Homeless Black Woman Facing Life In Prison For Picking Up Police Baton (Video)

Much of the country was shocked back in March when a video (below) showed Los Angeles police officers fatally shooting a homeless man, Charly Keunang, in the skid row section of the city.

Moments before the shooting, Trishawn Cardessa Carey, a homeless black woman, is seen on the video picking up an officer's baton that falls to the ground during a struggle between police and Keunang.

For picking up the baton, Carey was charged with assault with a deadly weapon against an officer and resisting arrest. If convicted, Carey get 25 years to life in prison because California's three-strikes law, notes the Los Angeles Times.

In the video, it doesn't appear that Carey assaults anyone or resists arrest, but she is tackled to the ground by police.

Carey, who has spent almost five months in jail, had her bail reduced from $1 million to $50,000 during a hearing on Wednesday.

Suzette Shaw, a member of Los Angeles Community Action Network's Downtown Women's Action Coalition, said, "These excessive charges are just updated Jim Crow."

However, Deputy Dist. Atty. Gregory Denton countered, "It's just one woman charged here."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Denton doesn't plan to try to prove that Carey swung the officers nightstick or hit anyone, but rather that Carey tried to attack a cop by "picking up the officer's baton and raising the baton to strike the officer."

Denton added, "An attempt to strike someone is assault. There's no mystery here. The reality is all the conduct involved in this case is on the video."

However, the video doesn't appear to show Carey attempting to attack anyone either.

Carey has reportedly been convicted nine previous times, which included two felonies that were either serious or violent, qualifying her for the three-strikes law.

However, her lawyer, Milton Grimes, told the court that Carey has been placed in hospitals for "acute episodes of psychosis" and has history of mental health problems that could have impaired her judgment.

Denton claimed that Carey needed the "serious and constant care" that would be available in jail.

According to a report by the LA Weekly in 2014, the Los Angeles County jail system for women is overcrowded, cannot provide enough sanitary pads, has bug-infested cells, lacks warm water and showers, fails to provide clean jail clothing, but includes plenty of humiliating, invasive searches. Women are reportedly called "stupid" and "bitches" by prison guards.

Sources: LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times / Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot


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