Militant Journalism

Drop the charges against Shaneen Allen!

Shaneen Allen and her two sons

“I think they are against women and I think the judge is sexist.”

—Shaneen Allen

Last fall, Philadelphia mother Shaneen Allen, drove from her Pennsylvania home to Harrah’s Resort for a birthday party in Atlantic City and was stopped by a traffic cop. Having been robbed twice before, with the prodding of a friend, Shaneen purchased a hand gun and became licensed to carry in the state of Pennsylvania.

Shaneen was unaware that her permit was not protected under the 2nd Amendment in New Jersey.

“I might have swerved a little in the lane trying to get to the room to go to sleep. That’s when the officer pulled me over,” explained Shaneen.

The officer immediately questioned Shaneen about drinking, but she doesn’t drink.

“I was trying to remember where the insurance card was at. He said just give me credentials. I picked up my purse and I have three compartments: one for money and change and another for my ID. I grabbed it to get my ID and went to get the insurance card. The middle part has the firearm. When I realized that, I told him and he grabbed it through the window,” said  Shaneen of her ordeal that night in Atlantic City.

“He arrested me and locked me up for 6 hours.”

When she was applying for a bartending job in Pennsylvania, Shaneen was arrested again when her background check at the bar came back with her listed as having a fugitive warrant in New Jersey. She spent 46 days in jail.

Jim McClain, the Atlantic County District Attorney, is now pushing forward with felony charges that could carry up to 10 years in jail. New Jersey is one of the 20 states that does not recognize a Pennsylvania permit.

Shaneen’s case is yet another example of a woman taking a stand to defend herself and being attacked by the cops and the courts.

Marissa Alexander, the Florida mother who fired a warning shot into the air to get her car keys to escape from her abuser, was prosecuted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is now facing 20 years in prison. Marissa has a court date for a second trial in December requesting immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” law—the law that was erroneously used to let off racist vigilante George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

The New Jersey courts are following in the footsteps of those in Florida. The prosecutor, Jim McClain, allowed wife-beater Ray Rice to enter a first offender intervention program in May, but denied Shaneen’s application to the same program.

“I think they are against women and I think the judge is sexist in my case and in Marissa’s case.”

“She didn’t do anything, her abuser should be in jail, not Marissa,” commented Shaneen.

“I’m glad my story is getting out there. When I started I was all by myself. I wasn’t about to let them brush me off. This fight is about our kids’ future. The right for free speech should be exercised for everyone. What I want is justice for everyone out there, for those going through what I am going through,” said Shaneen during a discussion about the struggle in Ferguson and other struggles for justice around the country.

Shaneen’s trial is scheduled for October 2014. Her case must be included with the growing struggles for justice in the U.S. Drop the charges against Shaneen Allen!

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