Thursday, August 4, 2016

#ByeDevon: Why District Attorney Devon Anderson Should Resign

For two, almost three years Devon Anderson has been the White queen of the criminal justice system and in that time she has proven to be a danger to Black and Brown bodies. Anderson was appointed in 2013 and elected in 2014 to serve as the 35th District Attorney for Harris County.

Devon Anderson According to Devon Anderson:

"...Mrs. Anderson has restored public confidence in the office and raised the bar for professionalism. Her promise to seek justice in every case is achieved by serving every community in our diverse county with high standards, transparency and ethical conduct.

Before her appointment Mrs. Anderson had distinguished herself for 12 years as a tenacious prosecutor gaining convictions on some of the worst of the worst criminals preying on our community. Then she served four years as a highly regarded State District Court judge where she earned the respect of prosecutors and defense lawyers for her relentless pursuit of justice. After leaving the bench, she spent four years handling criminal defense matters in private practice. This background gives her a truly unique perspective.

Serving as District Attorney in the third largest jurisdiction in United States puts Mrs. Anderson at the head of one the largest law firms, an enormous administrative task. She never hesitates to lead from the front. Just ten months after taking office, Mrs. Anderson successfully prosecuted cop-killer, Harlem Lewis, sending him to Death Row for the senseless murders of a police officer and a Good Samaritan.

Since that trial, Mrs. Anderson has focused on increasing the office’s ability to prosecute new classes of criminals like human traffickers, a growing gang population in Harris County, and money launderers who profit from dangerous industries like drug cartels, prostitution and gambling. She also has grown the office by over 80 new positions and exponentially increased training for staff in all areas of the office ensuring the implementation of new technologies and strategies to stay ahead of criminals...

The Rape Case: 27 Days In Hell

1. Jane Doe (Jenny) is 25-year-old woman who has diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Jane was violently attacked in 2013 by serial rapist Keith Edward Hendricks whose MO was to attack homeless women. In December of 2015, Jane suffered a breakdown on the witness stand and was hospitalized for 10 days. After the short stay she was forced into a nearly a month of imprisonment by prosecutor. She was considered a material witness and their concern is that she would renege on testifying against Hendricks. while in prison Jane suffered institutional and physical abuse by being classified as a rapist, beaten, abused, and charged with striking a guard during another psychiatric breakdown.

"Although a spokesman for the district attorney's office has admitted this miscarriage of justice should never have happened, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson defends the prosecutor involved in the case. She says the prosecutor tried to find a suitable place for the sexual assault survivor to stay after her breakdown and even paid for a night in a hotel out of his own pocket. Calling it "an extraordinarily difficult and unusual situation," the DA said there were "no apparent alternatives" that would ensure the victim's safety and that she also would appear to testify. Coming from a district attorney who presents herself as a champion of crime victims, that's mighty hard to swallow. Throwing a mentally ill rape victim into jail because there's supposedly no other place for her to go should shock the conscience of every citizen of Harris County."  - Houston Chronicle

The Darren Goforth Case

While I was in New Orleans for the Katrina 10 year anniversary, Deputy Darren Goforth of the Harris County Sheriff's was fatally ambushed. During the ambush that occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Friday 8/28 Goforth was shot several times while pumping gas at a gas station. He was in uniform and in fact he was fueling his patrol car when he was gunned down. The speculation about why Goforth was ambushed grew as Sheriff Ron Hickman and Devon Anderson created a false narrative during their haste to find and punish whomever committed the murder. The false narrative born in that moment was that the Black Lives Matter movement somehow inspired the actions that took place leading to Goforth's death.

This is a snippet what Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman had to say:

"Our assumption is that he (Goforth) was a target because he wore a uniform..."
"We've heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops' lives matter, too...

At this point during the blame game Anderson and Hickman played, Black Lives Matter was only 2 years old. They used this case to cast the movement in a bad light and to have an excuse to push their racist ideologies. Anderson made clear how she felt when she stated that it was "time for the silent majority in the country to support law enforcement" and that there should not be "open warfare on law enforcement officers." The silent majority of what, White people with all of their supremacy and privilege? To this day she has not apologized for her dangerous rhetoric in support of her friends in blue.

The Southlawn Gang Injunction

The Southlawn Gang Injunction was a lawsuit named after the Southlawn Palms Apartments on Scott Street. It was implemented by Devon Anderson and County Attorney Vince Ryan and sought to exclude Black men and women from the area bounded by Interstate 610, Texas 288, Old Spanish Trail and Cullen with the reasoning that gang activity had been a chronic problem for the area. While the Texas Constitution prohibits banishment of any kind (Texas Constitution: Article 1, Sec. 20), Ryan and Anderson argued that the "Southlawn Safety Zone" was not in violation of the state Constitution.  We in the community felt differently, and knew better about what they were trying to do. They were attempting to criminalize an entire neighborhood that is clearly a majority of Black Houstonians.

"Organized criminal gangs subject the community to harsh and authoritarian treatment. Heightened police enforcement of the criminal law, alone, is not enough. One cannot expect to continue to do the same things and expect different results. The Southlawn Safety Zone is a way to take back this area for the decent people who live there. It is both the legal and the right thing to do," the response said. "The purpose of a gang injunction is to promote the peace, not to punish. This battered, crime-ridden community deserves relief." - Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan

This effort was abandoned...

These are just some of the reasons that Devon Anderson needs to resign...BYE DEVON

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