9.21.2007

Jena 6: The District Attorney

Reed Walters is the District Attorney overseeing case involving the Jena 6 in LA. Walters has been the DA in the Louisiana 28th Judicial District since 1990. Shortly after the hanging of nooses in a schoolyard tree by several white students, a rash of racially charged fights continually resulted in the involvement of local law enforcement intervening at the behest of school officials. In an apparent attempt to stop the on campus tensions DA Walters came to the school and spoke in an assembly setting. Pretty well established reports quote the DA saying that he could "take away lives" of the students "with the stroke of this pen".

The irony of this statement in light of the overcharging of 6 high school students for a school yard fight is not lost on many of the people involved and those watching and reporting on the story. Here is an attorney who made a threat to use his power to oppress students and then used his power of prosecutorial discretion to charge teenagers with 2nd degree attempted murder and conspiracy for what should have been simple battery.

And there is more. DA Walters also served as the School Board's counsel. Walters was involved in the meeting at which the Jena 6 were expelled from school. In what was the first meeting for more than half of the Board the DA told the members that they could not read the schools investigation materials and could not speak to the Jena 6 for legal reasons. Link to transcript for interview with Board Member Billy Fowler.

The DA has used his power to both remove these students from their local school system and was on the verge of putting them away for many years, with a stroke of his pen.

Here is a link to a video of the little bugger explaining how the case he has brought against the teens is about justice, not race.

1 comment:

America said...

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3636498