Mother's Day is a really good day to enjoy the pink azaleas at home, quietly. In 2011, when I sent out texts wishing everyone in a woman's organization "Happy Mother's Day", I ended up being arrested and spending 8 hours in a filthy Brooklyn police station jail. I was released by the arresting officer who had spent the 8 hours on and off trying to get the district attorney's office to agree on charges. He unlocked the cell door saying "Lookman is full of s**t." "Right!" I said. And then I told him that being arrested in Nairobi had been more fun. Because we watched the Olympic games with the police. And the man I was arrested with made everyone laugh.
My experience with being falsely accused and arrested, Lookman being rightly accused and arrested (I managed to get his charges dropped), and me being sued for $20 million dollars in United States Federal Court has given me an insight into New York civil and criminal courts that is leading to a major focus of my efforts. Reforming police and judicial procedures.
On this Mother's Day, a huge cloud hangs over a mother, a good woman who has worked hard her 30 years in the United States, a quiet well-behaved woman who apologizes when she sneezes. Her name is Lorpu Korlewala and she was arrested on April 2nd, told to take her hands off the head of the woman whose hair she had been braiding in her salon, and put her hands behind her back. She was handcuffed and told to walk out of her shop into the back of a police van. She had been shown a picture of a tall, dark-skinned man - her husband is short and brown-skinned - told he was her husband, and that she had driven a getaway car for a kidnap and robbery of an old lady. And the arresting police officer, and the district attorney's office, insist that they had done this twice.
The agony continues in South Africa for the wives and mothers of the 20 Congolese men who have been surviving day by day in Pretoria Central Prison since February 2013, falsely accused by South African police misconduct.
For nearly 4 weeks we have been hearing a small cry that has become a large cry, even echoed by the First Lady of the United States. Bring back our girls. Nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from school, shortly after 50 school boys were massacred at school, and during 5 years of murder and mayhem in northern Nigeria and increasingly, throughout Nigeria. Nigerian mothers are weeping for their daughters who have vanished, and have not been found even though Nigerian, US, British and Israeli forces are looking for them.
Mother's Day is to remind us of only one thing: mothers be kind to children, and children be kind to mothers. And everyone else, help mothers and children be kind to each other. By making sure mothers can feed and educate their children and keep them safe. Always.
South African police falsely accuse 20 Congolese men of plotting an armed coup and have detained them without bail since Feb 5, 2013 click here
Philadelphia police falsely accuse Liberian-American married couple of kidnapping and robbing old ladies click here
Women and men are demanding Nigeria find and bring back home nearly 300 girls kidnapped during their final exams. May 3: wear a headwrap for Nigeria brought out protesters all around the worldclick here
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