The Story

Siwatu-Salama Ra, a mother and community leader in Detroit, was just trying to defend her family when she was violently confronted by a person who rammed her vehicle into Siwatu’s parked car while Siwatu’s two-year old was playing inside, and then tried to use the vehicle to run Siwatu’s mother over. Fearing for their lives, Siwatu, who is a licensed concealed gun owner, held her weapon in plain sight, hoping it would stop the person from running them over. The gun was unloaded and no one was hurt. Still, she was sentenced to a mandatory two years in prison for “Felony Firearm” and because that gives the judge no discretion in sentencing, she is now behind bars and separated from her children and family.

Siwatu’s legal team is pursuing various tactics, including requesting she be released on bond pending appeal, reversal of the conviction, and a commutation and/or pardon. After already going through one high-risk pregnancy, Siwatu’s doctor warned the judge of the serious health threats she is facing while in prison. Her lawyers and freedom team did everything they could to try and get her home so she could have a healthy pregnancy and birth, but the judge denied their appeal bond and medical leave requests. Siwatu gave birth to her son Zakai on May 21st, 2018 while under the watch of prison guards. 48 hours after giving birth Siwatu was stolen away from her newborn back to prison, where she is being denied the right to breastfeed him during the limited visits she is allowed to receive with her family. Sign up for our list and follow the news page to find out more about the fight for Siwatu and all people impacted by the injustice system.