Sunday, March 14, 2010

Solidarity for Rebecca Whitby

Daughter & mother fight police brutality

Published Mar 13, 2010 10:26 AM

An even bigger rally in support of the courageous stand of Rebecca Whitby and her mother will take place on March 9 on the steps of the Justice Center in Cleveland, where their trial is slated to go forward. The packed courtroom will remind the prosecutor and the judge of the Whitbys’ widespread community support.

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Rebecca Whitby with her nephew,
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Photo: David Patterson

Last week the prosecution displayed great cruelty by pitting the two women against each other, using the love of a daughter for her mother as a way to break down the daughter’s willingness to fight the false charges.

Her mother, also named Rebecca Whitby, was willing to take the plea deal offered last Tuesday when they reduced her obstruction charges to misdemeanors. But the younger Rebecca wanted to fight because the best deal the prosecution would offer still had a felony weapons charge with jail time (for allegedly trying to grab the cops’ guns).

The prosecution said the women could not split their pleas that way. Seeing her mother’s fears of facing jail time, the daughter said, “I didn’t do it, but I will plead guilty.” At the sound of her daughter’s guilty plea, Mother Rebecca collapsed on the floor. The cops who beat the younger Rebecca in April laughed at her mother, before being dismissed from the courtroom. Emergency medical services were called, but they took more than 15 minutes to respond.

Fortunately, Scott Ramsey, the daughter’s attorney, was allowed to withdraw her plea the following morning. So the fight is back on!

The charges the Whitbys are facing arose from a vicious beating of the younger woman by the police in the family’s home in April and her mother’s attempts to protect her daughter from repeated punches in the face. The day after the family filed a report with the police department’s Office of Professional Standards, a warrant was issued for the younger Whitby’s arrest.

Sean Bell’s family and supporters are pursuing internal New York Police Department proceedings and a civil lawsuit, following a despicable Feb. 16 U.S. Justice Department decision that there was insufficient evidence for federal charges against the cops who killed Bell and wounded two of his friends. Similarly, the supporters of the Whitby family will not stop with defeating the false charges they are facing. We will stand by the Whitbys until the cops are charged for their crimes and the family is compensated for their suffering.

Show support for Rebecca by signing on to her Web site at www.thealhambraincident.ning.com. Become members and leave photos, videos, comments on the case or messages of encouragement.


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