Jeremy Marks is a Los Angeles high school special education student who’s been caught up in the criminal justice system. Originally he was offered to plead guilty on charges which would land him 7 years in a prison, and more recently he’s been offered a plea deal which included “attempted lynching” and would cost him just under 3 years in prison. He has been in jail for the past 7 months awaiting his day in court as his family is too poor to afford the bail set.
Here’s what happened: Marks was at a bus stop outside of a McDonald’s when a school police officer confronted another student for smoking. Based on the police report, eyewitnesses reports, and sworn testimonies (outlined in an write-up in the LA Weekly, which weirdly enough seems to be the only major news organization covering this), the cop seems to have lost her shit and smashed the kid’s head into a window until it broke. The window, that is.
Here’s part of the testimony of Los Angeles Unified School District campus police officer Erin Robles:
It was getting very, very wild.
OK, hold it right there. What do you think of when you think of something “very, very wild?” I have a few ideas, but describing them would probably violate some of WordPress’ Terms of Service. Anyway, here’s what immediately follows from the above quote:
There was screaming, people were walking behind me.
Forget about the screaming for now. People were walking behind her? That’s the second thing she remembers in order to back up her claim about it being “very, very wild?” Also, I hate to be the one to break it to officer Robles, but there are people walking behind her all the time.
Next, we get to the explanation of the screaming.
There were individuals trying to reach for my O.C. spray that had fallen on the ground. I was screaming for help on my radio.
Did you catch that?
There was screaming
Really? Why was there screaming?
I was screaming
Well that explains it. That’s why you always have to watch for the use of passive tense. People usually use it when they don’t want to identify the subject of the sentence, in this case the fact that it was her screaming instead of there just being screaming by nobody in particular.
Here’s how an eyewitness described the situation to the LA Weekly:
She slammed the student into a wall, threw him on the ground, took out her pepper spray, slammed him into the bus, broke the window out of the bus with his head, sprayed him in the face and slammed him into the bus some more.
Now’s probably a good time to note that the student in question is not Jeremy Marks. Marks was in the area, and he and a few others took out their cell phones to record video of the assault. Here is one of them and here is another. Marks was essentially arrested for recording the incident and for allegedly yelling “kick her ass!” though if you read the LA Weekly article that second claim sounds pretty dubious. The lynching charge comes from an odd definition of lynching which includes means trying to “incite a riot during an attempt to free a suspect from police custody.”
Even if Marks did call for a police ass-kicking, I don’t really see how you get from that to inciting a riot. And even if we grant the LAUSD cops that much, there would already have to be an attempt to free the suspect from police custody going on in order for that to apply to this weird lynching law, and that just doesn’t seem to be the case based on the evidence. The kids watching the altercation are just laughing and talking shit. There’s no escape attempt for the “incitement to riot” to be during.
This is just a case of an overzealous police officer with a corrupt department determined to use this kid as a scapegoat. And it’s fucking his life up for no real reason at all.
UPDATE: An engineer at Google heard about this story on reddit and has paid Marks’ bail.