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Petition says ‘stop frame-up of Chuck Turner’

Published Feb 14, 2009 10:56 AM

In collaboration with the International Action Center, City Councilor Chuck Turner has launched a new phase of his “Campaign for Truth, Light and Justice,” focusing national and international attention not just on frame-up charges against Turner but also on eight years of corrupt practices by the Bush administration’s Department of “Justice.”

Bishop Filipe Teixeira, Ramsey Clark and
Chuck Turner, Dec. 17.
WW photo: Steve Kirschbaum

Turner has been fighting back ever since his fraudulent Nov. 21 arrest on baseless charges of extorting $1,000 to help obtain a liquor license. Supporters assert that the arrest is clearly an effort by right-wing law enforcement officials to deprive Boston’s African-American community of its elected leadership and to silence the leading voice for the most oppressed and disenfranchised in Boston.

A petition appeals to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the fraudulent charges against Turner; investigate all pending indictments of public officials and drop those that are racially and politically motivated; review all convictions made during the Bush administration to determine which were based on racial or political motivation and should therefore be overturned; initiate legal action against U.S. attorneys and attorneys general who set up politically and/or racially motivated indictments and prosecutions; and initiate legislation to end collusion between prosecutors and the media that destroys the opportunity for a fair trial by distributing government allegations before arraignments, indictments or trials have taken place. To sign the petition, go to supportchuckturner.com.

Turner’s public campaign speaking out against the fraudulent frame-up against him has been meeting with success. Public rallies drawing hundreds of activists and community members have put the case against him on trial.

In January, incoming City Council President Michael Ross fired federal Judge Charles B. Swartwood III, who had been hired by Ross’s predecessor, Maureen Feeney, to investigate Turner and “advise” the council on what action to take. Ross admitted that any investigation other than a fair trial in a court of law is a waste of the council’s time and money.

On Dec. 17, Ramsey Clark, winner of the 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award, conducted a press rally with Turner in front of the JFK Federal Building. Clark condemned the politically motivated prosecution and lauded Turner’s 40-year career fighting for civil rights and social justice. He called for an investigation of the investigators and prosecution of the prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan is attempting to silence Turner by demanding he sign a gag order before receiving the discovery information that is the constitutional right of any defendant. Turner has refused to sign, saying through his lawyers that signing the order would leave him helpless to defend himself. Turner contends that signing such an order would give the U.S. attorney free rein to continue trying him in the media with the release of fragmentary allegations and misinformation.

At Turner’s next court appearance on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in Moakley Federal Courthouse, the judge will rule on the gag order. Turner is holding a rally the evening before the court appearance at 6:30 p.m., in the cafeteria at Roxbury Community College.