|DeJuawn Wallace being arrested in a February traffic|
stop, from a police dash cam. He didn't pull
over immediately, but continued to drive
to a well-lit area, for safety. Cops
and a prosecutor object to this.
As expected because of the negative publicity and the fact that even prosecuting the case made prosecutors a laughing stock, they dropped the charged Thursday agains DaJuawn Wallace.
His "crime," as you'll read below in the original post, was being cautious.
But as the Huffington Post points out, Prosecutor Christopher Boyd offered a plea deal for Wallace to plead guilty to a lesser charge, before the publicity over this stupidity blew up in Boyd's face, and he had to drop the charges.
However, Boyd and very many other prosecutors offer "plea deals" to people charged with crimes, even though many of these people might not have actually committed any crimes.
But, the defendents are often poor and don't have the resources to fight the bogus charges. Or, they've had previous run-ins with the law and realize nobody will believe they are innocent.
Prosecutors usually occupy elected positions. The prosecutors offer these bogus plea deals to innocent defendents because it gives them a higher conviction rate, making them more appealing next time they're up for re-election.
While there are some damn good, honest prosecutors out there, a large number of them, apparently, think their career and their bragging rights is worth ruining the lives of many innocent people by giving them bogus crime records.
One researcher estimates there might be as many as 20,000 people in jail serving time or crimes they did not commit. And some of those crimes actually happened, but were committed by someone else who is still out in the streets.
It's just easier for prosecutors to grab the low hanging fruit and win easy prosecutions against innocent people. Again, just to advance their careers.
One dark early morning in February, DaJuawn Wallace, 24, was driving along a very poorly lit road in Kockville Township, Michigan.
Suddenly, the blue lights of a police car flashed in back of him.
Wallace knew that there had been incidents in the area in which people pretending to be cops, complete with blue lights pull people over and rob them or even worse.
Wallace said he signaled to the cop that he would keep driving - slowly - until he arrived at a safer, brightly lit area.
People are often advised to do this. In and near Detroit, there have been recent cases of people impersonating police and stopping people to rob them.
A mile and half down the road, Wallace pulled into the glare of a brightly lit Sam's Club parking lot and stopped.
The cop decided to charge him with a felony count of fleeing and eluding police for not pulling over sooner, reports the Michigan news site MLive.com
This despite the explanation from Wallace. The DA "generously" offered a deal in which Wallace could plead guilty to a misdemeanor with a delayed sentence, meaning the charges would be dismissed if he completed a one-year probation.
But if he does that, he probably would lose his job and almost definitely his college financial aid.
Saginaw County Chief Prosecutor Christoher Boyd said when a police officer in a official police cruiser orders you to stop uou must. "You don't get a driver's license and get to pick what rules you are going to follow and what rules you are not going to follow," Boyd said, as reported at MLive.com.
Well, Wallace DID stop, once he got to a well-lit area, and he didn't try to speed off and outrun the cop. He just didn't know if he was about to be robbed or not. So I guess if you're a young black man in Michigan, you don't get the choice of trying not to be a victim of crime.
Nobody has come up with evidence so far that Wallace did anything other than seek a well lit, public place. The only reason why cops stopped him in the first place is because his car resembled one that had just driven on a sidewalk at a nearby college. It turns out, the sidewalk driver wasn't Wallace.
So what's Boyd's deal? Does he just never want to "lose" a case? Maybe his ego is too fragile to give up on a prosecution when facts present themselves?
Or is Wallace an uppity black kid. After all, he's pursuing a Master's degree in college. You don't want any n*****s being successful, right Prosecutor Boyd? God forbid a white guy like you lets a black guy find success.
The above paragraph might be an over the top accusation. I sure hope it is.
Nonetheless, Mother Jones reported today that the vast majority of prosecutors in the nation are white men. Obviously, most of them aren't racist. Still, when 79 percent of prosecutors are white men, and 14 states have an all white male prosecuting lineup, you do want to see a little more diversity.
This week, the Michigan case has suddenly gotten lots of publicity. When bad PR happens, the prosecutor will try to find a face saving way out in which Wallace doesn't end up with problems concerning his job or school financial assistance. He'll just got some sort of toothless warning.
One sign that things might work out in Wallace's favor is public support. MLive.com has an update saying there will be a rally in his behalf tomorrow.
But who knows how many other people get in trouble like Wallace did? For doing something innocent, or at least benign, I bet a lot of people have their lives ruined by the occasional overzealous cop or prosecutor.
Time to fix this problem, maybe?