UPDATE: All charges dropped against Minister King X – Friday rally cancelled
Aug. 19, 2021 – In a stunning turn of events, the Solano County district attorney has dropped all charges against Minister King X, aka William Brown, who walked out of jail a free person once again on Thursday.
On Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, Minister King was arrested in Oakland for attending a small gathering on July 15 in support of 82-year-old Ruchell Magee, the longest held political prisoner in the United States. At the gathering, King was disseminating information about Magee’s long-term incarceration and advocating for his parole. This was done near California Medical Facility, where Magee is held. Magee has been incarcerated for almost 60 years for his involvement in the 1970 Marin County Courthouse takeover.
King was charged with both a parole violation and a felony under the rarely used and arbitrarily applied Penal Code section 4571, which prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from entering prison or prison-adjacent grounds without prior approval from the warden. King was threatened with parole revocation as well as incarceration on this felony charge, which could have returned him to prison for many years.
One of King’s attorneys, Richard Tan, stated: “Minister King was lawfully demonstrating for Ruchell Magee on July 15. It’s outrageous that CDCR used language like ‘Black Identity Extremist’ and ‘Black Supremacist’ to arrest and charge a respected community organizer.
“Such language hearkens back to the days of COINTELPRO and sets an ominous precedent for the criminalization of other Black activists. Minister King is a peaceful man. He advocates for the Agreement to End Hostilities, an agreement to end violence across racial divides in California prisons. We’re very pleased that the Solano District Attorney elected to dismiss all the charges.”
King was represented by Kellie Walters and Debra Slone from Legal Services for Prisoners With Children as well as Richard Tan.
Free Minister King! Drop the charges! Pack the courtroom on Friday, Aug. 20, 8 a.m., at Solano County Superior Court Law and Justice Center, 530 Union Ave., Fairfield, CA 94533. Supporters are picking up carpool passengers from Ashby BART station at 7 a.m. and taking them to Fairfield. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a ride or can provide a ride.
Minister King X aka William Brown, an Oakland-based journalist, educator and community organizer, has been arrested by CDCR on trumped up charges. Police have created a report with the false narrative that Minister King is a “Black Identity Extremist” and “Black Supremacist Extremist” – language used to criminalize groups such as Black Lives Matter. The FBI abandoned using these racist terms in 2019.
On July 15, King was disseminating information at a peaceful demonstration near California Medical Facility in Solano County advocating for 82-year-old Ruchell Magee’s release after 58 grueling years in prison. Magee is the longest serving political prisoner in the United States.
Three weeks later, on Aug. 9, King was arrested outside his office and charged under an obscure section of the Penal Code, section 4571. Under section 4571, anyone with a previous felony conviction who stands on prison or prison-adjacent grounds without approval can be charged with a felony.
He was targeted for being Black, for his political views and for publicly speaking out for our incarcerated elders.
This charge could send Minister King back to prison for many years and is a blatant attempt to silence a valued mentor and community organizer.
Minister King represents no threat to society. He is a journalist, artist and peace advocate who has been targeted for being Black, for his political views and for publicly speaking out for our incarcerated elders.
We’re packing the courthouse in solidarity with Minister King at his preliminary hearing this Friday, Aug. 20, at 8 a.m. Please join us to defend King from these baseless and retaliatory charges.
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