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To: DA Jason Williams: Exonerate Reginald "lil Reg" Johnson Who Was Wrongfully Incarcerated At 15.
Black Mental Health Has ALWAYS BEEN Incarcerated. Even When It's A Child.
On Feb. 3rd, 1984, a 15 year old Reginald Johnson was arrested for a rape that he and his alleged victim said he didn't commit. The arresting officer, Myron Evans, tried to force the victim to say Reginald raped her and make her do a rape kit but she declined and continued to say no. He falsified documents, Reggie went to court and in October of 1984 in front of a jury not of his peer with no evidence and no witnesses, not even the alleged victim, Reggie was convicted. He was a 15 year old Black boy.
At at 7 year's old, Reggie's favorite auntie was strung out on drugs and would choose him to tie her arm with the band so she could shoot up. TRAUMA.
At 9 year's old, Reggie's mama went out to the store for ice cream leaving him to supervise his baby sister, Kenya who was fast asleep in her crib (an aunt and uncle were there, too). When Reggie when to check on her, her realized Kenya wasn't moving/breathing so he tried to move her. He yelled for his aunt and uncle telling them she was dead and they said she was asleep. He rebutted she wasn't (by this time he had climbed in the bed with her and picked up her limp body), and when they came in the room, he was holding his dead sister, crying inconsolably.
At age 12, Reggie would be held at gunpoint and German Sheppard and forced to watch his mama be gang raped by 2 men. Her only focus was Reggie, letting him know that she was okay and that she loved him as tears rolled down both of their faces.
This on-going trauma left Reginald depressed, angry, displaced, empty, anxious, frustrated, and co-dependent on drugs to self-medicate. He got a girl pregnant and while his parents tried to help him, they couldn't continue to support his habit so he did the only thing he thought he could to block the pain and that was to start robbing. The woman who the police lied and said he raped, he had actually robbed and admitted to robbing and she actually said he robbed her. But that wasn't good enough for Officer Evans.
So, in 1984, another Black mother and father's Black son and a Black child's Black father was stripped away from them and thrown in Angola State Penitentiary for a crime he didn't commit. MAN CHILD.
Why is this important?
Mental health for Black people can't continue to be policed, criminalized and/or incarcerated. Especially not when they are allowing white men to freely surrender from spaces after they have knowingly just murdered citizens who happened to be Black and are taken on a joy ride to get food just to add insult to injury or able to freely walk across state lines with assault weapons and murder citizens who happen to be Black and we can go on.
So what about people like Reginald Johnson who didn't commit the crime at all? Who didn't take a plea because he wasn't guilty? Where is his reprieve? Today he is still on parole. He is on his 3rd marriage. Stability is a thing he fights for every single day because at any given moment he believes that it can be taken away from him because all of his life it has. Doesn't he deserve his FREEDOM? Let's help him secure that.
Reginald can't get 27 years and 8 months of his life back. He can't get Kenya back. He can't get back the time he had to watch his mama be raped or tie his aunt's arm to aid in her getting high, but we can help him get his name back, his freedom back and move forward with a clean slate with his daughter, stepchildren, wife, grandchildren, his positive mental health and wealth and the work he continues to do serving youth through his organization YORRA--Youth Offenders to Reformed and Responsible Adults. Who Better...
How it will be delivered
We are asking Color of Change to raise their platform and ensure this brother's face illuminates the universe. We will also use our social media platforms and tag the DAs office in them so he is again clear of what he also promised to Reginald as he promised to August Williams and lied.