An injustice in the making in New Orleans
July 12, 2002 | Page 4
Dear Socialist Worker,
My live-in boyfriend, Ahmad Nelson, is being framed for the killing of a police officer.
The "evidence" is all circumstantial. Witnesses claim to have seen Ahmad walk up to an off-duty police officer named Wes Williams and start shooting. Nothing was taken from Mr. Williams, and no one has confirmed what he was doing at 2:45 a.m. in a neighborhood known for drugs and prostitution, nowhere near his home, police jurisdiction or family.
Ahmad was released from jail (on nonviolent charges still pending) that same morning of April 12, no earlier than 1:48 a.m., and was still on his walk home when the shooting occurred. Two weeks later, a SWAT team of police came to our house, destroyed it and took us both in cuffs to the police station. They took me in my pajamas, barefoot.
At 5 a.m. the next morning, I was released, and Ahmad was booked for first-degree murder of a cop. On May 20, the charge was lowered to second-degree murder because the officer was not in uniform, on duty or driving a squad car.
Now Ahmad is in a part of prison he has never seen, scared and nervous, knowing that he is innocent of this crime--yet realizing the truth is hardly what the system is looking for.
Ahmad had been in and out of trouble from a young age but, within the last couple of years, began to turn his life around. The best thing that has ever happened to him, he says, is his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Amaria. Together we were building a life, hoping to leave New Orleans--where opportunities are few and police are constantly working against a poor, young Black man.
Family, friends and neighbors have been rallying together for Ahmad's freedom. We have to stop this injustice! With only circumstantial evidence, these liars could take away another good man's life!
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Magali Merrillo, New Orleans
For more information, write to the Ahmad Nelson Freedom Committee, P.O. Box 3202, New Orleans, LA 70117.