Meet the Jena Six:
"In September 2006, a group of African American high school students in Jena, Louisiana, asked the school for permission to sit beneath a "whites only" shade tree. There was an unwritten rule that blacks couldn't sit beneath the tree. The school said they didn't care where students sat. The next day, students arrived at school to see three nooses (in school colors) hanging from the tree."( from http://www.whileseated.org/photo/003244.shtml)
Timeline/details of the case (from Friends of Justice)
- When black students staged an impromptu protest under the tree on
Wednesday, September 6, 2006, a school assembly was hastily convened. Flanked by police officers, District Attorney Reed Walters warned black students that additional unrest would be treated as a criminal matter. According to multiple witnesses, Walters warned the black student protestors that, "I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of my pen." This was widely interpreted as a reference to the filing of charges carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.
- Shortly after the lunch hour of
Monday, December 4, 2006, a fight between a white student and a black student reportedly ended with the white student being knocked to the floor.Several black students reportedly attacked the white student as he lay unconscious.Because the incident took place in a crowded area and was over in a matter of seconds eye witness accounts vary widely.Written statements from students closest to the scene (in space and time) suggest that the incident was sparked by an angry exchange in the gymnasium moments before in which the black student assaulted at the Fair Barn was taunted for having his “ass whipped”.
- The victim of the attack is close friends of the boys who have admitted to hanging the nooses in September of 20
- Within an hour of the fight, six black students were arrested and charged with aggravated battery. According to The Jena Times, at least a dozen teachers subsequently threatened a "sick-out" if discipline was not restored to the school. According to the
Talk, District Attorney Reed Walters responded to the teacher's threat by upping the charges on the six boys to attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder—charges carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. Alexandria Town
Petition to demand the intervention of the Department of Justice