The Campaign to Free Jack Johnson Needs 200 People to Fill the Courtroom!
WHERE: Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, Courtroom 236
Calvert & Fayette Streets (Calvert Street entrance), downtown Baltimore
WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 2009
TIME: 1:30 p.m. (be very early so that we get seats and fill courtroom)
STRATEGY: Quiet, disciplined but organized support for Jack Johnson
GOAL: Jack Johnson, a beloved Black Panther, Must Come Home!
FOR INFORMATION OR FOR RIDE FROM D.C., call Black August Planning Organization at (202) 561-2898.
From An interview with Baltimore Black
Panther Nana Njinga Conway, the wife of political prisoner
Eddie Conway by POCC Minister of Information JR
We'll go back to how they manifested these false charges: In 1970, two police officers were attacked by what according to
police reports were three Black men who "they" identified as members of the Black Panther Party.
When they arrested two members of the Black Panther Party, one of them was a man named Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson was beaten
and coerced into signing a statement that they wrote, and in that statement, it stated that he, Jack Johnson, and Jack Powell was the
other Panther that got arrested, were involved in the police shooting, and that Eddie Conway was also involved.
They beat Jack, and they beat him so bad that when we finally got access to Jack, he had so much bodily damage that we had to go to
court to get him taken to the hospital, to have him seen at the hospital. And he stayed in the hospital for a couple of days.
During that time, the lawyer who had access to him, Jack told him that he had been beaten to sign a confession that wasn't true.
But by that time they had gone to Eddie's job and picked him up and arrested him, and they were holding him without charging him.
So once Jack was under his own legal counsel, he recanted the statement, saying that he was coerced into signing the statement. So
they had no grounds to hold Eddie, but they continued to hold him.
And we continued to try to get him released because they had no case. Then the police officer who came to the assistance of the two
police officers down was taken into a room and given two stacked decks of pictures. In the two stacked decks of pictures, one stack had
maybe eight pictures in it, and the other might have had 12. I'm not certain on the numbers, but it was very low numbers in both
The only picture that was duplicated in both stacks was Eddie's. And that is the way in which they tell someone, "This is the
person we're looking for." So they used a stacked deck and didn't have to, because they had his body there and could've put him in a lineup.
Then it would've been only the lineup, but they didn't do that. They had this police officer to testify and say that he saw the
person that was fleeing from him and shooting at him from a distance in a dark alley and said that that was Eddie. What they also
did was go into the Maryland House of Corrections and where they had a paid jail house informant.
That jail house informant had some more time to do in Jessup. I don't know how much time, but after he got through doing this time
in Jessup, he would be extradited to Michigan for some forgery charges, because he had some other charges to face.
What they did was cut a deal with him. They took him from Jessup and put him in city jail, which is unheard of. If you're gonna
extradite somebody, they take them directly to the other place, they don't risk the flight of a prisoner by moving him from one jail to
the other, just to the jail that they are taking him to.
But what they did was take him down and put him in Eddie's cell for a day, and in that day that he was in the cell with him, he went
to Michigan. And then probably on their instructions, he wrote back to the Baltimore police station and said that "I was in jail and in
the cell with Eddie Conway, and within the hours that I was in there with him, he confessed to me and told me that he killed the police
And then he told them that he could prove it, because also Eddie had told him that he had taken the officer's watch. And so they
used that to go into court with. Jack told his lawyer that when they put him on the stand to testify that Eddie was a part of it, he refused
to testify against Eddie.
What they did do was try to cut a deal with Jack and said that if you would go on and testify against him and keep this statement like we
got it "even though we're sure you have something to do with it" we'll give you complete immunity and drop you off of the
case. But Jack couldn't do it in good conscience, because he knew it was a lie, and he wouldn't do that.
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