group to  Crawford Memorial Methodist Church, where Ramarley’s funeral was held. Here, Ramarley’s parents made it clear that this protest march wasn’t just for their boy.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. (pictured below center), whose elderly father was shot dead by White Plains officers in his apartment in November 2011, and Juanita Young, whose unarmed son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed by NYPD officers in March 2000, among others, also spoke out.

This wasn’t just a rally to remind people of a kid whose only crime was having marijuana on him, it was for all victims of senseless police violence.

RELATED: Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Killed By Cops, Case Goes Before Grand Jury

“With the support of the people, [they] keep me going,” Constance said. “Fighting for justice for Ramarley, and not just for Ramarley, for all the other victims and the people [who] didn’t get victimized yet [who] gonna be victimized. Me being out there, talking to people, other family members that’s in the same situation as me — that’s what keeps me going.”

“We wanted to remind people not to be sad but to look at this as a turning point in terms of trying to educate other people what to do and what not to do when stopped by the police,” said Khadijah Shakur, a member of the New Black Panther Party. “We had members of the Central Park Five that were here, so it was good that they came here today to commemorate the life and legacy of Ramarley Graham, to let people know that he didn’t die in vain.”

ramarley graham one year later rally

“It’s important when families stand up and fight for justice,” Jason Corley, a rally participant from Jamaica, Queens, commented outside the church. But participating in the march was more personal for Corley because police violence has hit close to home.

“Back in 1994, a person I went to school with, his cousin, was killed by the police. That same year, a kid that I grew up with was killed by the police — hanged at the 6th Precinct. He was literally hanged in his cell.

“They say he committed suicide. They said there was a belt in his cell that was found around his neck. Yet he was wearing loafers, no shoelaces, and his pants didn’t have belt latches; he wasn’t wearing a belt. These incidents made me personally aware of police brutality.”

Even after the church speakout ended and people began leaving, Constance’s spirit persevered. “We have the court day, which is March 26th. That’s another hearing, and after that hearing, we[re] gonna get started on the trial,” she noted.

“The indictment was last year, but indictment doesn’t mean anything. A conviction is what we want. We are not accepting anything less than a conviction for Richard Haste because of the crime he committed. He was a criminal when he committed this crime. So he should be treated as a criminal.”

RELATED: Ramarley Graham: NYPD Officer Indicted On Manslaughter Charges For Shooting Death Of Unarmed Teen

ramarley graham one year later rally








Mr. McNeil talks to reporters upon his release. [Photo by N. Kasravi)John McNeil, the Georgia man arrested and sentenced to life for defending his own home, agreed to a plea bargain and a charge of voluntary manslaughter in court today. He was released from prison today.

The NAACP has been involved in this case on the state, local and national levels for years. NAACP leaders made the following statements in reaction to his release:

“Today John McNeil walks out of prison a free man, though the damage has been done,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “While we would have preferred John to be exonerated based on self-defense, we are thankful that he can return home to be with his two sons and start his life over. His release today is a bittersweet victory because he also returns home in sorrow following the recent death of his loving wife Anita who fought for his release until her last breath."

“The court’s decision is an acknowledgement that John McNeil was convicted in error, and that error took far too long to be rectified,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “No man – regardless of color – should have to go through such an ordeal. While the reduced charge is still too harsh, we are glad that he will be able to return home to his children.”

“On the eve of Lent, and the 104th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP, which began as an organization fighting against the false and unjust convictions of African-American men, the Georgia criminal justice system has engaged in a kind of partial repentance,” stated NAACP North Carolina State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.  “While John pleaded to a lesser charge, the criminal justice system in Georgia and America still remains guilty of the greater charge of continuing disparities and inequities in the sentencing, convictions and imprisonment of African-Americans, minorities and poor whites. While we are happy that John is free, we remain ever committed to continue the work of making our judicial system fair for all.”

Barber continued: “The NAACP does not endorse violence, and none of us, especially John and his family, are happy about the loss of life. We pray for the Epps family.

“The George State Conference NAACP is relieved that John McNeil is free,” stated NAACP Georgia State Conference President Edward Dubose. “It is clearly long overdue, considering that John McNeil’s only crime is defending his son and home while being black. While we celebrate John’s freedom we are equally saddened that Anita McNeil’s death occurred before John could walk free. Now that John is free we are committed to completely clearing his name. We must put an end to this unequal justice system that forces African Americans to take guilty pleas even when they are innocent.”

In 2006, McNeil was convicted for shooting Brian Epp on his property after Mr. Epp threatened his son with a box cutter and charged at John, with the weapon in his pocket.  Two white investigating officers concluded that McNeil did not commit a crime, but 294 days after the incident McNeil was charged with murder and sentenced to life in prison.

On September, 25th, 2012 a Georgia Superior Court Judge granted McNeil’s petition for habeas corpus based on ineffective counsel, noting that, among other things, John’s trial attorney, “failed to request charges based on the theories of defense of habitation and/or defense of property.” But Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens appealed the ruling and McNeil remains in prison. After today’s plea bargain, McNeil will remain on parole for 14 years.

McNeil’s wife Anita McNeil, who has been outspoken in support of her husband and criticism of his imprisonment, passed away earlier this month.

The campaign for John McNeil’s freedom was started by his local NAACP branch in Wilson, NC, which convinced the North Carolina NAACP, Georgia NAACP State Conference, Cobb County NAACP and national NAACP to take up the fight.




To send a letter welcoming Mr. McNeil Home:



Write a note we can share with him


John McNeil has been released from prison and is heading home to be with his two sons. Sadly, they will also mourn the loss of his late wife, Anita McNeil, who lost her battle with cancer on February 2nd.


Send John McNeil a note welcoming him home and telling him that you still support clearing his name completely for the crime he did not commit.









Chicago Girl Killed Same Day Sister Sat Behind President Obama

Janay Mcfarlane barack obama chicagoCHICAGO — An 18-year-old Chicago woman was killed the same day her sister had sat on the stage behind President Barack Obama, listening to him push for gun control legislation.

Janay Mcfarlane was shot once in the head around 11:30 p.m. Friday in North Chicago, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd told the Chicago Sun-Times ( Mcfarlane, a mother of a 3-month-old boy, was in the Chicago suburb visiting friends and family.

North Chicago police said two people are being questioned in connection with Mcfarlane’s death, but no charges have been filed.

“I really feel like somebody cut a part of my heart out,” Angela Blakely, Mcfarlane’s mother, said.

Blakely said the bullet that killed Mcfarlane was meant for a friend.

Hours earlier, Mcfarlane’s 14-year-old sister was feet from Obama at Hyde Park Career Academy, where he spoke about gun violence and paid tribute to Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old honor student fatally shot last month in a South Side park. Police have said it was a case of mistaken identity, and two people have been charged.

Pendleton’s death was one of more than 40 homicides in Chicago in January, a total that made it the deadliest January in the city in more than a decade. Pendleton, a drum majorette, had recently performed during Obama’s inauguration and the slaying happened about a mile from his Chicago home.

Blakely told the newspaper that Janay Mcfarlane had been affected by Pendleton’s death.

“She always said after Hadiya Pendleton got killed, `Momma that’s so sad,’” Blakely said. “She was always touched by any kid that got killed. She was always touched by mothers who couldn’t be there for their babies because they were gone.”

Mcfarlane was supposed to graduate from an alternative school this spring, Blakely said, and wanted to go into the culinary arts.

“I’m just really, truly just trying to process it – knowing that I’m not taking my baby home anymore,” Blakely said.

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Daddy killed two black men’: Florida man charged with killings allegedly witnessed by daughter


A Florida man is charged in the deaths of two men after his daughter told her mother she witnessed the killings.

Laureano “Larry” Romero’s arrest report indicates his daughter said she saw him shoot DeAngelo Cox, 22, and Nick Lewis, 21, on Tuesday at a home in the Taft area.

Romero, 39, was arrested and faces two first-degree murder charges.

According to the report, the girl told her mother, “Daddy killed two black men.” Deputies said it was Romero’s mother who called authorities to report what her granddaughter said she saw.

Other witnesses apparently told deputies they saw Romero drive away from his Taft home after the shootings.

Marina Marraco, WESH reporting

Last edited by sunnubian

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