Tuesday, October 06, 2009

UMass Amherst Student Facing 30 Years For Defending Himself Against Hate Attack

Nope, that post headline is not a typo. University of Massachusetts Amherst student Jason Vassell is facing 30 years in jail for defending himself against two white men who attacked him on campus.

In the early morning hours of February 3, 2008 Jason was in his first floor dormitory room at Mackimmie Hall when he discovered two inebriated white males, Jonathan Bowes and Jonathan Bosse peering into it.

They weren't UMass students He told the two men to leave, and after declining their vitriolic invitation to fight, broke his dorm room window while repeatedly uttering 'nigger' and other racial slurs at him.

After calling an on-campus friend for help while the RA's called the UMass police, Bowers and Bosse bumrushed their way into the dormitory lobby and assaulted Vassell, breaking his nose in the process.

After warning his assailants, Vassell took out a pocketknife and defended himself from the unprovoked assault against the two assailants.

So, in light of the fact you have two inebriated white males with a history of racial attacks and associations with white supremacist groups who jumped this off against a person with no criminal record and an exemplary academic and personal reputation, several witness in the Mackimmie dormitory who corroborated Vassell's story, videotaped evidence blowing Mack truck sized holes in the stories Bowers and Bosse told the UMass po-po's that Vassell 'viciously attacked' them, and medical evidence of Vasser's injuries, who did Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel choose to press charges upon in this case?

Jason Vassell.

Thanks to ingrained racism in the UMass PD, whose officers on the scene repeatedly stated that Vassell was a 'drug dealer' and the prosecutors office, the decision on who to prosecute were made based on the race of the persons involved, not the evidence.

Incredibly, Vassell was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is facing thirty years in jail for defending himself against these racist thugs who sent him to the hospital with a broken nose and a concussion.

Meanwhile, the legal system turned a blind eye to the thugs in question and the serious felonies they committed, including the potential hate crime violations.

Bowes only received misdemeanor charges carrying a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail. On March 13, 2009 a jury acquitted John Bowes of a misdemeanor civil rights violation and found him guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

His punishment? A year of probation. John Bosse was never charged.

In the meantime, the court case against Vassell grinds on.

Sounds like the ugly echoes of the Jena 6 and the Jersey 4 cases.

White peeps start crap, then Black peeps get legal hammer thrown at them by white dominated justice system for daring to defend themselves against the white peeps who started the mess in the first place.

On December 31, 2008, Jason’s defense submitted a Motion to Dismiss his charges on the grounds of selective prosecution.

This 52-page document lays out in greater detail the events of that evening. It adds radio transcripts of the UMass Police responding to the incident, taped interviews between police investigators and Bowes and Bosse, eyewitness statements, the criminal histories of Bowes and Bosse, as well as the charges that could have been brought against Bowes and Bosse.

This document has demonstrated that both Bowes and Bosse have histories of violent racially motivated assaults; that the UMass Police Department’s investigation was racially biased by immediately assuming Jason’s guilt while treating Bowes and Bosse with care and respect; and that the prosecution has continued this bias through their selective prosecution of Jason Vassell.

There is racist and clueless BS being spouted by some commenters on the various Massachusetts area media sites covering this case. In addition to dissing Justice For Jason, they are futilely trying to rationalize the attack by Bosse and Bowes upon Vassell with specious logic.

It's time to wake up and smell the injustice and get a sobering dose of reality.

Whites have had a consistent centuries long history of initiating and visiting racist violence upon people of color, not the other way around.

We know the justice system is stacked in your favor, so POC aren't going to just start any crap unless we are provoked, attacked, or in fear of or defending our lives. But if we're put in that no win situation, we will end it.

So don't start none, won't be none.

Speaking of the Justice For Jason group, they are keeping track of the ongoing legal fight to get the charges dismissed and clear his name.

It would be a travesty of justice to have Jason Vassell's life ruined and society lose his potentially valuable contributions to it because he defended himself in an unprovoked attack perpetrated by drunken, racist thugs.

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