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OTHER SUMMER 2007 ARTICLES
Disabled Mother and Children Racially Profiled
Ms. Lamiea Ball is an African-American 33-year-old mother of six who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has been disabled for 5 years. On March 17, 2006 she was asleep in bed with her 4 younger children. Suddenly she was awakened by a loaded gun barrel pressed to her skull. She and her children, then ages 2, 3, 5, and 10 years old, were surrounded by police. A girl age 16, A.C.D., was visiting and was arrested for car theft. A young white man named Mike Haug was also there. He was told he could go.
Ms. Ball's husband. Ben Kerschbaum, and her two teen-age boys, Devarr and Donnell Singleton, ages 15 and 16, were arrested at the McDonalds where the boys worked. The nightmare has not ended yet.
Ms. Ball was a victim of a car accident in 2001. She was homebound, in a wheelchair or on a walker, disabled and a diabetic. She was on morphine for 5 years as she suffered from chronic pain. She struggled with her health and limited mobility.
In December 2005 Ball and her children were in a hotel to escape the abuse of the father of her two younger children. A.C.D was with her to help care for the children. They used the hotel pool where a white man, aged 40, touched her son, age 16, “inappropriately”. Ms. Ball and the man had words. He dashed alcohol in her face. She cut his face. Police came. They felt he was in the wrong. His case was coming up in court in spring of 2006. His father is a judge.
Ms. Ball was very ill in January, February, and March due to complications from her diabetes and pain medications. Ms. Ball depended upon her Asian husband, Ben Kerschbaum, and young people in the neighborhood to help her out. People like 16 year old A.C.D., Mike Haug, Alphonso Mitchell and his girlfriend J.L.T. helped her. They were people who lived in shelters, were homeless, or had family problems. They frequently stayed in her home and offered to assist her with cooking, cleaning and running errands. They helped with the four little ones. Ms. Ball was basically trapped in a body in chronic pain.
On February 22, 2006, a white girl known as J.L.T, age 16, a runaway, was picked up by police. Once in detention, she made a report that she was raped by a black man, Alphonso Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell was arrested March 7, 2006 for a parole violation. Ms. Ball had called the police on February 28, 2006 when Mitchell threw a rock in her window. The police linked her name with his.
One policeman in particular, Paul Schnell made this case his obsession. His racism was obvious. He developed the following story over the next six months: J.L.T. had been “lured” to Ms. Ball's house by Mitchell. She was there for several months, held naked in a closet. She was beaten, drugged, pistol-whipped, prostituted, whipped, and raped. She escaped and was recaptured at gunpoint by a black woman. After A.C.D.'s arrest on March 17 at Ms. Ball's house, she was included as a victim. Ms. Ball was arrested on March 20.
After discovering Ms. Ball was a cripple, the police claimed her sons did the dirty work that she was physically incapable of doing. The police beat them all up and took them to adult jail. They held the boys there for 5 days, from March 17 to March 21, before being charged. They were denied access to lawyers, Guardian ad litems, advocates, or legal guardians. They were separated and isolated and denied any outside communication with any family member.
On March 29, 2006, Ms. Ball's husband Ben Kerschbaum was charged. And on August 2, 2006, Alphonso Mitchell was charged. The Singleton boys were terrorized. The cops told them they'd be sent to adult prison for years. So they plea bargained to charges of “criminal sexual conduct.”
Their step-dad, Ben Kerschbaum was forced to plea to “kidnapping” for fear of 40 years in prison. Ms Ball herself was threatened that if she did not plead guilty to “kidnapping,” her sons would be sent to adult prison. Alphonso Mitchell pled to arson and prostitution..
The four children face adoption.
And now the judge's son's charges are “dropped” because the family was locked up and kept from being in court. All we ask is an investigation.
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