In record time, Charles Ramsey‘s dramatic and shocking rescue of three Cleveland women turned into a witch hunt to disparage his character, and the Smoking Gun wins the dubious distinction of being “First Website To Dig Up Dirt On Charles Ramsey.”
There are clearly people in this country who have an issue with Black man as hero.
According to the website:
Ramsey’s first domestic violence charge came in February 1997. He entered a no contest plea a year later and was found guilty of the count by a Cleveland Municipal Court judge. While waiting to be sentenced, Ramsey was again arrested for domestic violence.
At the time of Ramsey’s second collar, in July 1998, he was already the subject of an arrest warrant issued in connection with his failure to appear for a court hearing in the first domestic violence case. As a result, Ramsey was jailed for violating terms of his release on bond. Ramsey subsequently entered a no contest plea to the second case and was, again, found guilty by a Cleveland judge.
The domestic violence cases apparently were consolidated for sentencing in August 1998, when Ramsey was ordered to serve six months in jail, placed on five years probation, and directed to attend a domestic violence counseling program.
Following his release from custody, Ramsey violated probation terms, according to an April 1999 court docket entry. While an arrest warrant was issued for Ramsey, it is unclear from court records whether it was executed before both misdemeanor cases were formally closed several years later.
Ramsey was again busted for domestic abuse in January 2003. He was subsequently indicted for felony “domestic violence with prior conviction,” a reference to his previous abuse cases.
And a decade later, he was in the right place, at the right time to save 3 women and a child from years of captivity and sexual violence.
Scholar and prison reform activist, Dr. Artemesia Stanberry, like many of us, is not at all surprised that the re-branding of Ramsey so swiftly took a negative turn:
Well, you knew a story like this would surface. But what this says to people living in communities where there may be a high level of crime: that if you act to help someone, you will either be a suspect or your life will be scrutinized if it is a high profile case. By the time it is over, if Ramsey internalize the negatives, he will probably think that he just should have stayed on his porch, ate his McDonald’s and just forgot what he heard and saw. Ramsey strikes me as being someone who is comfortable with what he did to help Amanda Berry and others, regardless of the extra scrutiny he will get. I hope he is because he acted in a way that we would want others to act.
While The Smoking Gun presents Ramsey’s record as a “gotcha” story, the man of the hour himself publicly shared his past in a national interview before this story broke:
As previously reported by NewsOne, Ramsey mentioned his domestic violence past, saying that his father would have judged him for not helping the women in light of his checkered history:
“There was a woman in distress, why turn your back on that? My father would have whooped the hell out of me if he had found out I would coward out. You tough in these bars, and you beat a woman, but you won’t help one out? … I’m the definition of a man.”
See WKYC-TV interview below:
Charles Ramsey has paid his debt to society, if not to his ex-wife. That is supposed to be the purpose of our system — to rehabilitate people so that they re-enter society better than they left it. Racist attempts to shift the narrative to deflect from his heroic deeds should not be tolerated — especially from Black media outlets whose purpose is to maintain balance in the face of racist stereotypes that persist in the mainstream.
Domestic violence is an unconscionable crime that should be called out for the evil it is, and so to should the meme of Black man as violent, hilarious minstrel show.
Ramsey did horrible things 10 years ago. He was a hero on May 6, 2013.
He served time for the former; he should be allowed to serve time as the latter.
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