Dear Shamako Noble:
My wife Heather showed me your "Open Letter to the Seattle Times and
Levi Pulkkien: Joel Bernard Perry is not a Gang Member." The mother
Sandra Kellar is a good friend of both my wife and myself.
I spoke at his sentencing hearing and promised the immediate release of
Joel as a result of my soon to be published research findings. The
Honorable Judge Robert whom I am no stranger to was bound by stiff
sentencing guidelines handed down and written in to law without the
presence nor competent representation of the Black Communities in
America. However, this did not culminate as planned due to the fact that
I was unaware that Joel Benard Perry had waived his right to an appeal.
In my experience these cases have to go through at minimum three (3)
appeals before such harsh sentencing can be granted an override. Sandra
says after the hearing that Joel was tricked and coerced into waiving
his right to appeal. This is not uncommon but it would have helped me in
his case to have known prior hand.
It's quite obvious that the laws are written void of our Black cultural
representation which my studies have revealed to account for a lot of
the problems we have as a people. Especially the disparities in
sentencing and the disproportionate incarceration ratios for Black
males. I am working national with a group of devout Black Intellectuals
and dedicated brothas to change this. We could use your help.
Understanding these systems and how they work against us that are in
place in stealth mode until it's to late is the key to make a
difference. This is no coincidence but rather by design.
I see you've launched the only viable remaining campaign to gain the
freedom and justice for Joel Benard Perry. Only public outcry and
merited behavior inside the prison can lessen his maximum sentence now
once its handed down by the court. I commend you and your bold
Please consider being my guest-host on the Radio Show soon?
email email@example.com with questions and concerns.
I would like a three episode minimum if possible and preferably
in succession. Thanks in advance and God Bless!
Min. W.D. Patterson
Wardell D. Patterson, [UW SR. CLASS 2001 GIFT COUNCIL]
"As a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer..."
===included message below
Open Letter to the Seattle PI Re: Joel Bernard Perry
Fri at 12:56pm
Open Letter to the Seattle Times and Levi Pulkkien: Joel Bernard Perry
is not a Gang Member.
Jenny A. Durkan
I am supporter of Joel Bernard Perry and his mother, and I was present
the day of the sentencing.
While I appreciate the effort, Levi Pulkkinen’s article, “Seattle gang
member sentenced on drug charges” is incomplete at best, irresponsible
journalism at its worst. The article presented information that isn’t
true, left out crucial parts to the story, and dehumanizes all parties
involved. It also put lives in danger apparently without checking the
facts. The article came across as pr statement for the Attorney
General’s office instead of either a representation of the truth or a
story about human beings. Then I read the press release put out by the
US Attorney’s office and started to speculate that it was. You can take a
look at the release here and decide for yourself. ("90a9a13be65d1c5a70efadcd9b247feb", event)''>http://www.justice.gov/usao/waw/press/2010/feb/perry.html
First things first: Joel Bernard Perry is not a member of Duece-8. Joel
Bernard Perry is not a gang member period. Judge Robart would not allow
Lombardi (the prosecuting attorney) to even mention his association to
gangs in the courtroom because it could not be substantiated and it had
nothing to do with the case. Because he is not a gang member, and
because your article simply re-iterates the accusations of the US
Attorney’s office a new problem emerges. Now Bernard and his family have
safety concerns that did not exist before this printing and it because
of this article. How did this publication come to the conclusion that he
was a gang member? What evidence does it possess?
On top of this, if the reporter was present at the trial he would have
noticed that the courtroom was packed with family, friends and members
of the community there to support Perry and his mother who was also in
attendance. People spoke on his behalf, and more were prepared to do so.
The judge declared that such attendance in support of a defendant is
rare. This was something Judge Robart might have taken into account when
Perry received six months less than what the prosecution was asking
for. Not to mention that Mr. Perry’s speech was simply incredible. The
quote chosen does a great disservice in its brevity and negligence for
what was a very important and salient message. We are working on
publishing it now.
The sum total presentation of the story seems to be something to the
effect of, ‘another gang member notch on the belt.’ This grossly
misrepresents the reality of the situation. People make mistakes. Joel
Bernard Perry isn’t a gang member or a murderer. He’s a young man, a
father, a son and a brilliant writer and speaker who made some mistakes
none of which include being a member of a gang. What is clear was that
he is part of a community that cares for his well being, his safety and
his humanity. While just locking everyone up may seem like a great
approach for some, for many all it leaves is a hole in the home and the
Every day in America, a case of mistaken identity or just plain old
stereotyping and racism can end up costing the life or freedom of an
innocent person. This article has proven why we need independent press.
Without independent press we may never know the whole or the real story.
With it, you end up with tales like Ramon Vasquez of San Jose, falsely
imprisoned and detained, falsely accused of murder and gangbanging. You
can read his story here. "90a9a13be65d1c5a70efadcd9b247feb", event)''>http://siliconvalleydebug.com/story/THEYEAR2010/020110/story/ramonstory.html
. The San Jose Mercury News recently profiled Ramon’s innocence ("90a9a13be65d1c5a70efadcd9b247feb", event)''>http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14466674?nclick_check=1
) documenting a rare situation. The justice system having to admit that it was mistaken.
If the US Attorney’s office (Lombardi) cannot prove that he is a gang
member in court, and neither Mr. Pulkkinen nor anyone else can back the
assertion that was made in the article, then you must retract it and
apologize. This is an unjustified trial in the court of public opinion.
The US Attorney’s office and the SPD’s goal is reducing violence I’m
sure, but this kind of dishonesty and poor reporting does more to
aggravate the situation than resolve it. We understand that it’s
important that the US Attorney look like they are doing their job, but
it shouldn’t come at the cost of someone else’s safety.
Anyone else viewing this article if you have been unjustly stereotyped
or classified by law enforcement, or know someone who has, please write
or call the Seattle PI and the US Attorney’s office and demand a
retraction. They can’t continue to call us whatever they want and think
it’s ok. It’s not.
A Shared Compliment Note To: Shamako Noble About The Injustices Done To
Joel Benard Perry