Twenty-year-old Shamar Betts was indicted for the federal offense of inciting a riot on June 5th, 2020, due to a post on Facebook regarding the death of George Floyd. While in awaiting trial, he was not permitted to be released on bond because he has been labeled a “domestic terrorist” by President Trump, and a “threat to the community” by the prosecutors.
Shamar was originally expecting to be released on probation around June 2021, saddled with restitution fines of up to $10,000 and fees to his leasing company of $12,000. After a long delay in his trial and a hard-fought battle in court, he has been sentenced to four years in prison. Fortunately, the absurd length of time he has already spent in jail will be counted towards this sentence. He also plans to enroll in educational programs which can help reduce his sentence as well.
When he returns home, however, he will also face restitution fees of $1.5 million, payable through half his income over what could easily be the rest of his life.
The funds collected here are being used for Shamar's needs while in prison and especially for educational programs he can take to set himself up for a career once he has been released. I have worked closely with Shamar in the past and have created this fundraiser with Shamar's full knowledge and ongoing input, as well as the advice of those supporting him.
In Shamar's own words: he has worked hard the last couple of years building a name for himself in the community as a positive Black role model for kids. He’s never been arrested before, and now after his first arrest the government has tried to tarnish his name because he expressed his feelings on the injustice Black people go through. He is in need of help for this change to his life.
If you'd like to read more about how Shamar's case fits into the wider, newly emerging pattern of charging those associated with protests with federal crimes, he was interviewed for The Intercept here: https://theintercept.com/2020/10/30/federal-prosecutors-protests-pretrial-detention/
You can also find the most up-to-date information on Shamar and ways to support him at his website: https://supportshamarbetts.wixsite.com/shamarbetts
Thank you for your generosity.