On the heels of A. Charles Peruto Jr., calling for Seth Williams to be voted out of office, activists look to impeach him.
Activist Asa Khalif calls out District Attorney Seth Williams during a protest outside his downtown office. When notified that activist have begun talks to impeach Williams, the outspoken activist simply replied: "It's about time!"
Seth Williams, who was hired by the citizens of Philadelphia to prosecute the guilty as well as protect the innocent in his role as District Attorney, is not very popular these days; in fact some of his bosses, the taxpayers, are calling for his job.
On the heels of a call to vote Williams out of office by A. Charles Peruto Jr., a prominent 56-year-old white male defense attorney who became the center of a grand jury probe after his 26-year-old girlfriend was found dead in the bathtub of his Rittenhouse Square condominium -- it was announced this week that there was "no evidence of criminal activity" -- a familiar face already disgusted by Williams' performance on the job has announced his plans to campaign for his impeachment.
Former Philadelphia President of the National Action Network, Greg Brinkley, started the conversation on his Facebook page yesterday evening when he posted a status, which in part reads:
The more I observe the workings of a Seth Williams District Attorney's Office I am so non-apologetic of the growing criticism he has received from so many people when it comes to charging black people and in many cases our youth. I'm convinced he doesn't like black youth.
A former correctional officer at Graterford Prison, Pennsylvania's largest correctional facility, Brinkley has been very vocal of his disapproval of Williams, particularly with his handling of the Tomayo McDuffy case, in which a 18-year-old black male from North Philly was arrested and charged as an adult -- crowned with a half-a-million dollar bail -- after his blind, mentally-ill next door neighbor accused him of attempting to murder her by breaking into her three story row home and filling it up with gas from the stove. McDuffy's trial begins later this year, however, to this date, Williams has refused to release a motive as to why this kid with no criminal record would attempt to blow up the home directly connected to the one he shares with his single mother and three sisters.
Williams, in a still developing story, has recently charged a 15-year-old girl as an adult in the stabbing of a 14-year-old boy on a South Philly corner. That inhumane move, as Brinkley sees it, was his breaking point and now he says the devout Roman Catholic "has to go!"
"I'm not condoning what the girl did at all, but its no reason to charge her as an adult -- she's 15-years-old and her picture is plastered all over news reports," say Brinkley, giving his reasoning for yet another disapproval of his employee's job. There's a long list of reasons why Brinkley thinks Williams is the wrong person for the job, but his main reason is: "he's discriminatory against black people in general, black youth in particular."
Brinkley, who now spearheads an organization called People United for Justice and Accountability, suggests that the embattled D.A is violating his oath to prosecute fairly, "he doesn't prosecute the cops who brutalizes our communities," he notes. Brinkley is also fed up with the six-figure bails he sets for low-income blacks, "knowing most people doesn't have that kind of money," he adds.
A credible voice in the city, Brinkley says this is a conversation that needs to be had and there's basis for it. "Just because it's never been done before doesn't mean it shouldn't be done," he asserts, before pointing out that Williams is worst than his predecessor, Lynn Abraham, but "no one is going to claim discrimination or racism because he's black."
Making it clear that he hasn't giving up on good quality black leadership; Brinkley says the current blackface leaders in this city have failed the black youth -- "across the damn board!"
"We got a black everything, Mayor, District Attorney, School Superintendent and Police Commissioner, but our communities are in worst shape they've ever been in," observes Brinkley, who says the reason he isn't scared for speaking out against these perceived powerful men is because he's telling the truth and as a voter and taxpayer, he has "the right to raise significant issues about Seth Williams or anyone else that is violating the public trust."
Brinkley goes on to say:
"Protecting our youth is bigger than my fears. Theres no room to be afraid; someone has got to stand up for our youth! Besides, those cats are a bunch of nuts."
The bold activist who succeeded Brinkley in the role of Philadelphia President of the National Action Network is also in favor of impeaching Philly's first black District Attorney. Paula Peebles says she never supported him, adding "anyone who would call Lynn Abraham something like a god mom is obviously not good for the (black) community."
One of the frontline soldiers supporting 16-year-old Darrin Manning, Peebles sees "two systems of justice in Philadelphia" -- one for blacks and one for whites -- and claims "we will not get justice with the established system in place." She echoes Brinkley's points for why Williams should be impeached, and said if people are serious about moving in that direction, than "it would be a pleasure to get aboard that train."
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