Dear Governor Jindal,
I am writing to request your intervention into a situation of great injustice taking place in Jena, LA, as well as a written response to this letter.
Last fall, when two Black high school students sat under the "white" tree on their campus, white students responded by hanging nooses from the tree. When Black students protested the light punishment for the students who hung the nooses, District Attorney Reed Walters came to the school and told the students he could "take [their] lives away with a stroke of [his] pen."
Racial tension continued to mount in Jena, and the District Attorney did nothing in response to several egregious cases of violence and threats against black students. But when a white student--who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses--taunted a black student, allegedly called several black students "nigger", and was beaten up by black students, six black students were charged with second-degree attempted murder. Thankfully, Mychal Bellís June conviction has been nullified but all 6 young men are still awaiting trial, and remain unable to return to Jena High School and get on with their lives.
I would like to believe that what is happening in Jena is not consistent with your values, or with what the State of Louisiana sees as justice. I have asked District Attorney Reed Walters to drop all charges against the six young men. You should act immediately to make clear your commitment to justice in this case, and announce that you will grant immediate reprieves to any of the young men who are convicted. And you must investigate the conduct of District Attorney Reed Walters, whose actions are a blatant and unacceptable abuse of power, to begin the process of healing in Jena and to make sure this never happens again.
[your name here]
Dear District Attorney Reed Walters,
It is your duty to enforce the law fairly and equally. Your handling of the case of "the Jena Six," your disinterest in pursuing the multiple instances of white-on-black violence that preceded the beating of Justin Barker, and your threats to Black students protesting the presence of nooses on their campus, have been neither fair nor equal.
I'm writing to ask that you begin repairing the damage you have caused to these boys and their families by immediately dropping the charges against all six young men.
I am committed to supporting the people of Jena, Louisiana who have been protesting the profound injustice occurring there. I have contacted Governor Jindal to ask her to intervene to make sure justice is served for the Jena Six, and to ask that she investigate your conduct in this case. I am committed to doing whatever I personally can to support these young men and their families until this matter is appropriately resolved.
[your name here]