Hi supporters – As most of you have heard by now, we can happily announce that Louis Hunter’s charges have been dropped! This is a huge victory not just for Louis, but for movements for radical change. While our organizing cannot bring Philando back or undo the harm of his murder, we believe that having each others’ backs in the face of state repression and white supremacy is essential to building a world free of police violence.
We want to thank everyone who stood with Louis in this campaign, including: his lawyer, Tim Phillips; other arrestees who refused to resolve their cases while his was pending, and many of whom continue to face charges for standing up to police murder; and everyone who made a call, came to court, canvassed, or showed up for him in so many other ways. We also want to affirm Louis’ strength over the course of the past year; we are inspired by his steadfast refusal to compromise his own integrity.
We take many lessons from the past year, most of all that arrestee solidarity and political organizing around legal charges work. The prosecution in this case would have us think that their decision to drop Louis’ charges was a pragmatic decision driven by insufficient evidence and the obligations of the prosecutorial role. But we know this is false, and that prosecutors don’t pursue or dismiss charges based on what is ‘right’ or ‘just.’ Rather, prosecution flows out of the default nature of the criminal legal system, which is racist, classist, and not designed to promote or even accommodate true justice or community well-being. The rare instance where charges are dropped comes only because we fight back, and because we succeed in creating a problem big enough that the prosecutor’s best chance at damage control is to back down.
Louis’ case is over but many remain, including the following cases where defendants refused plea deals in solidarity with Louis. We encourage everyone who stood with Louis to turn out for these folks, as well.
The first of several trials for folks arrested on I-94 last summer starts this Tuesday, 8/8, at the Ramsey County Courthouse. (FFI: http://www.facebook.com/events/482100022182575)
Two people who were arrested on I-35W last summer still have outstanding cases in Hennepin County. One has trial on Monday, 8/14, at 9am; the other has a court date pending.
And, folks arrested protesting the not-guilty verdict in Yanez’s trial have arraignments at 12:30pm on 8/14 and 8/15, at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center.
More info about all of these cases is available at: http://www.SupportLouisHunter.org.
Lastly, you are all invited to a victory celebration for Louis and his family this Friday, 8/4, from 5 to 11pm. Watch the facebook event, http://www.facebook.com/events/490022648018677, for further details.
-Louis Hunter Support Committee