Kevin Epps addresses judge’s refusal to grant bail on two-year-old murder case

At the Bay View’s first Black Media Appreciation Night, on Nov. 26, 2012, Kevin Epps accepts his award. – Photo: Scott Braley

by The People’s Minister of Information JR

On Monday, May 20, San Francisco Superior Judge Christine Van Aken denied Kevin Epps, the activist and legendary “Straight Outta Hunters Point” filmmaker, bail for a second time, in the reopening of the Oct. 24, 2016, home invasion-murder case of Marcus Polk.

Community members at the filled-to-capacity hearing were astounded the case is back in court. They were waiting to be notified why he was being indicted after the District Attorney’s Office claimed two and a half years ago that they had insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Kevin Epps at work. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report Radio

At the hearing, the judge stated that the indictment was sealed and that she was refusing to grant Kevin Epps bail on the grounds that “he was a danger to the community” even though well over 60 letters of support flooded into the court from upstanding and important figures from here and all over the nation who defended Epps’ reputation and community track record. He also has not had any run-ins with law enforcement since the incident. Judge Van Aken suggested that there was something in the indictment that worried her.

“It was a racist decision. They are using isolated old quotes from the initial investigation that said that I was capable of hiring people to put out hits or doing it myself, if I found out (my niece) was cooperating,” said Epps in response to the court refusing to give him bail. “If you wasn’t concerned then, why are you using that to bolster your racist decision now? The D.A. created this false narrative around my niece’s quotes, which they manipulated her into giving.”

Spike Lee became a supporter of fellow filmmaker Kevin Epps when he came to shoot a film in Bayview Hunters Point but neglected to include local filmmaker Epps and other skilled community people in his project. As a result of Kevin using the Bay View to voice his disapproval, the two met and became friends. This photo was taken in October 2005.

Kevin Epps’ son, mother, sister, nieces and friends were in attendance as well as Pastor Amos Brown, of Third Baptist Church, who also is the head of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, and longtime community advocate Derek Toliver among dozens of community supporters.

“They opened up a family wound that they created through manipulation and reframing their old narrative. The judge disrespected the intelligence of the whole Black community. She is used to ‘washing’ brothas who have no support in the courtroom. She was pissed that we filled up the whole courtroom. By refusing to even give me any kind of bail, she shitted on us.”

Kevin Epps’ next hearing is at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 3, in Department 20 on the second floor of 850 Bryant in San Francisco.

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