Justice for Jacqueline Dixon


This Black woman defended herself against abuse. She shouldn’t be in jail.

Clarise McCants, Color Of Change

info@colorofchange.org

 

Jacqueline Dixon was only defending herself against an abusive husband. She shouldn’t be in jail facing murder charges.

Alabama District Attorney Michael Jackson must drop the charges.

TAKE ACTION!

Once again “Stand Your Ground” is failing to protect Black people. On July 31st, a 38-year-old Black woman, Jacqueline Dixon, from Selma Alabama was arrested and charged with murder-domestic violence for shooting and killing her estranged husband, Carl Omar Dixon, in front her home.1 She told police on the scene that her ex-husband aggressively charged at her.2 And now, Jacqueline is locked up in a Dallas County, AL jail with an enormously high bond of $100,000.3

For years, Jacqueline endured abuse from her ex-husband. In 2016, she was granted an order of protection and temporary custody of their two young children after he punched and verbally abused her.4 Law enforcement was even aware of the history of violence. But because she is a Black woman, “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t apply to her.

Instead of recognizing Jacqueline was acting in self-defense against a man who abused her for years,  police chief Spencer Collier put the blame on Jacqueline. He states: “Domestic violence is a crime that knows no racial, geographic or socioeconomic boundary. However, the order is simply a piece of paper if the complainant does not seek its enforcement.”5 This is a complete disregard of her experience and story. But to make matters worse, District Attorney Michael Jackson followed through with murder charges against Jacqueline after she was arrested. It’s clear: the “Stand Your Ground” law does not protect Black people. After the horrific murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, people across the country have fought to overturn the law because it allows racists to kill Black people with impunity and punishes us for protecting ourselves. Prosecutors play a pivotal role in stopping the racist misuse of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Just last week, with public pressure, Florida State Attorney Bernie McCabe filed charges against Markeis McGlockton’s killer. At a time when district attorneys are rightfully being pressured to step up in a real way to bring justice, DA Michael Jackson must drop the charges against Jacqueline Dixon.

Alabama District Attorney Michael Jackson must drop the charges.

If the law is supposed to be about self-defense, then Jacqueline Dixon should not be prosecuted. This should be a moment to focus on her and her children’s safety and well-being. Dallas County District Attorney, of Selma, AL, Michael Jackson must consider the full picture of the pain and trauma Jacqueline Dixon has experienced. He has a responsibility to use his leadership as a prosecutor to do the right thing for Jacqueline, family, and all survivors. Jacqueline does not deserve prison. She deserves a community and support network that will help her and her family heal from this tragic ordeal.

What happened to Jacqueline is eerily similar to Marissa Alexander, another Black woman who survived domestic violence. In 2010, Marissa fired a warning shot to protect herself and her children after her abusive husband tried to attack her.6 In 2012, she was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite invoking the “Stand Your Ground” defense.7 According to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 1.3 million women experience domestic violence.8 A disproportionate number of Black women, roughly 22%, experience intimate partner violence, and making it the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 18-35 years old.9 For far too long, the impact of violence against Black women has been ignored.

Black women survivors of violence deserve protection, not punishment.

Jacqueline’s case is a terrible double standard of a terrible law. Like Florida, and 24 other states across the country, Alabama has upheld the “Stand Your Ground” law despite years of pushback. The “Stand Your Ground” law picks and chooses who has the right to defend themselves and more often than not gives white people a license to kill. White men such as George Zimmerman, who viciously murdered Trayvon Martin in 2012 after following and bullying him and  Michael Drejka, who shot and killed Markeis McGlockton just last month over a parking spot, were set free to go by their local sheriffs. After Black people took a stand and demanded the local DA press charges against Michael Drejka, we won and he was arrested. Let’s keep that same energy and ensure that DA Michael Jackson isn’t let off the hook. Jacqueline should be home with her children right now. Not sitting in a cage, punished because she is a survivor of domestic violence. Black people, especially Black women survivors of violence, are never given the right to protect and defend themselves –and that must change.

Tell DA Jackson: Jacqueline Dixon has a right to defend herself.

Until justice is real,

–Clarise, Rashad, Arisha, Scott, Anay, Kristen, Marena, and the rest of the Color Of Change team

 

References:

1. “Standing Her Ground: Black woman arrested for shooting and killing estranged husband at her home,” The Grio, August 6, 2018.

2. “Standing Her Ground: Black woman arrested for shooting and killing estranged husband at her home,” The Grio, August 6, 2018.

3. “Woman shot, killed estranged husband in driveway, police say,” AL.com, July 31, 2018.

4. “Woman shot, killed estranged husband in driveway, police say,” AL.com, July 31, 2018.

5. “Woman shot, killed estranged husband in driveway, police say,” AL.com, July 31, 2018.

6. “Marissa Alexander accepts plea deal,” MSNBC.com, January 27, 2015.

7. “Criminalizing Victims: How the Punishment Economy Failed Marissa Alexander,” Huffington Post, March 30, 2015.

8. “Why Black Women Struggle More With Domestic Violence,” TIME, September 10, 2014.

9. “Why Black Women Struggle More With Domestic Violence,” TIME, September 10, 2014.