he introduced me into the life of living free, knowing your rights and enforcing them.”
enforcing his rights was important to him because he went through the criminal system and they treated him wrong. so he made us enjoy learning our rights and enforcing them.”
it’s important for us, now to live on and push and make it the law to get your lawyer, get your phone calls, not be treated wrong and your civil rights not to be broken.”-Carolyn Fenderson at the 12.5.2020 Long Live Mr Human Rights Portrait and bench installation, Speak Out to End Incommunicado Detention
Preacher man, don’t tell me
Heaven is under the earth
I know you don’t know
What life is really worth
It’s not all that glitters is gold
‘Alf the story has never been told
So now you see the light, eh
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up (Lord, Lord) stand up for your rights (What you got to give?)
We sick an’ tired of-a your ism-schism game
Dyin’ ‘n’ goin’ to heaven in-a Jesus’ name, lord
We know when we understand
Almighty god is a living man
You can fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?)
We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!) So you better
Get up, stand up! (In the morning! git it up!)
Stand up for your rights! (Stand up for our rights!)
Get up, stand up!
Don’t give up the fight! (Don’t give it up, don’t give it up!)
Family & community members memorialized a well known legal worker, Chicago torture survivor and know-your-rights pioneer Charles Jones III, who passed away unexpectedly this week.
The outdoor public bench installation, graffiti portrait mural of the late Charles Jones III “Mr. Know Your Rights” and speak-out in support of unanimous yes votes on the Ordinance to End Incommunicado Detention (in city council this week) in his memory included
former members of Charles’ know your rights program, his coworkers and family members, and impacted community who worked with him to make Miranda rights a reality.
The law he advocated 6+ years for, to end the false confession epidemic he was hurt by as a youth, is up for a vote in city council this week.
In churches, community centers, schools and on doorsteps, Charles Jones III trained thousands of Black Chicagoans on why and how-to invoke one’s rights when in contact with police, using his own story as a warning to other youth and parents. As a teenager, he was imprisoned for murder based on a false confession he made while incommunicado with police. He was a featured Homan Square detainee in the Guardian and CNN expose’s.
a bittersweet triumph after tragedy
Days after the loss of the devoted husband, father and community leader, the law he wrote with Englewood youth and parents is finally set for a vote. The law, an ordinance in Chicago city council, will ensure people under arrest in Chicago police custody are allowed to make calls generally within an hour of arrest to their family and attorneys.
This is already state law, but has been ignored in Chicago for decades according to Public Defender Amy Campanelli in a pending lawsuit and recent press.Phones are not made available until the end of the up-to 72 hours if at all. Chicago police data for 2020 shows less than 2% of their arrestees ever get lawyers although the public defender has them on call 24/7/365 in a new special unit.
After 6 years of advocacy, community education, and negotiations with city government, the “Ordinance to End Incommunicado Detention” is scheduled to be voted forward from the Public Safety Committee Tues. Dec 8th 1pm, to the full City Council meeting for passage Wed. Dec 9th.
This was his passion project at First Defense Legal Aid over the last several years. He ran violence reduction, and know your rights, programming and recently helped launch a new program offering free legal help for victims of police abuse.