JENA, La. – Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of this little Louisiana town Thursday in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.
The crowd broke into chants of “Free the Jena Six” as the Rev. Al Sharpton arrived at the local courthouse with family members of the jailed teens.
Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader, said the scene was reminiscent of earlier civil rights struggles. He said punishment of some sort may be in order for the six defendants, but “the justice system isn’t applied the same to all crimes and all people.”