Saturday, 04 December 2021

Protesters call for investigation in Hughes case

 

The group also distributed a copy of a letter along the same lines addressed to Wan J. Kim, Assistant for Civil Rights to the U.S. Attorney General.


Hughes, a 21-year-old black man, is charged with the murder of two companions, also black, in a case involving an alleged forceful entry into the home of Shannon Edmonds, a white resident of Clearlake Park, and a botched effort to steal marijuana from him on Dec. 7, 2005.


Hughes, of San Francisco, is being charged with the shooting deaths of the two men – Christian Foster, 22, of San Francisco, and Rashad Williams, 22, of Pittsburg – even though it was Edmonds who did the shooting. Hughes is charged with being responsible in the double homicide under a provision of the law that holds co-perpetrators of a felonious act responsible if the act involved is likely to result in a lethal response.


The Baker Center letter and a group of about 20 black and white protesters who demonstrated peacefully in front of the county court house on Tuesday, however, argue that Edmonds' shooting of Foster and Williams in their backs as they allegedly ran from his home was unwarranted and not in self defense.


The group included Judy Hughes, Renato Hughes' mother, and Sheila Barton, Rashad Williams' mother, who have been present throughout the pretrial stages of the case.


Asked how life has been for her during this period, Judy Hughes responded, "It's been terrific, because God is bringing down justice and making the people understand that justice has to be served."


The group's demonstration concluded with a prayer circle.


The presentation of the letters and demonstration came six days before Martin Luther King Day and seven days before Hughes' attorney, Stuart Hanlon of San Francisco, is expected to file a change–of–venue motion in Lake County Superior Court.


Jadaimani Imanjia, who identified himself as a representative of the Banker Center, asserted Tuesday that he believes that Edmonds' shooting of the two young men was not done in self defense.


"I think the facts in this case will come out in the courtroom," Imanjia said. "I believe what we have here very clearly is two young men lying in the street dead, shot in the back by a white drug dealer saying it was self defense.”


The Baker Center letter alleges that documentation involved in the case "supports a pattern of police misconduct and racism."


Imanjia claimed that police photos taken inside Edmonds' house on the day of the shooting and evidence allegedly found in those taken three days later after Edmonds was allowed to go back into the house are in serious variance.


"They have pictures of 'time one' when they went and searched this house and in the photographs they took these things (evidence) aren't present and in 'time two' (Edmonds) goes back in there and two minutes later they come back and they've taken more pictures and now they're saying these are evidence."


Imanjia added, "We think this is huge, we think this is wrong. This is the kind of thing that Martin Luther King marched, fought and died for."


District Attorney Jon Hopkins said that Ella Baker representatives "have never talked to me, so it's kind of hard to follow this document.


"They want to take a small piece here and a small piece there and it doesn't add up because they don't know all the evidence," Hopkins said. "They allege misconduct by the Lakeport Police and the Lakeport Police don't have anything to do with the case at all.


“If the police didn't record events that occurred, they would be complaining that the police were hiding stuff. So, how does it become misconduct because the police do their job? It doesn't appear that anyone who had any experience with the criminal justice system was involved in this.”


He added, "It's kind of disappointing to see a center for human rights be used this way."


Earlier, Hopkins, responding to racial issues raised by Hanlon – including his finding that Lake County is 94 percent white, a number which differs a few percentage points from a 2004 Census report – Hopkins said, "I don't pretend for a minute that there are not people here like everywhere else who have racist views. But I think they're fairly easy to identify on a jury.


"I never have – nor do I intend to – ask a jury to convict a defendant because of their race. It has nothing to do with the facts in this case, it has nothing to do with the law in this case, it has nothing to do in my mind whether we should proceed in a particular fashion."


E–mail John Lindblom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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