Target: U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Goal: Demand justice for unarmed black man shot by South Carolina police officer currently only facing three years of probation for the murder.
Former South Carolina Police Officer Justin Gregory Craven was recently sentenced to three years probation for a felony charge connected to the fatal shooting of an unarmed civilian. According to Huffington Post, a grand jury declined to indict Craven for voluntary manslaughter, but prosecutors did manage to get an indictment for the felony charge of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle. Craven pleaded guilty to this charge, which could have carried up to one year in prison, but he was instead given three years probation.
The victim in this case, Ernest Satterwhite, was a 68-year-old black man. According to a prosecutor, Craven pursued Satterwhite on the road for about 13 miles before finally stopping him. Craven then got out of his car and approached Satterwhite’s vehicle where he drew his gun and fired several shots through the car window.
This is an all-too-common case of a police officer receiving no punishment for shooting and killing an unarmed black civilian. Craven pled guilty to the charge of firing his weapon into an unarmed vehicle, which obviously caused Satterwhite’s death, but Craven will still serve no jail time for Satterwhite’s murder. This case offers more evidence that the justice system is biased in favor of police officers. It provides no protection for black people who live in constant fear that they could lose their lives at the hands of aggressive, racist cops.
Sign the petition below to encourage the justice department to charge Craven with a civil rights violation and a stricter punishment for murdering Ernest Satterwhite.
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
Former South Carolina police officer Justin Gregory Craven was recently sentence to just three years probation after mudering Ernest Satterwhite. Satterwhite is only the latest unarmed black man to fall victim to the police, and his family has received no justice for his death.
I am sure that you are aware of the current movement pushing for police reform and prison time for police officers who shoot unarmed civilians. Black people should be able to live their lives freely without fear of being arrested, physically harmed, or even killed by police with no justification. If police officers continue to receive essentially no punishment for shooting at unarmed civilians, violent actions by police will only continue, and black people will continue to live in fear.
Do not allow Ernest Satterwhite to be the latest murder victim who will receive no justice. I urge you to launch a formal investigation into this case and charge Justin Gregory Craven with a civil rights violation and a stricter punishment. The justice department is the only remaining hope to deliver a real punishment in this case. Your action will make a tremendous difference for the family of Ernest Satterwhite and for people of color across the entire country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Edgefield County Detention Center