Breaking News: Lawyers, Community Activist Come Out in Support of VSU Student Eric Sheppard

| May 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
Attorney Mawuli Davis holds up a stuffed animal which only Eric Sheppard, Jr. knows what it means.

Attorney Mawuli Davis holds up a stuffed animal which only Eric Sheppard, Jr. knows what it means.

Attorneys for Eric “EJ” Sheppard held a press conference along with several leaders in the African-American community who all voiced their support in solidarity for the safe surrender of Sheppard and for him to receive his due-process of law.

Sheppard has been in the national spotlight ever since he held a protest on the campus of Valdosta State University for justice in the death of Kendrick Johnson. He utilized his 1st amendment rights to walk on an American flag and to speak out against extreme racism in America. Shortly after the protest officers claim that they found a book bag that contained a weapon which they are attempting to link to Sheppard.

Community activist from multiple organizations including the Nation of Islam, FTP movement, Malcolm X Grassroots, National Action Network, the National Coalition to Combat Police Terrorism and more took turns to voice their pledge of support in Sheppard’s case. The speakers fear for Sheppard’s safety because he has been labeled “armed and dangerous,” wrongly demonizing and criminalizing Sheppard.

“Mr. Sheppard is in hiding, in fear for his life, in fear for his safety, afraid from the threats that he has received from who we believe are the real terrorists as well as him being labeled ‘armed and dangerous,’ Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis said. “We are here as a law firm with other members of the legal community, as well as other members of the community to speak directly to Eric, and let him know he has legal representation and community support and that we will protect him.”

Sheppard is a young man who has no criminal history what so ever. He is an honor roll student pursuing a double major in psychology and African-American, a coach, a mentor, and a student activist.

“He is a student activist still learning and growing as a young person and that should not be criminalized,” said Davis. “Because you are in the custody of law enforcement doesn’t mean you’re safe. In fact being in the custody of law enforcement for many African-American men has resulted in their injury or death. Instead of being labeled as a student activist he has been labeled as armed and dangerous and that puts his life in jeopardy.”

Davis’ hope is that there will be a bond set for Sheppard and that he can be escorted into the jail, get fingerprinted, and then escorted by members of the Nation of Islam back to a safe location. Davis expressed that he does not intend on letting him be escorted by anyone other than members of the community that is unwavering in their support of EJ Sheppard.

“He is in the category of an armed robber, he is in the category of a murder, he is in the category of a violent criminal and even the charge of having a weapon in a school zone is not a violent crime,” said Davis. “The underlying factor that makes Eric such a threat is his protest.”

Davis pointed out that it Eric Sheppard did not become a target of law enforcement or vigilantes until after his protest. During the protest police interacted with him and there was no issue but somehow hours later, officers find a book bag with a gun inside of it that they attribute to Sheppard.

“The city of Valdosta is sick and tired of many strong individuals, especially a young black brother, that wants to stand up and put Valdosta on blast for their hypocrisy and some of their lawlessness in their agencies,” said community activist Marcus Coleman. “Lets just be honest here, it is more than just the flag. It is agents running rampant through the city of Valdosta and it is the Black Lives Matter that has a certain part of this population uneasy.

Part two of the press conference can be viewed here.

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