On February 3, 2008 Jason Vassell was the victim of a racist hate crime. Since then he has been further victimized by a racist prosecution. We, a coalition of community organizations, students and faculty, seek solidarity in challenging this racist prosecution.
Early on the morning of February 3, 2008, Jason, an African American student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was in his dormitory. Two intoxicated white men, Jonathan Bowes and Jonathan Bosse, approached Jason’s dormitory window repeatedly referring to him as a “nigger” and breaking in the window. They then forced their way into the dormitory lobby where they assaulted Jason, breaking his nose and giving him a concussion.
Under this continuing assault Jason was forced to defend himself with a pocketknife, injuring his assailants. As a result of defending himself against this unprovoked assault Jason, the victim of the attack, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. These charges carry a possible thirty year prison sentence. One of the perpetrators, Jonathan Bowes, was charged only with misdemeanors carrying a maximum eighteen month sentence. The other, Jonathan Bosse, was not charged at all.
February 6, 2009
Justice for Jason Vassell
Drumbeats from Jack & Jill Politics pointed us in the direction of a travesty of justice taking place in Massachusetts. Have you heard about the racist hate crime committed against Jason Vassell? Did you see how the districy attorney flipped the script on him? Did your local news report on the hundreds of people who rallied in support of Jason this week?
Here is an overview provided to us by an advocacy site set up on Jason’s behalf.
I encourage all villagers to sign the petition to dismiss the charges. You can also contact the DA at (413) 586-9225, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will you stand up in support of this young brother?