on this day … 4/12 1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there.


1096 – Peter the Hermit gathered his army in Cologne.

1204 – The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople.

1606 – England adopted the original Union Jack as its flag.

1770 – The British Parliament repealed the Townsend Acts.

1782 – The British navy won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.

1799 – Phineas Pratt patented the comb cutting machine.

1811 – The first colonists arrived at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

1833 – Charles Gaylor patented the fireproof safe.

1861 – Fort Sumter was shelled by Confederacy, starting America’s Civil War.

1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there.

1877 – A catcher’s mask was used in a baseball game for the first time by James Alexander Tyng.

1892 – Voters in Lockport, New York, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.

1905 – The Hippodrome opened in New York City.

1911 – Pierre Prier completed the first non-stop London-Paris flight in three hours and 56 minutes.

1916 – American cavalrymen and Mexican bandit troops clashed at Parrel, Mexico.

1927 – The British Cabinet came out in favor of women voting rights.

1934 – F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “Tender Is the Night” was first published.

1938 – The first U.S. law requiring a medical test for a marriage license was enacted in New York.

1944 – The U.S. Twentieth Air Force was activated to begin the strategic bombing of Japan.

1945 – In New York, the organization of the first eye bank, the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration, was announced.

1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Spring, GA. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Harry S Truman became president.

1955 – The University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center announced that the polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, effective and potent.”

1961 – Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became first man to orbit the Earth.

1963 – Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, AL.

1969 – Lucy and Snoopy of the comic strip “Peanuts” made the cover of “Saturday Review.”

1981 – The space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on its first test flight.

1982 – The British Navy began enforcing a blockade around the Falkland Islands.

1982 – Three CBS employees were shot to death in a New York City parking lot.

1983 – Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago.

1984 – Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger made the first satellite repair in orbit by returning the Solar Max satellite to space.

1984 – Israeli troops stormed a bus that had been hijacked the previous evening by four Arab terrorists. All the passengers were rescued and 2 of the hijackers were killed.

1985 – U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL.

1985 – In Spain, an explosion in a restaurant near a U.S. base killed 17 people.

1985 – Federal inspectors declared that four animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were not unicorns. They were goats with horns that had been surgically implanted.

1987 – Texaco filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it failed to settle a legal dispute with Pennzoil Co.

1988 – Harvard University won a patent for a genetically altered mouse. It was the first patent for a life form.

1988 – The Chinese government named a new array of younger leaders to ensure economic reform.

1989 – In the U.S.S.R, ration cards were issued for the first time since World War II. The ration was prompted by a sugar shortage.

1992 – Disneyland Paris opened in Marne-La-Vallee, France.

1993 – NATO began enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2000 – More than 1,500 anti-drug agents raided four cities in Colombia and arrested 46 members of the “most powerful” heroin ring.

2000 – Robert Cleaves, 71, was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Cleaves had repeatedly run over Arnold Guerreiro on September 30, 1998 with his car after the two had an argument.

2000 – Israel’s High Court ordered the release of eight Lebanese detainees that had been held for years without a trial.

2002 – A first edition version of Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” sold for $64,780 at Sotheby’s. A signed first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” sold for $66,630. A copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” signed by J.K. Rowling sold for $16,660. A 250-piece collection of rare works by Charles Dickens sold for $512,650.

2002 – It was announced that the South African version of “Sesame Street” would be introducing a character that was HIV-positive.

2002 – JCPenney Chairman Allen Questrom rang the opening bell to start the business day at the New York Stock Exchange as part of the company’s centennial celebrations. James Cash (J.C.) Penney opened his first retail store on April 14, 1902.

2012 – The game Candy Crush Saga was released on Facebook.

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Tell North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper, AG Josh Stein & Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb to free Dontae Sharpe NoW


Demand Justice for Dontae Sharpe

Demand Justice for Dontae Sharpe

#FreeDontaeSharpe

TAKE ACTION!

 

In North Carolina, we are confronted daily with a morally corrupt criminal justice system that destroys people’s lives, people like Dontae Sharpe.

Dontae has been incarcerated since the age of 19. He has now spent 22 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.1 Dontae has spent decades behind bars despite a complete lack of evidence against him, recanted witness testimony and mounting evidence of misconduct by police and prosecutors in Greenville, NC.

In the face of such grave injustice, we must act on the moral imperative to repair the harm to Dontae, his family and community. In this holy week, we must not forget that the Bible reminds us of our moral responsibility to proclaim liberty to the prisoner.2 For more than a year the North Carolina NAACP has called on the government of North Carolina to free Dontae Sharpe.  Now, along with Dontae’s mother, Sarah Blakely, I am asking for the support of Color Of Change members to bring him home.

Help bring Dontae home. Tell North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper,  Attorney General Josh Stein and Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb to free him now.

Dontae was convicted of a murder connected to a drug buy in 1994 but the case quickly fell apart. The prosecution’s key witness recanted her testimony within two months of the trial and a detective from the case has come forward to admit that Dontae was wrongfully convicted and that evidence in the case was selectively documented to build the case against him.

Yet, Pitt County Prosecutor Kim Robb refuses to reverse course. The actions of the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office have convinced us that Robb has lost her way — focused on avoiding accountability for a grave misdeed, while Dontae is sacrificed in the name of maintaining the status quo. She knows that Dontae’s freedom exposes crookedness in the Pitt County Criminal justice system that continues to this day. It is time for her office to take responsibility and right this wrong, or declare a conflict in this case.

Dontae has spent over half of his life behind bars because he maintains his innocence. If he’d confessed to the crime he was convicted of he would be home today. His case is a tragic example of the deep-rooted brokenness of our criminal justice system where prosecutors and police can exploit racism and inequality to try and extract guilt from innocent people.

Demand North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein and D.A. Kim Robb overturn Dontae Sharpe’s conviction.

We know these are not isolated cases. In North Carolina and all across the country, there are thousands of cases where Black people have been wrongly convicted and harshly sentenced to prison for crimes they did not commit and that were never properly investigated.3 Some have been exonerated but many more remain in prison and even on death row.

There is a long history of Black people enduring the pain of being mistreated by the judicial system. From coerced confessions to ineffective eyewitnesses, misconduct by police, mishandling of DNA evidence, to biases from judges and prosecutors, Black communities suffer from a criminal justice system that repeatedly discriminates against them.

But I believe we can correct these harms by joining together to call on those in power to do what’s right. Last year, in a troublingly similar case, we were able to help free Kalvin Michael Smith, after he was wrongfully imprisoned for 19 years by pressuring the Attorney General to show leadership.5We can do the same for Dontae.

Dontae’s youth, freedom, and life are being stolen by the criminal justice that should have been protecting his innocence. Governor Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein, and D.A. Kim Robb can now correct the mistakes made by the courts 2 decades ago— they can overturn this wrongful conviction and unite Dontae with his loved ones and return him to his community. We can’t wait another decade. We can’t wait another day. 

Tell North Carolina Governor Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein, and D.A. Kim Robb to overturn Dontae Sharpe’s conviction.

Until justice is real

Rev. William Barber II

President, NC NAACP State Conference
Architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement

References:

  1. “Lacking evidence, recanting witness suggests another look necessary in Sharpe conviction” wnct.com, 03.10.2016. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7741?t=7&akid=7253.1174326.6yTccd

  2. Luke 4:18
  3. “Don’t stop fighting: Wrongfully convicted man free after 32 years” CNN, 03.17.2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7742?t=9&akid=7253.1174326.6yTccd

  4. “Troy Anthony Davis,” TroyAnthonyDavis.org 09.21.2011. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7745?t=11&akid=7253.1174326.6yTccd

  5. “Uncovering the truth Kalvin Michael Smith has been released from prison,” MTV.com 11.10.16. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/7746?t=13&akid=7253.1174326.6yTccd