On November 22, 2011, 19 year old Octavius Lanier was riding the DART train from home to a doctor’s appointment. While on that train, four young men approached him and attempted to bully him into giving them his iPod. The four young men taunted Octavius the entire train ride until he departed the train at the MLK station. Upon departing the train, the 12 year old young man proceeded to push Octavius. Instead of confronting the 12 year old young man, Octavius proceeded to walk away. At this time, the 12 year old & three 14 year old young men attacked Octavius and beat him until he was on the ground. Once on the ground all four of the young men proceeded to stomp him. At this time an older woman approached the young men and tried to intervene. During this time she placed herself between the young men and Octavius in an effort to stop the attack. Octavius then tried to walk away for the second time. As the older woman had herself placed between the young men and Octavius, they ignored her attempts to stop the attack and proceed to go around her and continued to beat him. Ultimately, one of the young men hit Octavius and pushed him into a moving DART train resulting in his death.
Currently the 4 young men are being held in the Dallas County juvenile system. As of Friday, January 27, 2012, two hearings to certify the young men as adults have been postponed. According to the DA’s office, the reason for the postponement is to give the family of Octavius Lanier more time to accept a plea deal of 3 years juvenile jail time and 27 years parole. The DA’s reasoning for sentencing the young men to only 3 years juvenile jail time is because they are minors with no prior criminal record. However during the course of this investigation, hundreds of videos of these young men committing other criminal acts on DART trains have been discovered including a video that captured the entire attack against Octavius Lanier.
The fact that there has been over a hundred videos discovered showing these young men committing other crimes proves that this was not their first offense. In fact, the videos substantiate the fact that these young men are escalating in their criminal acts. These young men should not be given leniency. They should be held accountable for their actions and punished accordingly. Although, the Lanier family was only affected by this tragic event, other families will be affected if these young men are released from juvenile in three years and given the opportunity to attack other innocent people . The Lanier family is fighting for justice for the death of Octavius as well as fighting for the safety and well-being of our society. Three years juvenile jail time is not an appropriate punishment for such a vicious attack that ended the life of an innocent man.
Please sign this petition in support of prosecuting these four young men.