The snow came early this year. Just as the 25 days of the Christmas season had begun Kentucky got a blanket of white. More than usual I’m in the Christmas spirit this year. However, too many of us will sit in jail this Christmas. Worse, some will sit in jail even though they will later be found innocent of the charges.
I have followed the original arrest, subsequent hearings, blogs, and further arrests and hearings of Pleas Lucian Kavanaugh. Most recently his bond was revoked and he was ordered to jail until his court date on February 23d. Pleas will spend Christmas in jail for exercising his First Amendment right to voice his case and his concerns over his ongoing police harassment.
Every time I look at my Christmas tree and work on decorating the house I can’t help but thinking about Pleas. Pleas is a good man, an innocent man. Pleas has friends and family who are missing him right now. Stress and worry dominate their lives during a time meant for peace and love.
Pleas does not deserve to be punished for blogging about his situation. Prosecutor Gullette didn’t like what Mr. Kavanaugh was saying and called a hearing on December 16th to do just that.
I can identify with Mr. Kavanaugh. While I was going through the heaviest of my police harassment, I was conveniently arrested and jailed for several years on falsified charges on the 23d of December. I was usually held until after midnight on the 24th. I could go all year without a false arrest but year after year I would get arrested on December 23d. In my case, December 23d is not just two days before Christmas, it is also my birthday. Stop a minute and think about everyone else who was affected by this harassment. My friends and family couldn’t enjoy the holidays because they were worried and spending all of their money arranging bond. My attorneys were stressed out and my minister would try to continue believing his sermons and loving everyone regardless.
Lucian’s friends and family feel the pain of his continued harassment by the Lexington Police Department. But even worse, they will have to spend Christmas without him. They will have to think of Lucian eating jail food and sleeping on cold concrete when they should be sharing the ‘reason for the season’.
What is the reason for the season? All religions, races, creeds and types of people have varying ways to identify why they celebrate. However, I think we can all overwhelmingly agree that during this season we try to do what’s right for others and think less about ourselves. We try to be nicer, to do what’s right and to make other people happy.
Lucian’s friends and family have been working hard to try to bring him home for the holidays. Defending yourself from a criminal accusation is expensive. I recently received a message from his friends informing me of his situation with attorney’s fees. Here is a portion of that message:
“I managed to hire one of the best attorneys in Lexington to represent him however we need to raise funds to cover the attorney fees. I and his brother contributed almost 1\3 of the fees but it is not enough. We have a deadline which is the 15th of december and I was wondering if there is any chance you might be able to publish his paypal account information in your blog and support us by getting our fund raising heard by as many people as we can.”
“It could have been any of us. We all Stand for freedom of speech, we are all against racism, brutality and cruelty. We all stand for human rights. A pack of cigarettes $4.29, Parking in downtown lexington $3.00, Beer $2.00-$3.00, we have hundreds of people in our friend lists. If everyone contributes few bucks, not much. $5.00-$10.00!!! you can help an innocent person to live his life freely…it could have been any of us”
You can follow along with the progress on this case here.
Please consider donating to Lucian’s legal fund here.
I know that it’s now uncool and politically incorrect to refer to Jesus and Christianity among intellectuals today but it’s Christmas and if Linus can do it then I’ll take that chance.
During the making of the animated Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz had a meeting with Lee Mendelson, the show’s producer, and Bill Melendez, its lead animator. The discussion concerned Schulz’s insistence about including a New Testament scripture reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. The scripture reading was to be spoken by Peanuts character Linus Van Pelt in response to Charlie Brown’s lament, Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? Mendelson and Melendez both voiced their concern about the reading, with Melendez telling Schulz, “It’s very dangerous for us to start talking about religion now.” Schulz answered him by saying, “Bill, if we don’t, who will?” In the end, the scripture reading was retained, and the CBS special was the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965, just fourteen days before I was born.
Linus’ King James’ version scripture reading from Luke 2: 8-14, read:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be]a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Whatever your “reason for the season” would you consider donating any amount no matter your ability. Any amount will help.
You could turn you head, fidget with something or distract yourself in some way. We’ve all seen others do it when they walk past the Salvation Army bell ringers. Maybe we’re guilty of doing it ourselves. I try to remember to bring something for the kettle after catching myself doing it.
Lucian has a history of harassment by the Lexington Police Department and currently is working on a civil case against them. Much of his current trouble is a reaction to this. HIs current incarceration was merely a move to punish him for shedding light on his case.
In Joshua 10:8, 12, 13, Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them. So Joshua asked the Lord to make the Sun stand still! Like Joshua, Pleas Lucian Kavanaugh felt concerned that if he did not shed light on his situation, he would be overpowered by the enemy. Lucian was protecting himself. For that, without our help, he will have to spend Christmas in jail. I’m not asking for the Sun to stand still. I’m merely asking for your prayers, support and, if you have the ability, your help with a small donation to his legal fund.
If you cannot donate would you consider helping get the word out?
Don’t take your freedom for granted. We must stand up for our rights even when we are not directly involved. Make a call or write a letter and demand that Lucian be set free until he can prove his innocence in a courtroom.
Lexington City Council: email@example.com
Judge Ernesto Scorsone: 859-246-2531 or write
Robert F. Stephens Circuit Courthouse
120 North Limestone
Lexington, KY 40507
Rev. Al Sharpton: email: firstname.lastname@example.org (on subject put: Attention Reverend Al Sharpton.)
Phone # 212-690-3070
Write a letter:
National Action Network
106 W. 145th St.,
Harlem, New York 10039
Rev. Jesse Jackson: Email: email@example.com
Rainbow PUSH National Headquarters
Constituent Services: 773-256-2723
Copyright ©Christopher Hignite 2010 All Rights Reserved. Feel free to copy and promote this article on any site. Please provide a link to the original article.