September 23, 2016

Education, Feature, Government, Opinion




“The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.”

Frank Serpico

When you look at the statue of Lady Justice, you see her blindfold which represents objectivity.  It’s a reminder that justice should be given out objectively without favor or fear, despite a person’s wealth, fame, power, or identity.  Justice should remain blind and impartial.

Yet in Louisville, Kentucky, a quiet and unassuming mother has been thrown into the justice spotlight as she continues to pursue a fair and equitable result in her legal battle against the City of Louisville, its leadership, the Louisville Police Department and retired LMPD officer, Scott Sturgen.


Antwynette Houston, police brutality survivor. Photo Courtesy: A. Houston

It’s been three years and counting and no resolution or reasonable proposal has found its way to this police brutality survivor.  Houston incurred life altering injuries at the hands of off duty LMPD officer, Scott Sturgeon, for parking crooked at a convenience store.  Each day her body endures constant pain, while she grapples with the financial difficulties of raising money via GoFundMe for her third surgery and to keep her and her son from becoming homeless.

Antwynette Houston said her injury required two initial surgeries. She is currently seeking help in funding a third surgery to restore use of her arm. Photo Courtesy: A. Houston

Antwynette Houston said her injury required two initial surgeries. She is currently seeking help in funding a third surgery to restore use of her arm. Photo Courtesy: A. Houston

She’s on Twitter daily asking for someone to assist with spreading her story and to help in any way they can in her continuing fight for justice.  Houston reminds her social media friends that her situation could have easily been their situation, stating: “Police brutality actually devastates your life when you don’t have the money to fight them; even more so when you’re poor.  What people really need to understand is that this can happen to anyone and your life is forever changed.

The Counted  project by the Guardian, with the help of citizens, count the number of people killed by police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States throughout 2015 and 2016.   They monitor their demographics and tell the stories of how they died.  So far this year there have been 793 deaths with 15 of those attributed to Kentucky.

But how many survivors of police brutality are out there like Houston?  How many spend their days struggling to get medical, financial, mental, housing or other services to sustain themselves and their families?  How many have been shamed by family, friends and organizations?  Where are the victims who can communicate to the world that they are not random victims?  These are questions that affect victims in every community and have national implications.

Where are the journalists who are interested in justice for the poor and victimized?  People like Bill Moyers or Charlie Rose need to comment on Ms. Houston’s story and interview her, and shows like VICE and Frontline should investigate this story with ferocity.  Other journalist should take a front row seat and engage with Ms. Houston to remember how to go beyond the fifteen second soundbite.   Stop using social media to push books, lectures, or celebrity, but to touch real people with real problems.

Houston is the Rosa Parks of police brutality survivors and she needs your help in seeing that the spotlight of justice will shine brightly for her and others like her.  Just a normal woman who experienced an abnormal situation and fortunately survived it for the benefit of her children and others who are not in a position to speak due to fear, physical and or financial constraints.

What is truly interesting about Antwynette Houston’s situation is that it has become the perfect backdrop for a made for TV movie or motion picture.  It has the classic hints of a conspiracy to keep her entangled with both legal and bureaucratic maneuvers, which affect her defense team and her ability to receive disability and justice.

In many instances the rules in the court room governing her legal and disability cases have changed before her eyes.  Houston and her lawyers continue to encounter road blocks despite following the rules.  The court’s actions hint of collusion and conspiracy.  The perfect melodrama for prime-time; yet these are real people and these tactics have real consequences for her and her son.

Her circumstances remind me of a James Baldwin quote, “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

Houston asserts her innocence and has the supporting documentation..  She reminds her supporters that there was no probable cause for her to had been stopped and subsequently injured; adding, “Internal Affairs said in its report that what happened to me was completely uncalled for.”

Antwynette Houston says she will continue to fight for what’s right despite the tactics she believes are being employed against her and her lawyers.  She believes that justice will prevail for her and her son.

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  1. SUPPORTING A JUST CAUSE.. | beenetworknews - October 1, 2016



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