Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WANTED!!! Mothers Whose Unarmed Sons Were Killed By Law Enforcement Urge Nationwide Network...Free Rally 12/29/2008 In Chattanooga,TN

*For Immediate Release*

USA, Friday, December 12, 2008

Dr. Marćia Riley – Atlanta, GA

“Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To

Justice Everywhere”

Numerous civil rights organizations across the United States agree that abuse of power by law enforcement and judicial departments has seriously violated the freedom and rights of its citizens.

Cases where law enforcement authorities allegedly violated victims’ civil rights increased by 25% from 2001 to 2007 according to statistics from the US Department of Justice (“Police Brutality Cases up 25%,” USA Today, December 18, 2007). The national average among large police departments for excessive-force complaints was 9.5% per 100 full-time officers (The New York Times, November 15, 2007). But shockingly, the majority of law enforcement officers were not prosecuted when accused of physical brutality, abuse of power or even homicide. And based on figures released by the US Department of Justice in October 2007, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported 2,002 arrest-related deaths between 2003 and 2005.

With these facts, it is obvious why justice of the US judicial system is increasingly put in question. With these facts, it is obvious that law enforcement officers need strict accountability for their behavior. And with these facts, it is obvious why a small group of moms have decided it’s time for change.

On December 29, 2008, four mothers whose unarmed sons were killed by law enforcement while in custody will hold a gathering to commemorate the lives of their sons and start a movement for change. They urge people who share their concern nationwide to join them.

From their painful experience, they are determined to share and educate other mothers as well as grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, nieces to work to form a united collective movement for change.

Loretta Prater’s son, Leslie, was killed in Tennessee when a citizen called the police after seeing him get out of his car and pull off his clothes. Two independent autopsy reports concluded homicide by positional asphyxia though the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported ‘excited delirium’ as the cause of death. Sandra Robertson’s 19-year old son, John, died from five shots – two in the back. He bled to death on the sidewalk in Arizona. Marćia Riley’s 22-year old son, Marcus, was dead within less than 48 hours of being arrested in Texas. Jailers initially claimed that he committed suicide. Connie Riding was devastated when her 25 year-old son, Derek, was shamelessly killed by officers in Delaware after having served two tours of military duty fighting for our country. Helpless and paralyzed from taser blasts, he was shot three times. And Cynthia White’s unarmed son, Brandon, died immediately from a shot in the temple during a traffic stop.

These mothers are aware that good officers exist within the system; however, there’s an “epidemic” of fear which has engulfed them to silence. It’s the bad officers and jailers who are the focus of their grassroot efforts. It’s the supervisors who knowingly turn a blind eye to these heinous killings; it’s the taxpayers who lose valuable dollars through court costs and lawsuit settlements; and it’s families who are plagued with a lifetime of grief.

The kick-off event will be held on December 29, 2008 starting 6:30pm at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall on 2305 East 3rd Street in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Phone 423-624-9097). The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Further Information Can Be Obtained From:

Dr. Loretta Prater ( – 573-979-1849

Dr. Marćia Riley ( )
(Special Community Feature/Each Son’s Story and Photos)
(International Events Board) (National News Board)

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Background Facts On Each Mom:
Dr. Loretta Prater - offers an Endowed Memorial Scholarship through the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Tennessee in Leslie’s name; conducts sensitivity seminars to new police cadets.

Ms. Sandra Robertson - counsels victims of domestic violence; serves on the Foster Care Review Board

Dr. Marćia Riley - conducts pro bono programs for youth groups; provides “free” online resources on self-development and goal setting.

Ms. Connie Hale – assists with sensitivity seminars for new police cadets.

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