Have you ever met Howie? Let me introduce you. Two weeks ago Jamal Andrews was gunned down, by another man, after opening the front door of his home. The reason? He was black. Jamal’s life partner witnessed the atrocity. We owe it her and Jamal’s son, as well as to David and Lucy, Jamal’s grieving father and mother, and to every single person in our community, to embrace this cause. We need to erase racism. This is HOW WE must plan to deal with this situation.
Having gone down to Ukiah for the arraignment of B. Norbury, on February 6th, in Department B, of the courthouse, I was pleased to see an excellent representation of our community in the courtroom. I have been communicating with a close friend who shares my revulsion that an act of this nature could have occurred in our community. He had plenty to say about Howie.
He emphasized HOW WE, as a community, could further our cause of extracting appropriate justice. He explained that it is early in the proceedings, but that pronounced community interest, demonstrated by presenting ourselves at every court appearance, can have a remarkable effect on each of the following: the prosecution, the defense attorney, the judge, the public, and ultimately the jury, if it sees a lot of community interest in the case.
I intend to be there; I want to see B. Norbury and I want him to see me. In fact, I think we should jam that courtroom every single time the defendant makes an appearance. I want the defendant-and the world-to see a courtroom full of angry people, black and white people, who loved Jamal and will be watching. There must be no quiet plea-bargaining off in the corner. Jamal was one of ours, and we must band together in solidarity, and allow our thrumming thunder to trumpet our cause.
The next court appearance for the defendant is March 1st, in Department B, of the Ukiah Courthouse, at one-thirty. Of course, information of his appearances are public record and anyone who desires, can phone the Clerk of the Mendocino County Superior Court in Ukiah, Criminal Division, and ask about scheduled court appearances for B. Norbury. The court also maintains a website that includes court calendars.
So this must be our plan, as to HOW WE confront Jamal’s killer. I believe that this is the most appropriate response we can make as a community. That it happened, we cannot deny, but that doesn't mean we have to accept it, or allow it to happen again. I have never been involved in a courtroom trial, that had any personal relevance. In this most atrocious of cases, I plan to:
see and watch Jamal’s accused killer, and have him see me, every time he steps foot inside the courtroom.
to demonstrate my anger in a civilized manner, unlike the accused, who committed an insidious act.
to see justice carried out, and consequences assigned.
to perform my individual role, with motivation and tenacity.
to show the defendant, that when he chose to act so savagely, without provocation, that he made a mammoth error.
B. Norbury hasn’t seen anything yet. I can be savage in my efforts; I can be savage in my determination; and finally, I can be savage in extracting retribution. Just watch me. Better still, join me, and B. Norbury can watch you also.
Our community up here on the mountain, gathered together once before, about twenty-three years ago, and carved a path on the slope of a hillside to our little school. Now we need to fashion a different type of path, but we have experience, motivation, love for Jamal, and a determination to remove B. Norbury from within our midst-forever.
No need to bring tools to construct this path. Just bring yourself to the courtroom, and maybe a paperback novel too. There will be delays, but we have plenty of time. Oh yes, we have plenty of time, unlike Jamal. And we plan to be there so that B. Norbury knows who we are, and why we want him removed. It’s more than he was willing to allow Jamal.