As of November 14, 2018 and after 258 days in state prison, Siwatu-Salama Ra was released on bond, while she continues to pursue an appeal to the case that sentenced her to a mandatory two years in prison. (more details on her original case below).
Right now she is enjoying being at home with her toddler and six month old baby and is surrounded by her loved ones and her community.
This is a huge victory on our long road ahead toward freedom. Bringing her home was one of our most important steps. Now, we continue forward with the appeals process and explore all other legal avenues for justice.
So many things are still unknown but one thing is certain. You all have been an incredible support to Siwatu and her family and through this long journey, we will continue to need your dedication and your support.
We are asking all of her supporters to donate again on this momentous day and help us continue building her legal fund.
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.
After successfully securing bond pending appeal, Siwatu’s legal team is pursuing various tactics, including 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 was denied the right to breastfeed him during the limited visits she was allowed to receive with her family.