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World renowned rock band Living Color and the 24-7 Spyz are fighting for justice for wrongly accused youth, Donovan Drayton. On January 21st, 2013, the “Cult of Personality” band will grace the stage of the Highline Ballroom in The Black Rock Coalition’s, Million Man Mosh 2, in an effort to raise money for Drayton, who was wrongly accused of murder in 2007,while the others involved took plea deals.
The funds will go towards Drayton’s defense, as he faces a re-trial. Drayton, who was 19, at the time of his arrest, has always maintained his innocence, enduring over five years without bail. An entire community and Drayton’s devoted father, world guitarist, Ronny Drayton, watched time after time, as his son was denied bail even after the other suspect, Craig Glover, stated that Drayton had nothing to do with that fateful event in 2007.
It did not matter that there was no forensic evidence tying Drayton to the scene of the crime. Yet Queens Assistant DA, Shawn Clark, was determined to win, in an effort to beef up his record of successful wins and put another African American youth behind bars. In Donovan Drayton’s case, there was no physical evidence lending itself to the defense’s case. His pre-trial hearings were adjourned 39 times and he was found not guilty of 1st degree murder, criminal possession of a murder weapon, and manslaughter in the 1st degree. And still no bail?
His appeal for bail had to be taken all the way to the NY Supreme Court, before outcries from the supporting local and international communities (who were present in the courtroom) were heard. Drayton was finally granted bail, after the Supreme Court found no valid reason to keep him locked up.
This type of injustice in the judicial system is way bigger than Donovan. This is what is happening to young men of color all over the United States. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, with a majority of 70% being African American men. Many young men are finding themselves caught up in this “ New Jim Crow” system, with no hope in sight.
Also hitting the stage and fighting for Donovan, will be the groups Burnt Sugar, The Arkestra Chamber & Ronny Drayton ft. Rev. Kim Lesley, Lenny White, Eddie Martinez, Jef Lee Johnson, Nona Hendryx , Legendary DJ’s: Rockin’ Rob & Chuck City, and a plethora of others from the music industry.
For more info on Donovan Drayton and the fight for justice, go to www.4donovan.info
To purchase tickets for The Million Man Mosh 2, visit the www.highlineballroom.com
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.