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OUR ATTORNEY RESPONDS TO MEDIA COVERAGE OF A CLIENT’S DEATH

An edited version of the following letter was published in the Daily News on January 15.

Dear Editor:

On January 9th, the Daily News published an article about the shooting death of my client, Jaquay Bennett, who was 19 years old at the time.  After providing the details of his brutal shooting, the article reported that he “had several prior arrests.”  These are among the last words that will ever be written about Jaquay, a teenager, who died tragically.

As widely reported, a vastly disproportionate number of people of color are arrested in New York City every year.  In Jaquay’s case, as in that of many others, he had yet to have been convicted of any crime.  Jaquay’s arrests do not justify his murder nor do they make it any less horrible.  Further, given the disproportionate arrests of people of color, his arrests do not give any insight into his character.

Your blog contained no mention of the fact that he had been attending a program at Medgar Evers College, that he was dedicated to his family – including five siblings, his parents, and a one-year-old son, or that he had spent time working with Crown Heights Mediation Center.  Jaquay will be missed and had an impact on the world beyond the fact that he had been arrested.

Sincerely,

Amy Albert
Brooklyn Defender Services