In a scene echoing something from dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, a woman is grieving her lost unborn child which died after she was shot several times in the stomach. She’s grieving in prison, waiting to be put on trial for allegedly starting the fight which proved fatal to her unborn child, and ‘not getting out of harm’s way soon enough’: This Is America.
Pleasant Grove, Alabama police have charged her with manslaughter. Atwood could not have made this up.
According to USA Today, “Pleasant Grove, Alabama, police Lt. Danny Reid said: ‘The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby… It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby..”
The woman was shot in the stomach: this makes her the victim of a crime – even in Alabama. The callous misogyny of this state must be stopped now; it is clearly alien to the most basic of American and international rights.
The state recently passed draconian anti-abortion laws too, and according to civil liberties groups, this is no place to be black, poor, or a woman.
Please contact Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the Pleasant Grove PD, The Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey, through one of the channels below and give him the following message, personalized to your liking, copying if you wish the ACLU and/or the business which has just bragged online about investing in Alabama right in the middle of this case:
I write to demand you free Marshae Jones immediately and drop all charges against her.
One Pulse for America has covered many shocking situations, but rarely have we seen institutionalised bias and misogyny such as Pleasant Grove has shown to Marshae Jones, 27, gunshot victim who lost a child.
Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December 2018 altercation regarding the unborn child’s father, Alabama news station WBMA-LD reported.
Her assailant is walking free after shooting her five times in the stomach, as somehow a state grand jury failed to indict her. Ms Jones however, according to your unacceptable position, ‘didn’t get out of the way of harm fast enough,’ ‘recklessly endangered her unborn child’ and ‘started the argument’. Starting an argument is still legal.
People – including police – start fights daily; they neither expect nor deserve to be shot five times for doing so, and in this case no justice can be served by Ms Jones’ prosecution and continued custody: she is a grieving victim of a shooting which took her unborn child’s life – no one is responsible for her injuries or the fetus’ death except the person who pulled the trigger. Getting out of harm’s way with speed when five months pregnant no less is something no man persecuting this woman can possibly understand.
The state seems to be blaming the person shot as reckless, not the shooter: this is wholly unacceptable.
As a member of One Pulse, I demand the following:
- Ms Jones should be getting counselling not getting charged; she should be free with no charges against her, and her assailant should be charged with the shooting which undeniably took place. Release her immediately;
- If your state’s grand jury was unable to indict the shooter, that is some indictment against Alabama and its prosecution team. Re-mount a proper investigation, present evidence (with five shots and a subsequently deceased fetus this should be an easy thing to do), and get justice for Ms Jones and her unborn child and acknowledge they are the two victims here;
- The governor must issue a full and unconditional pardon immediately – it is clearly not in the public interest to pursue this woman.
- Alabama prosecutors and police must release the precise points of law they rely on to justify her arrest and custody (‘starting an argument’ and ‘not getting out of harm’s way quickly’ are not points of law);
- The wildly inaccurate position which police Lt Danny Reid takes means he is incapable of any empathy and is unfit to Protect and Serve. He is quoted as saying: “The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby… It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.” If Ltd Reid is unable to recognize a woman shot in the stomach five times who lost a baby as a victim, then he needs to apologize and leave the force immediately. I also note that the email, Facebook and Twitter accounts for the force do not seem to be working and/or are not visible: please advise the correct Facebook and Twitter account details so I can interact with the force publicly;
- It’s time to strike down your historic behaviour against the poor, against women, and against people of colour; set up a task force to compare Alabama’s legislation and record to that of other states;
- The conduct, record, and training of anyone responsible for this prosecution needs to be examined and corrected.
One Pulse is not alone in advising its members to vote every single person who permitted this gross situation out of office unless there is immediate redress. It is not an understatement to say The Whole World Is Watching: One Pulse will continue to monitor this situation and lobby for Ms Jones’ freedom.
Finally, I note from Governor Ivey’s website the state is bragging about inward investment from Ben E. Keith Foods . I will certainly be writing to them, asking them to invest instead in a state where a woman losing a baby for any reason – least of all for being shot – is not treated like a criminal.
Governor Kay Ivey
Email: https://contact.governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx (form)
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
Phone: (334) 242-7300
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Pleasant Grove PD
Phone: (205) 744 1735
Email: (seems down)
Facebook: (seems down)
Twitter: (seems down)
Copy your message to:
ACLU of Alabama
Phone: (334) 265-2754
and if you wish, to:
Ben E King Foods (Note: I would not normally target a business: but they just posted this week how happy they are to be opening up in Alabama – in the middle of this rights violation situation. With the government in AL bragging about the investment and clearly interested in attracting business, copying this company into your communications may bring much-needed pressure: use your discretion)
Phone: (817) 759-6800
Email: https://www.benekeith.com/contact (form)
Once you have contacted Alabama officials, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!