A young man was arrested by Portsmouth, Virginia police over a mere $5 in groceries that he stole because he was hungry.
The arrest came on the same day a Portsmouth cop shot and killed an unarmed African American 18-year-old.
But now, Jamycheal Mitchell, 24, has been found dead in his jail cell, after spending four months behind bars with no conviction and no bail.
Mitchell had no muscle mass left by the time he died. As a registered nurse, she said she believes he was starving himself, apparently to pressure the “justice” system to stop locking him up indefinitely.
Mitchell was accused of stealing a $1 bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake. Combined, these amounted to a total of $5 he is accused of stealing from a 7-Eleven.
For that, he has been locked up for months, awaiting trail, and it is not even clear that he committed those crimes. There may have, perhaps, been a dispute about payment. Or perhaps he began consuming the food in the store and his credit or debit card was declined. Both of these scenarios could result in the same charges.
Perhaps still, he was poor, hungry, and stole food from time to time. Are we really in the business of locking people in cages for months over stealing food?
Mitchell’s death has not been covered by national, or even local media in Virginia, aside from a brief mention on the 11 o’clock news. Help us SPREAD THE WORD before the police start shaping the narrative of this young man’s death!
Black lives matter.