Community organizers and the #BlackLivesMatter movement were credited for having influence over certain election results both locally and nationally this past Super Tuesday. That is deserved.
But let’s not forget that these movements were organized on the backs of black and brown women and men courageous enough to share their stories of victimization publicly. That is no easy task. And that includes our exonerated clients and friends.
After he was released from prison after ten years of wrongful incarceration as a result of being framed by a corrupt crew of police officers, Ben Baker spent most of the first 48 hours speaking at press conferences, giving interviews, and talking to reporters. He did it because he wanted the public to know that there were other victims out there, and that most of the officers who framed him (and others) have suffered no repercussions.
Terrill Swift, Robert Taylor, and others went on 60 Minutes to expose Chicago as the False Confession Capital. Reliving the worst moments of their lives on national TV had to be extraordinarily difficult. They did it because they wanted lift the veil of secrecy on what routinely happens to black teenagers when they are placed in a Chicago interrogation room.
These, and many others, are the stories that the movement rallied around. Without the courage of these individuals, we wouldn’t be living in this moment.
My hat goes off to these unsung heroes.