April 9, 2012
Dear local community leaders/ representatives:
My name is Carissa Chambers, up until last week Tallahassee was my primary residence for 11 years. On April 4, 2012, my kids, my granddaughter and I participated in the March for Trayvon Martin and Civil Rights. My reason for participating in the march was because I do not want to see what happened to Trayvon Martin happen to any other young boy. Although it was good for me and the rest of the people in attendance to hear you local leaders/ representatives confirm your area of expertise in your respective position and speak out about racism; your own personal experiences with racism, what defines Probable Cause and how the ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ is being misinterpreted in an effort to prevent George Zimmerman from being arrested; on the other hand, it was disappointing that no one addressed what was going on right here in your own backyard.
It is no secret that Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell has the reputation of running his deputies and the Leon County Jail like “Hitler’s Regime”. Furthermore, there has been several documented insider complaints about Sheriff Larry Campbell’s racist practices. As I sat in the audience and listened to one speak after another on a racist act that happened over 300 miles away, I could not help but to wonder what was it going to take to have one of you address the racist community leader in Sheriff Larry Campbell that you often stand shoulder to shoulder with during events like Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Celebration.
Henry “Skip” Hunter gave us all a lesson on Probable Cause. He spoke on how swiftly most black young men are arrested lacking significant Probable Cause. He also stated that because most black young men cannot afford an attorney, they fall prey to the system, losing special relationships with family and friends. I was somewhat surprised by Mr. Hunter’s brief address about the mental abuse that is purposely inflicted on people by lying law enforcement officers. Mental abuse is usually overlooked by most. Now what Mr. Hunter did not say was how does a community fix that problem? How does a community rid itself of those lying thugs with badges? And what is he and his counterparts doing to put a stop to or expose those types of arrests?
As of today, my son has been sitting in the Leon County Jail for 402 days. He was 17-years-old when Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested and charged him with 2 counts of 1st degree murder. Leon County Sheriff’s Office racially profiled us, refused to allow me to get my son an attorney before questioning him, held us hostage in a locked interrogation room, publicly documented my son as the murderer of his 5 months pregnant ex-girlfriend and her 17-year-old brother. Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives issued a warrant to my son’s cell phone carrier to have them track my son’s movements based on what the victims’ mother’s girlfriend told them (in which she may have been a culprit). Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives lied to Judge Ronald Flurry to get a search warrant to search the apartment where my son was temporarily living with his co-worker. Leon County Sheriff Detectives purposely withheld the entirety of the last text messages that had been exchanged between my son and the female victim from Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson. Judge Richardson signed the arrest warrant for the double homicides. Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives either lied or misled the grand jury to get them to indict my 17-year-old son on the murder charges. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office portion of the Discovery report is riddled with lies.
Like Trayvon Martin, my son was 17-years-old. Like Trayvon Martin’s parents, I felt heartbroken and angry when I realized that I could no longer trust most of what Leon County Sheriff’s Office reported. Unlike Trayvon Martin’s parents, I still have my son. And because God has Blessed me with my son, I will continue to do whatever I need to do to ensure that what he will get a fair and unbiased trial. And that the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and any other law enforcement agency will not get away with racial profiling, holding parents and kids hostage in a locked room; any and all law enforcement officers that withhold pertinent information that may prevent an arrest warrant from being issued should be punished to the fullest extent.
As parents, we teach our kids to trust law enforcement officers. When law enforcement officers in turn lie on our kids, what else is there to be said? A lot—more to come.
Henry “Skip” Hunter
Rep. Alan Williams
Mayor John Marks
Reverend R.B. Holmes Jr.
Governor Rick Scott
Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll