The story began last September at a high school in Jena, Louisiana when some black students decided to sit under a tree on school grounds that was usually a hang out spots for the white students of the school. A few days after the black students sat under the tree, a few white students hung three nooses from the tree. The students were then suspended for there actions.
In December 2006 after a school fight, 6 black students were charged with attempted murder with the weapon being their sneakers. It has been reported that the victim, Justin Barker, a white student attended a school function the night of the fight. According to the school’s by-laws in regards to a school fight, the course of action is usually a 3 day suspension; the students were not suspended by charged.
In Jena, Louisiana, a city with a population of 3000 people of which 12 % of the population is black, Mychael Bell was the first of the six to face trial where he was tried as adult, there were no witnesses to the crime called to testify and he faced an all white jury of his peers. Mychael was found guilty which led to racial protest.
As of today, new attorneys have arrived in Jena, to defend Mycheal Bell and a judge has said a new trial can be had in juvenile court. As for the tree that seemed to be the catalyse for these events to unfold has since been cut down.
Over the past weekend Susan Roesgen’s report of the Jena 6 has been on News Room, Anderson Cooper 360 and Out in the Open.
On CNN News Room this morning Heidi Collins conducted an interview with Jordan Flaherty, a journalist based in New Orleans as well as Tina Jones who is the mother of Bryant Purvis, one of the Jena 6.
You can also read Susan’s report from Anderson Cooper 360
As the story progresses I am sure Susan Roesgen will keep us up to date with any new information, defiantly keeping all those involved honest and continuing to do a fantastic job reporting this story.