Mychal Bell, the only Jena 6 youth to be incarcerated since last December for beating his white classmate (Justin Barker), was released Sept. 28, on $45,000 bail after the prosecutor, Reed Walters, decided to abandon adult charges of aggravated second-degree battery.
Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton and others were on hand when Bell was released. The current status of the Jena 6 is pending as Walters now plans to try them as juveniles in this case. David Utter, director of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Project, said conviction on those counts could keep Bell locked up until he turns 21, according to the Associated Press.
During Walters’ press conference on CNN last Friday, he told the media, “Let me stress that the only way that I believe that me or this community has been able to endure the trauma that has been thrust upon us is through the prayers of the Christian people who have sent them up in this community.”
Rev. Donald Sibley, who was at the press conference, called it a “shame” that Walters credited divine intervention. He told CNN that Walters insulted the protesters by making a separation between “his Christ and our Christ.”