This poem was written for and performed at Injustice Watch’s #SpreadtheWord poetry event on April 22. Artists were asked to write a poem inspired by one of Injustice Watch’s stories. This piece was inspired by Abby Blachman’s 2019 story, Decades after alleged torture by police: Years more wait to have cases resolved.

Paris Brown

Dark city nights where the police lurked
years ago pledged neighborhoods with a curse
confessions coerced
the young would catch it worse
decades later and I put em in a verse
free them
see their innocence used like instruments.
Confused And riddled with torment
and torture
Jon Burge had one purge orders
as dirty as the mayor’s
over 25 years taken from Sean Tyler
I need to write a book too
seeing how that’s what crooks do
hearing life could pierce a hole,
right through your soul that you can look through
life in jail is life in hell
disconnected from your love ones hoping that they write and mail
but that is the sentence
given to men who never should have been in the hands of those policemen to begin with
again, it’s the people of color who suffer b,
eating, gagged, shocked,
enslaved to fear doubt and hopelessness
years behind bars trying to rebuild your brokenness
the truth nothing comes close to
it all appears just over with
how do you give back time, life, experience, memories unformed
keep a watch on injustice
this energy is our norm
Can’t begin to imagine the rage of being caged for crimes I never committed
that traumatic experience alone would make a sane man vicious
my ppl hurt different
free all those wrongly imprisoned due to torture confessions
rejoice in the blessing that they can never trap the mind
freedom will ring, it’s just a matter of time
in a city of terror wind blows
the reaper’s cold
so know better than to trust the crooked ones who live unjust
they need a penance for what they did to Mark Clements
Abdul Muhammad Javan Deloney Jerome Johnson
those in the commission, open up your eyes and listen

Paris “Tree” Brown is a 26 year-old artist, activist, and mentor. After surviving a shooting that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Paris began using his art to promote peace. He has been featured in various open mics, panels, and is widely known for community-organizing alongside GoodKidsMadCity, a youth-oriented anti-violence activist organization.

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