December 30, 2008

Mychal Bell, Jena 6 Student, Arrested for Shoplifting


Prison reform wouldn't be necessary if our young men would simply do right in the first place. Drumbeats from Dallas South Blog informed us that Mychel Bell ... one of the Jena 6 youth ... was arrested for shoplifting $370 worth of merchandise from Dillard’s in Pecanland Mall in Monroe LA.

Bell's arrest comes less than less than a month after he completed a sentence for his role in a fight with classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006.

The national uprising about the racially-biased prosecution by Louisiana criminal justice system during the Jena 6 trials last year were on point. Unfortunately, a number of the Jena 6 youth appear to have misread the point of the protest.

We were not giving them carte-blanche to act a fool. We were giving them a second chance to make their families and community proud.

It appears that Mychal Bell turned down his second chance.

6 comments:

Symphony said...

You think after everything people did to help them they would be grateful enough to travel down a better path.

And while some people may feel betrayed and bitter, ensuring equal justice is bigger than knuckleheads.

RiPPa said...

Villager, from day one I was fearful that we were sending these kids, and kids in general the wrong message.

I will always contend amnd hold to the thought that the hanging of nooses, and the fight which those 6 dudes were involved in were separate incidents/event which had nothing to do with each other.

But, we made it a racial issue and did a poor job of keeping the lines blurred. The bigger issue to me, was these 6 kids gaining some insight on conflict resolution. To me, that was an opportunity lost.

As a result, these cats felt like they were "stars". They were on MySpace posting pictures flashing money like they were ballin. They were given tickets to the BET Awards. They were treated like they did no wrong.

Yes, I'm all about justice, and its fair application. However, I'll say it here as I've said it before. The real tragedy were the boys in this case. Sure we stood up for them, but along the way we failed to reach them.

This is sad, but expected.

Symphony said...

Completely agree RiPPa. There was no need to have these kids at the BET Awards and parading them around like they were angels and innocent victims.

I just read on Huffington Post that he shot himself in the chest:

Mychal Bell's wound isn't life threatening, said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting around 7:40 p.m., she said.

Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of the arrest last week.

"I think he was upset over the incident ... and didn't want to be in the news again," she said.

Villager said...

Symphony - Best way for him to avoid being in the news is to lead a crime-free life. Shoplifting from the local mall ain't the way to go.

RiPPa - I agree with you and Symphony that giving the kids tickets to BET and treating them like celebrities was a mistake. However, methinks that the hoopla over the Jena 6 was about the improper application of justice ... these kids were charged with attempted murder originally ... and less with their individual situation. That is the reason that few of us can name the Jena 6. We were fighting for justice not for these 6 individuals.

Janet Shan said...

It is really sad that he has not sought to change his ways. He was given a second chance, and like Rodney King, he seems to have blown it. The whole series of events in Jena should have jarred him into changing his life and circle of friends. What is it with these teenagers and guns?

Villager said...

Janet - I'm not sure the thrill of guns. I have to admit that I've never held a gun in my hand, much less shot one. It is sad to see that Mychal Bell's life has gone off the tracks so much since his fight with Justin Barker at Jena High School...

btw, did I see you changing your blog's name recently?