Saturday, 18 June 2011

Group Protests Boy's Adult Murder Charge New Black Panthers Call State Attorney's Move An Injustice

The New Black Panthers organization is outraged that a 12-year-old boy charged with murder is being charged as an adult.Cristian Fernandez is accused of killing his 2-year-old half-brother.The organization protested outside of the state attorney's office Friday, saying Fernandez should not be charged as an adult. Group members said doing so is an injustice by the state attorney's office.Members said they were taking a position Friday, asking for State Attorney Angela Corey to be removed from her position.Group members said Fernandez shouldn't be charged as an adult because he has a history of abuse in his family. They said the court system has failed the boy, adding that he needs help, not spend his life in prison."We believe that he should be put in Juvenile Court," said Mikhail Muhammed, of the New Black Panthers. "This is a child who's obviously had mental and emotional problems. So we believe that Angela Corey is abusing her power." A gag order has been issued in the murder case, so the state attorney's office cannot comment on the protest.Corey has said in the past that she considers Fernandez to be a danger because of his history. She said by charging him as an adult, she is helping protect the community."We were not comfortable, based on his history and the events surrounding how he killed his 2-year-old brother, that we cold protect anyone he was around," Corey said when the indictment was announced earlier this month. "The juvenile system does not give us sufficient options or enough time. We would have lost jurisdiction over him in about eight and a half years."Police said 2-year-old David Galarriago died of blunt-force trauma. According to a petition filed with the court by DCF, the toddler suffered "abusive head trauma, a swollen brain, a broken nose, retinal hemorrhaging, bruising to the face, hips and back, a healing tibia, femur fracture and possible healed arm fracture."DCF is conducting a post-death investigation to determine if everything possible was done to protect the safety of the children.Fernandez's next court appearance is scheduled for July 21.

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