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They blame injustice on everyone but themselves

February 8, 2002 | Page 4

ALDRIN DIAZ is behind bars in Rhode Island for the "crime" of defending himself. When he and several others were attacked by people armed with box cutters and broken bottles, Aldrin took his girlfriend's firearm to scare them off.

Providence, R.I., police arrived and detained Aldrin. When Sgt. Cornell Young, a Black off-duty police officer, arrived on the scene, he was shot and killed by the two white cops who had Aldrin in custody.

The state charged Aldrin with murder, claiming that he started the chain of events that led to Young's murder. Aldrin had to plead guilty to lesser local and federal charges to get the murder charge dropped.

Here, Aldrin describes his latest run-in with Rhode Island justice.

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Dear Socialist Worker,

On January 11, I went to court for a sentence reduction hearing on a 12-year prison term that I was given for a parole violation. My lawyer argued that I had received an extreme sentence for simply possessing a firearm and not hurting anybody--and that I never meant for the sergeant to be shot by the other two cops.

But after hearing the prosecutor, the judge said: "On September 11, Osama bin Laden or those responsible probably didn't mean to create such havoc and destruction, but they did." Then the judge denied the motion to reduce my sentence.

It's not fair for me to be compared to terrorists when I was only trying to defend myself and others with me.

Ever since the September 11 attacks, people like the judge and politicians have used the attacks to label people "terrorists"--while not looking at themselves. They blame injustice on everyone but themselves.

The real problem comes from them--and the injustices they commit against others in this country and around the world.

Aldrin Diaz, Cranston, R.I.

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