Both the Chicago Tribune and the Denver Post ran stories on Sunday asking questions about who is accounting for the money donated to help the Jena 6 with their legal defense fund.
Just weeks after some 20,000 demonstrators protested what they decried as unequal justice aimed at six black teenagers in the Louisiana town of Jena, controversy is growing over the accounting of at least $500,000 donated for the teens' legal defense.To make matters worse, pictures have been circulated on the internet which don't show the defendants in the best light:
Parents of the Jena 6 teens have refused to publicly account for how they are spending up to $250,000 that resides in a bank account they control.
Michael Baisden, a nationally syndicated black radio host who is leading a major fundraising drive on behalf of the Jena 6, has declined to reveal how much he has collected. Attorneys for the first defendant to go to trial, Mychal Bell, say they have yet to receive any money from him.
One photo shows Robert Bailey, one of the Jena 6 defendants, smiling and posing with $100 bills stuffed in his mouth. Another shows defendants Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis modeling like rap stars on a red carpet at the Black Entertainment Television Hip Hop music awards in Atlanta last month.Someone even posted the photos to this YouTube video:
Alan Bean, the director of Texas-based group Friends of Justice, who was the first civil rights activist to investigate the Jena 6 case, was quoted as saying, "There are definitely questions out there about the money."