In this day and age, it seems we have everything backward. If we look to our government to protect us we get hurt, and if we take things into our own hands and defend ourselves we get sent to prison, does justice even exist anymore?
If you have not yet heard the story of Cyntoia Brown please, prepare yourself for heartbreak. On the night of August 6th, 2004 brown was only 16 years old. She began her night ‘getting high and having sex’ with a drug dealer who beat her often and forced her into prostitution. She didn’t know how things were going to end up and frankly, no one could have seen things ending up how they did.
Brown testified before a judge in Tennessee in November of the same year, and she mentioned that when her dealer noticed she was becoming a ‘slouch’ he told her she needed to get out and make some money. She then got a ride to an area in East Nashville where her dealer/pimp had told her she could make some money. This is where she met a 43-year-old man named Johnny Allen. This man took her to his home upon agreeing that he would be paying her a fee of $150.
Brown said that the more she spoke with Allen the more she became nervous as he kept speaking about being a ‘sharpshooter’ in the military and showing her several of his guns. This is where things begin to take a turn for the worst. In Brown’s words this is what happened next, “he was just stroking me, and then he grabbed me in between my legs, like, he just grabbed it real hard. He just gave me this look, it was like, a very fierce look, and it just sent chills up my spike. I’m thinking he’s going to hit me or do something like that. But then, he rolls over and reaches – he’s reaching to the side of the bed… so I’m thinking he’s not going to hit me, he’s going to get a gun.”
“I just grabbed a gun and I shot him.”
Brown was tried as an adult and while she argued what she did was in self-defense she was still convicted of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to a life in prison with parole eligibility after 51 years. This testimony was captured and placed in a 2011 documentary called “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story.” however, her case is now gaining a lot of attention on social media. Just today I have seen her photo at least three times.
Her name is becoming so popular that even celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian have posted their opinions on the matter. They believe just as I do that the system has treated her in a terrible manner and that her sentencing was unfair. There are tons of people coming out of the woodworks in hopes of getting this spread as much as possible.
did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause….. Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child’s sentence I hope to God you don’t have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already! #FREECYNTOIABROWN #HowManyMore
The documentary mentioned above followed Brown for seven years and brought to the light how terrible her life had been. The violence and abuse she had endured throughout her life were laid out for all to see. The abuse Brown faced as the BBC put it began with Cyntoia’s grandmother who claims her daughter was a product of rape and that her mother who had her at 16 was addicted to cocaine and had also spent time in prison.
Brown is what one would call a model prisoner at age 29, and is working towards finishing her bachelor’s degree from within. Derri Smith wrote in a blog post something about this that truly make my heart sink. She wrote that if Brown had been sentenced in current times she would have been seen as the victim that she truly was and should would have been saved from human trafficking rather than made out to be a criminal and forced to live a ‘life’ in prison. This is one of the truest things I have seen about this specific case, period.
There is a petition going around that has roughly 200,000 signatures at the moment. This petition is calling for the president himself to issue Brown’s pardon. You can sign it if you would like to by clicking here. Please, do not forget Brown’s story. Please check out the video below, there are a lot of small details and things that need to be heard in regards to her story.
(Image Via: PBS)