- Attorney General Jefferson SessionsUS Department of Justice
Jawara McIntosh, Son of Peter Tosh, Beaten to A Coma During 6 Month Cannabis Sentence
USDOJ: Investigate the Brutal Beating of Jawara McIntosh, Son of Peter Tosh
On February 21, 2017, Jawara McIntosh, son of legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh, was beaten into a coma, sustaining severe traumatic brain injuries while in the custody of Bergen County Jail in New Jersey while serving a six-month sentence for cannabis-related charges.
Peter Tosh was a human rights activist and was an original founding member of The Wailers, alongside Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Tosh wrote and performed the iconic song, “Legalize It;” which became the soundtrack of the movement toward legalization. Furthermore, Tosh and Bob Marley co-authored the world-renowned freedom fighters anthem, “Get Up, Stand Up.”
Prior to this incident Jawara was heavily inspired by his father's legacy. Jawara is a practicing Rastafarian and advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Within the Rastafari faith cannabis is a sacred herb, and across the globe it is known for its medicinal properties and values.
Sadly, now at age 37, as a father of four, a musician, a Rastafarian, and the youngest son of Peter Tosh, he is presently unable to speak or use any form of communication; nor is he able to move with intent. On February 21st, Jawara’s mother received a call from Hackensack Medical Center (NJ) informing her that Jawara needed a life saving surgical procedure after being savagely attacked while in the care of Bergen County Jail.
Jawara’s mother, Melody Cunningham, and family, including his nine siblings are calling for the United States’ Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances that led to the brutal beating that left him in a coma. The family is asking you to get up and stand up for Jawara’s rights by signing this petition.
Niambe McIntosh, Jawara's sister and the administrator of the Estate of Peter Tosh, calls you to action: “These establishments must be held accountable! To allow this to happen to any human being is criminal. This is the first step of a movement to bring Justice for Jawara. Our family is counting on you to stand up and sign this petition."
Family attorney Jasmine Rand states: “Some states have begun legalizing cannabis; but far too many people continue to be stripped of their freedom for cannabis related charges resulting in mass incarceration, brutality, and murder, depriving individuals of their constitutional rights.”
Please sign this petition and ask the United States Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the deprivation of Jawara’s constitutional rights.
- US Department of Justice
Attorney General Jefferson Sessions
June 21, 2017
Mr. Jefferson Sessions, United States Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Re: URGENT MATTER- BRUTAL BEATING OF JAWARA MCINTOSH
Dear Mr. Sessions,
I have been retained by the family of 37-year-old Jawara McIntosh, the son of legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh, to pursue a claim on his behalf against Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. On February 21, 2017, Jawara was beaten into a coma while in state custody and serving a six-month sentence on marijuana related charges. Bergen County Jail has not provided Jawara’s family with details about how the brutal beating transpired under the supervision of its employees. Jawara’s mother Melody Cunningham and his sister Niambe McIntosh, the administrator of the Estate of Peter Tosh, will pursue a civil rights lawsuit against Bergen County Jail for directly participating in and/or for failing to prevent Jawara from being beaten into a coma while in their custody. Jawara’s family requests that the United States’ Department of Justice conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances of the brutal beating.
International human rights leaders including Reverend Al Sharpton and Ndaba Mandela share their concern over the violation of Jawara’s constitutional and human rights. Ndaba Mandela stated: “Like my grandfather Nelson Mandela, Peter Tosh was a real revolutionary. Peter adamantly opposed the apartheid regime at a time when my grandfather was imprisoned for fighting for equal rights of Black South Africans. Now, his son Jawara remains in a coma after being brutally beaten while in custody. We cannot be silent in the face of such inhumanity.”
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that every citizen in custody has the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause guarantees equal protection for all without regard to race, and the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. The brutal beating of Jawara that left him in a coma is a clear form of cruel and unusual punishment, and upon information and belief, our office has reason to believe that Jawara was denied equal protection because of his race and as he practices the Rastafarian faith.
On behalf of my clients, the family of Jawara McIntosh, I implore the United States’ Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the brutal beating of Jawara, that left him in a coma while in the custody of Bergen County Jail. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 424-1027.
Jasmine Rand, Esquire
RAND LAW, L.L.C.
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