Patreese Johnson will be coming home in August after 7 years of incarceration by the State of New York. She will be released on parole with a felony charge on her record. For those who may not remember the details of this case: on August 18, 2006, seven young African American lesbians traveled to New York City from their homes in Newark for a regular night out. When walking down the street, a man sexually propositioned one of the women. After refusing to take no for an answer, he assaulted them. The women tried to defend themselves, and a fight broke out. The women were charged with Gang Assault in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony with a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years. Patreese Johnson was additionally charged with 1st Degree Assault. Three of the women accepted plea offers. On June 14th, 2007 Venice Brown (19), Terrain Dandridge (20), Patreese Johnson (20), and Renata Hill (24) received sentences ranging from 3 1⁄2 to 11 years in prison.
Just because she's out of prison doesn't mean that she's in the clear. The Bay NJ4 Solidarity Committee is spreading the word about her release and promoting various ways of helping throw down for her reentry and legal defense needs, as a civil suit is also still pending. They have set up a gofundme campaign to help raise the costs for Patreese's legal and reentry expenses.
Please repost links and information to your blogs, networks, listserves, tumblrs, etc. Please do what you can to let folks know about a go fund me campaign online where everyone is encouraged to contribute. the link is http://www.gofundme.com/2xjwpg
For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, the NJ4 solidarity committee is having a happy hour fundraiser at El Rio on June 14th from 4-6 pm. The committee would love to reconnect with folks and hear about your work as well.