Jewu Richardson fights for life and justice


Shot by police for exposing their corruption

By Deb Malatesta
November 15, 2011

Jewu Richardson

On Jan. 16, 2010, Jewu Richardson nearly died after being brutally shot just inches from his heart by a New Haven police officer while he was sitting in his car, unarmed with his hands raised in submission. Now after fighting for his life, he is fighting for his freedom as he awaits trial for a crime he did not commit. Passengers in his car were beaten, even though they submitted to the police and no charges were ever filed against them. Crucial evidence in this incident was destroyed by police.

At the time of the shooting, Richardson was awaiting the start of a highly publicized federal lawsuit against the City of New Haven after he served time for drugs planted on him by the federally indicted New Haven Police Department’s Narcotics Task Force, led by Billy White.

In January 2006, New Haven Police Department Narcotics Task force, well known for its corrupt activities, planted drugs on Richardson and arrested him after he refused to be a snitch. For 13 months he sat in jail.

The day before his jury trial was to begin, the FBI arrested Billy White and his thugs on charges of bribery, theft of government funds and criminal conspiracy. It is no coincidence that when Richardson arrived at the courthouse the next day, the prosecutor had filed a 30-day continuance.

In fact, the prosecutor knew he had no case when the officers who were the key witnesses against Richardson were in jail on federal charges of conspiracy. Two days later, the prosecutor, judge and Richardson’s attorney met secretly and “nollied” the case without consulting Richardson. This means they determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

After Richardson’s 13 months in jail, they decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute him? Just days after the officers were busted? The real criminals were the officers and the New Haven Police Department. In response, Richardson filed a motion for complete dismissal of all charges. And in 2008, he filed a federal lawsuit against the City of New Haven, NHPD, the chief of police and the officers involved.

In 2009, cops began harassing and intimidating Richardson. They would stop and frisk him under false pretexts in an attempt to silence him. On Jan. 16, 2010, they shot him in the chest through the windshield of his car in an attempt to silence him for good.

The NHPD is charging Richardson with first-degree assault of a police officer, an attempt to justify this near-fatal shooting. He is facing 20 years in jail. But as Richardson says: “They tried to kill me and I should be dead, but they messed up. They messed up big time.”

He continues to organize around his case and speaks out against police brutality.

A fundraiser was held recently featuring hip hop artists Rebel Diaz, Marcel Cartier and Fronline Souljaz at the New Haven People’s Center to help raise funds and awareness around the case and police brutality in New Haven.

Jewu Richardson is a father, a psychology student and an activist with People Against Police Brutality, Blacks & Latinos United, and other community organizations in New Haven. We will not let him go to jail for a crime he did not commit. Justice for Jewu!

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