So how bad was that beating in Jena? Pretty bad. This is an old article, but it has more detail than anything else I’ve seen yet:
Investigators from the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office have gathered statements from more than 40 people — a number of them students — who told investigators they saw everything that happened. Many of these statements were included in court documents.
“When I heard a black boy say something to Justin, I turned my head and I saw somebody hit Justin,” one student wrote in a statement. “He fell in between the gym door and the concrete barricade. I saw Robert Bailey kneel down and punch Justin in the head. … Then Carwin Jones kicked him in the head. … Theo Shaw tried to kick him so I pushed Theo Shaw down. I also saw Mychal Bell standing over him.”
Phrases like “stomped him badly,” “stepped on his face,” “knocked out cold on the ground,” and “slammed his head on the concrete beam” were used by the students in their statements.
Free the Jena 6!
P.S. I read a lot about how the victim went to a “party” afterwards. Here’s more on that:
Barker was discharged about 2½ hours after being admitted to the ER. Later that night, he attended a ring ceremony at the school, where he was presented his class ring by his parents, something Kelli Barker said her son really wanted to be a part of, even though he was still in pain.
“All that keeps being said is that he was just in the hospital for a little bit and not really hurt,” Kelli Barker said of Justin. “I thank God he wasn’t hurt more than he was. But we have medical bills to show that he really was hurt.”
According to court documents, the initial trip to the emergency room cost $5,467.
P.P.S. I keep reading unverified reports that more than one of the suspects has a criminal record. I have yet to see any proof, but I will tell you frankly that it would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that individuals who participate in a brutal group beating like this have gotten in trouble before. I will follow up on this and see if I can get any verification.