On May 5th, 2015 activists purposed to raise awareness in Martinsburg WV and the surrounding areas about the murder of Wayne Jones by (5) Martinsburg Police Officers on March 13, 2013. Flustered that the Wayne Jones murder has not received the proper media attention other police shootings have afforded, locals and other citizens say that the Jones shooting should receive similar press and attention if not more than those who’ve been given significant exposure in the national media. Since October 2014, The Full Court Press covered this case while the public was being misled about the details of the incident. Several articles by TFCP exposed the anomalies and facts which none of the local media dared to disclose. Slowly, local and mainstream media started reporting the factual inconsistencies and, indeed did some of their own investigative reporting regarding the despicable behavior of the Martinsburg officers. As it stands, the press is now finally catching up. There is no indication that they are further parroting the content provided in press releases and other documents supplied by the City of Martinsburg and their Police Dept.
Local activists and protestors state that the first hurdle in this race is – Get these cops off our streets! Realizing the uphill battle, almost everyone spoken too agreed. Melinda Stiller, Community Activist and longtime resident stated “As slow as Martinsburg is dragging their feet, they must alternatively realize that we aren’t going away. This is only going to grow and more officials are going to end up in the hot seat. This is an election year and those wanting to replace some of these officials will undoubtedly run on law enforcement reform, accountability and weeding out local corruption. This is a great time to protest and a great way to put knew folks in office – when sitting officials refuse to do their job.”
After two days of organizing the first event and with little notice, surprisingly, over 100 protesters came to Martinsburg WV to participate in the city’s first ever protest. The City of Martinsburg stayed back did not fuel any division during the protest. In fact, several Officers prayed in a circle with protesters after the rally. Some West Virginia residents did warn that they would bring their guns and “protect their own”. Other’s threatened the protest with slight innuendos and metaphors on the website; eluding to vigilante behavior, [i]f the protest was conducted outside the scope of their approval. In any event, that never became an issue and the first ‘ever’ City protest was a success. The protesters were organized, mature and focussed. The energy behind the May 5, 2015 protest was highly contagious; noticing people drive by and witness the protest, many pulled over, parked and joined in with the cause. Motorists became a part of a growing distaste for lack of accountability in the ranks of law enforcement.
Incredibly infectious and unified with the common cause being:
1.) EXCESSIVE FORCE AND POLICE BRUTALITY MUST BE STOPPED
2.) THE CITY LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERSHIP MUST BE REMOVED AND FIRED FOR CAUSE.
3.) THE (5) MARTINSBURG POLICE OFFICERS MUST BE FIRED “FOR CAUSE” AND RE-INDICTED.
4.) THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, TOO, MUST BE REMOVED OR STEP-ASIDE AND A PRIVATE PROSECUTOR BROUGHT IN TO CONVENE A NEW GRAND JURY.
5.) A COMMUNITY BASED OVERSIGHT BOARD CREATED TO OVERSEE POLICE PUBLIC POLICY IN MARTINSBURG WV.
Labeling the first protest and march a success, organizers received floods of communication, in the form of emails through the Justice for Wayne A. Jones facebook page. Droves of supporters wanted to do it again for many reasons. Many were fed up with racial tensions and the undertone that lurks in the facts of this particular case. Protestors purposed to march for Justice for Wayne Jones and oppose his egregious death by Martinsburg Police. Many people opposed the (5) officers still being employed at the Martinsburg Police Dept. Some are focussed on oversight by the community. Others experienced brutality,excessive force and corruption by the Martinsburg Police Dept and want to protest that. Yet others are interested in marching for peace between citizens and the local government in Martinsburg. Whatever reason people attended the previous march, one thing was clear. There is an ever present tension between the Police and the citizens in Martinsburg. And it is far from going away while the lack of Justice, oppressive policies and corrupt individuals are still in control of the city’s direction.
Davy Jones, Founder of West Virginia Conservative Review, LPAC State Chair attended the May 5th March and Protest on Queen St. in Martinsburg. Mr. Jones stated “If we allow this injustice, we are turning down a path where justice is only for those who are wealthy or connected. We, the people are the government. We elect those who hire law enforcement. If the current elected can not or will not grant Wayne Jones justice, we must change those whom we have trusted to uphold their oath to defend the constitution. We must not remain silent. We must not be complacent. We must stand up and let our voices be heard.”
Mark Anderson, the Winchester/Frederick County Libertarian Party Chair and presently running for the VA33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates was unable to attend the first protest but has committed to attend the June 12 event at all cost. In an email to Virginia Cop Block, Mr. Anderson stated that he planned to participate in the June 12th protest and was taking off work to attend. Mark further stated, “The right to peacefully assemble is the bedrock of liberty. It gives the people the opportunity to air their grievances and demand accountability for those responsible for miscarriages of justice. While the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray have been well publicized, there are many cases that do not receive much media attention. This is why peacefully protesting in the name of Wayne Jones is so important.”
In conclusion, Wayne Jones death was brutal and barbaric. Probable Cause exists to indict Eric Neely, William Staub, Paul Lehman, Daniel North and EJ Herb for murder. All (5) and the City hang their hat solely on an infamous and non-existent knife which has never been produced not to mention it belongs to Officer Staub according to The Full Court Press here.Their acts transcend mistake and discretionary judgement. The five officers acts rise to the level of willful, wanton and reckless. Indeed, all five are unadjudicated felons. Acts such as these are not protected under qualified immunity doctrine and the City of Martinsburg is responsible for not only the officers’ past behavior, but the continued cover-up of the death of Wayne Jones by Excessive Force by deadly force. The people of Martinsburg West Virginia and the municipality are the fork in the road to Justice.
Will citizens allow Wayne Jones to become a Constitutional Anomaly and a Legal After-Thought?; or will the citizens of Martinsburg stand up, demand Justice and not accept anything other than what is right, just and proper. Even as this article is written, the Courts in Cleveland, OH have exonerated the Officer who stood on the hood of a vehicle and shot into the windshield multiple times. A man and woman sat unarmed in the vehicle as they were shot 47 times to their death. The Court failed to convict this officer because [sic] it could not be assured beyond reasonable doubt that the officer’s bullets killed the two citizens. Really? Indeed – Cleveland citizens are protesting in front of their Justice Center today. Outraged and their intelligence insulted; men and women demand that Cleveland stop murdering citizens by excessive and deadly force. Prayerfully, their protest will be peaceful and effective but regardless, resolve why you are protesting in Martinsburg West Virginia on June 12, 2015. Commit to your conviction peacefully and don’t waiver. We hope to see each person that reads this article at 232 N Queen St in Martinsburg WV @8-10am on June 12, 2015.