RAPPER SNOOP DOGG GLORIFIES DEATH ROW INMATE
Snoop Dogg, the celebrated rapper, was once a member of the Crips gang. Since then he's grown in popularity as an award-winning rap artist, actor and advertising spokesperson for a number of products.
Now he's using his celebrity and influence on behalf of a multiple-murderer and co-founder of one of the nation's most bloodthirsty gangs. He wants the California authorities to spare the life of Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Snoop Dogg is the latest addition to the hundreds of people who are protesting against the execution of Williams schedule for December 13.
"Stanley "Tookie" Williams is not a regular guy, he's an inspiration," Dogg said. "All I want to say to the governor is it's about keeping this man alive because his voice needs to be heard."
Unfortunately the four people Williams murdered have had their voices silenced forever. The untold number of people killed, maimed and assaulted by the gang Williams founded also have been denied a voice since they are dead or they lack the celebrity status of a star rapper or the clout of a motion picture studio that made a piece of propaganda about Tookie Williams, with actor Jamie Foxx playing a sympathetic Williams on the big screen.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will decide on Williams' petition for clemency in the coming weeks, and there are many who believe he will cave in to the Hollywood establishment that seems to advocate leniency for murders, cop-killers and other anti-social thugs who suddenly write books, give speeches and tell tales of life in the meanstreets.
Celebrities rubbing elbows with gangsters is nothing new. There's always been a fascination by the denizens of the entertainment industry with the murderers, drug-dealers, pimps and robbers who populate the American underworld.
Snoop Dogg was the highlight of the evening when he was honored as the final speaker of about a dozen at a large protest outside the main gates of San Quentin federal prison, where speakers included former gang members, religious leaders and representatives from the Nation of Islam.
The anti-death penalty activists have made the Williams case the fiercest battle over execution of murderers many have seen in years. California State officials and police officers believe Williams is a brutal and unremorseful murderer who deserves death by lethal injection for viciously murdering four people in 1979 during a spree of robberies.
William is the author of several books aimed at teaching young men and teenagers about the perils of gang life. His conversion has won over high-profile supporters, including actor Jamie Foxx, who portrayed him in a sympathetic film version of his life.
In an interview in prison on Wednesday, Williams continued to claim he was innocent. This in spite of overwhelming evidence of his criminal deeds. Most of his supporters are African-Americans as were his victims.
The anti-death penalty protest had former gang-members testifying how Williams helped them to get out of the "life."
But not everyone is buying it. "Stanley Williams does not deserve this mercy," the Los Angeles district attorney wrote in a response to the Williams' clemency petition.
"Despite the overwhelming nature of the evidence against him and despite the nonexistence of any credible defense, Stanley Williams has steadfastly refused to take any responsibility for the brutal, destructive and murderous acts he committed," he added.
Snoop Dogg grew up in Southern California where the Crips began. He left the gang to become one of rap music's mega-stars after his albums repeatedly topped the music charts. Dogg is also a motion picture actor and is frequently seen in commercials.
Snoop Dogg claims the death of Williams will dash the dreams of kids for a better life outside of the gang lifestyle.
"On the street we don't have no role models, we don't have no leaders," he said. To be sure, Snoop Dogg isn't no role model or leader either.
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
Snoop Dogg was the highlight of the evening when he was honored as the final speaker of about a dozen at a large protest outside the main gates of San Quentin federal prison...