Teka Lark is leading a campaign on OrganizeFor.org to see to it that charges are dropped immediately against 2 Louisiana teens and a 21 year-old who were charged by police with allegedly violating what can only be described as a harsh anti-pedestrian ordinance the city has, after the young men were rammed into by a truck-driver at night. I’ve re-posted the information about the campaign here. Once you’ve read it head over to the campaign’s website and be sure to sign the petition to have these incredibly unfair charges dropped and the ordinances changed.
1. Drop charges and fines against Deonte Williams, Cody Mayes, and Kevin Wilson.
2. Law/ordinance of walking without reflective clothing repealed.
Why is this important?
“A Ville Platte man and two teenagers are recovering after all three were hit by a truck. However, they are facing charges, and the driver isn’t. Police have fined the three for not wearing reflective clothing at night and charged them with obstructing a public passage.” From a story by Kendria LaFleu at KATC an ABC affiliate.
Twenty-one-year-old Deonte Williams, 19-year-old Cody Mayes and 17-year-old Kevin Wilson need justice. If you’re a victim of a crash, you shouldn’t be the one charged with a crime.
The fact that they are being charged with a crime after a crash is a gross miscarriage of justice.
Charges need to be dropped on the two teenagers and young man, the laws and ordinances that is allowing for charges and fines need to be struck from the books, and Ville Platte needs to actively apply for Complete Streets funding, since clearly there are serious street design issues if people are being mandated to wear reflective gear for walking.
My name is Teka-Lark Lo I am an alternative transportation advocate in New York City. My focus is Complete Streets for hypersegregated communities. The Black community has historically been and continues to be home to the most hypersegregated communities in the United States. We do not have equity in many areas, including areas of active transportation, such as walking and bicycling.
I am joined with longtime Ville Platte Civil Rights Activist Arthur James Sampson Jr. and the NAACP Lafayette, La Branch # 6060.
We all deserve the freedom to walk and bike in our communities without fear of being run over and charged with a crime.
This situation is a clear example of transportation injustice.
The Ville Platte, Louisiana, Police Department (VPPD) and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) was found by the Department of Justice in December of 2016 “to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution” and instead of its politicians condemning the police and sheriff for such behavior they support and encourage it and actively use the police and sheriff for punitively enforcing mobility limiting and Civil Right violating policies, such as the walking curfew and mandating reflective clothing when walking.
Regardless of where you’re Black, whether it be in the metropolitan cities of Los Angeles & New York or in rural Ville Platte, Louisiana, you deserve justice. You deserve #TransportationEquity #BicycleEquity.
Give Transportation Equity to Ville Platte. Help the citizens of Ville Platte walk home without fear of being run over by a truck and charged with a crime. Tell Mayor Vidrine to drop the charges against Deonte Williams, Cody Mayes, and Kevin Wilson.