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Topic: [PRESS CONFERENCE] for Jamilla Simms, Killed for $285 - Sunday, Oct. 25 12:00PM  (Read 1943 times)

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« on: October 23, 2009, 11:40:17 PM »

"A $285 FINE FOR KILLING MY DAUGHTER"
http://www.austinweeklynews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=2470

Location: Oak Park Police Department - 123 Madison Street, Oak Park, IL

Time: 12:00PM (But get there around 11:30AM)

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205471225560&ref=mf

Apparently, making a U-Turn across multiple lanes of traffic & KILLING SOMEONE is not NEGLIGENT nor RECKLESS at all in their opinion.  Lolita Brown pleaded guilty to charges of improper standing on the roadway & improper U-turn on a hill. The KILLING SOMEONE part was insignificant to them.

Double jeopardy attaches.  No justice.

I was very glad to meet Maxine Kelley, Jamilla's mother at the IL ABATE (Chicago) meeting. She is a strong woman & isn't willing to accept the injustice of our legal system.

We need to show the world we aren't willing to stand for these injustices & make sure people see Jamilla as a person, not a statistic!

Please come out & support Maxine, the rest of Jamilla's family & our cause at this press conference. Feel free to bring signs, etc. Rain or shine, ride or cage. It doesn't matter, just get there early & invite as many people as you can!

Life taking should be life changing!

Greg Zaffke - Black Nail Brigade - Think & Drive Or People Die!
In Loving Memory of Anita Zaffke l Killed May 2, 2009 in the Nail Polish Crash
Website: http://www.blacknailbrigade.org
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 11:58:47 AM by GregZaffkeII » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 01:16:45 AM »

I will be there.
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 11:44:38 AM »

Awesome!  Tell everyone you know about it too.  Thanks!
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 01:10:01 PM »

"As Brown started to make a U-turn from the far right southbound lane, her van was struck by Simms riding her motorcycle. Simms, of the 5900 block of West Washington, was not wearing a helmet and suffered what were called "massive head injuries." "

Although, I do agree that this woman shouldn't be let go with just a $300 fine; on the other hand, maybe if Simms were wearing a helmet, she might have lived. Who knows. Hopefully her mother will see to more than just the small fine and justice will be seen.
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009, 01:51:43 PM »

wow. Is that judge on the take or something? I can not understand the sentence.

Hopefully a civil suit will rectify the injustice here.
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2009, 11:23:14 PM »

Squijummonkey - This is NOT a helmet issue.  This is a problem of negligent & reckless cagers.  My mom was wearing a helmet & bright yellow safety jacket.  Look at her picture on the front page of our website.  http://www.blacknailbrigade.org.  She is still very much dead despite her safety gear and safe driving habits.  Jamilla Simms is dead because Lolita Brown decided it was okay to make a U-Turn across multiple lanes of traffic.  I will repeat, this is NOT a helmet issue.

phoenix - That is the problem.  It is assumed that civil court will stem the tide of highway killings.  Unfortunately, unless you're lucky enough to be killed by someone driving a Fortune 500 company car or they just happen to be rich with an umbrella policy, you probably aren't going to get much.  No monetary compensation will ever bring a loved one back.  But most of the time, it doesn't help much at all.  That's assuming they have insurance even.

Read about this case:  http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/10/felony-charges-pursued-for-driver-that-killed-pregnant-woman.html
Killed a pregnant woman and her newborn baby died the next day.  No insurance.  Driving on a suspended/revoked license (This put him in police custody).  So they MIGHT get legal justice, but no monetary relief.

Many times, that case would have a driver with a valid license but no insurance.  They wouldn't go to jail right away.  They'd go home and potentially await felony charges.  No legal justice nor monetary relief.

Bottom line is, these people don't need to die.  Their deaths are 100% preventable if people would pay attention & drive responsibly.  And when they don't, they need to face stiff consequences.  Strict prosecutorial precedent to ensure prevention.  This is an issue that needs to be the highest priority for motorcyclists & motorcycle organizations.
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 08:03:21 AM »

Well put Greg.

I'm going to try to make it today. but can't promise.
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 09:23:39 AM »

No problem mxvet57.  Hope to see you out there.  Looks like the weather is going to cooperate.
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 10:50:33 AM »

Greg,

Thank you for everything you're doing for the riding community! I agree that it's NOT a helmet issue. I choose to wear a helmet, but if I didn't that wouldn't excuse an inattentive driver from plowing into me.

From what I understand, judges have to follow guidelines within the laws they interpret. The solution seems to be to bring this issue to our elected representatives, make sure the legal system knows we want justice, and educate the public. Basically, everything Greg is doing.

I heard yesterday that a 'no-texting' law has come out of committee in Michigan and now has popular support in the state house. The governor will likely sign it as well. We really need a 'distracted driving' law, but this might be a start.
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 08:40:31 PM »

I thought about the Guns don't kill people thing. It really is the same. People that do not pay attention to what they are doing end up killing riders. Seems the only recourse is the civil system in place if the idiot has insurance. There must be new laws to change the way the criminal systems works in these same cases.
Hope is eternal.
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2009, 08:48:39 PM »


I heard yesterday that a 'no-texting' law has come out of committee in Michigan and now has popular support in the state house. The governor will likely sign it as well. We really need a 'distracted driving' law, but this might be a start.


In Wisconsin, they are trying to pass a no-texting law as well.  Opponents say it's un-necessary since the state already has an "inattentive driving" statute.  The BIG problem is enforcement.  You can add all the laws you want but if they're not enforced, what good are they?
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 11:25:38 AM »

The press conference/protest for Jamilla went well.  We had about 40-50 protester out there.  We had big banners saying "Think & Drive Or People Die" & Start Seeing Motorcycles".  I think we helped the family feel supported.  That is the most important part of what we do & hopefully we make a public statement that reaches people at the same time.

Adding to the Civil Court argument - Many drivers have the bare minimum 20/40 insurance.  Does $40K really sound like fair compensation for someone's life?  Like I said, no money will ever bring back a loved one.  But let's say someone had 10 years until they retired and was making $30K.  That's at least $300,000 they would have helped their spouse to pay bills with.  You can play with the variables of that example all you want but insurance most often doesn't even come close to providing much relief for the victim's family.

OU812 - I saw a bumper sticker on my way to the Big Border Rally.  "Guns don't kill people, drivers on cell phones do."

OMOC - I agree enforcement is important, but not the hinge pin in successfully changing motorist behavior.  It will take a comprehensive campaign the likes of the drunk driving campaign.  Even that campaign hasn't erased all drunk driving deaths but they have definitely saved lives.  Drunk driving deaths have decreased in the last 10 years.  Motorcyclist deaths have steadily increased.

Education & Awareness - It all starts here.  Distracted driving & motorcycle awareness needs to be a standard in the driver education curriculum.  Mass media campaigns need to reinforce those lessens while making people see the victims as people, not statistics.

Enforcement of Bans or Laws - Most bans will be public awareness devices only.  If people start getting tickets for talking on their cell phones, painting their nails, etc. it's just a nuisance ticket, but people cannot say they didn't know about the law.  Front line enforcement will not prevent highway death by itself.  It needs to be backed up by prosecution when a serious injury or death occurs as a result of distracted, inattentive, negligent or reckless driving.

Strict Prosecutorial Precedent - State's Attorneys must be given the proper laws and language within the laws ("shall be fined $X" instead of "may be", etc.) & fully prosecute these incidents.  Right now, in many states (not all), there is a huge gap between a traffic ticket & Reckless Homicide & the burden of proving recklessness is relatively high.  There is a huge discussion it seems about defining negligence.  We need universal "negligent vehicluar homicide" laws.  This would fill that gap between traffic ticket & recklessness.  The penalties for NVH need to be stiffer than what I've seen proposed though.  Illinois doesn't have one.  Wisconsin has "Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle" - a class G felony.  Let me share a comparison:

June 29 - Bob Perkins - Milwaukee, WI (killed by a driver that was arguing with her husband while driving.  She claims he reached for her, she swerved into Bob.  Bob was thrown over a bridge to his death.)
   -  That driver was in court about 2 weeks later facing felony charges of "HNOV".

May 2 - my mom, Anita Zaffke Lake Zurich, IL (you probably know the details of the Nail Polish Crash)
   -  It took 4.5 months for the State's Attorney to indict Lora Hunt for felony Reckless Homicide.

Permanent revocation of a driver's license needs to be included in all cases of serious injury or fatality.  Driving is a privilege, not a right.  Jail/prison time needs to be an option as well.  Kill someone on a suspended/revoked license, go straight to prison.

As D-Mac stated, before any of that happens, we must make our elected representatives & prosecutors know what our demands are and keep reminding them until change is made.  There is a lot of work to be done and we need strength in numbers to make our point.

Life taking should be life changing.
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2009, 02:46:01 PM »


The press conference/protest for Jamilla went well.  We had about 40-50 protester out there.  We had big banners saying "Think & Drive Or People Die" & Start Seeing Motorcycles".  I think we helped the family feel supported.  That is the most important part of what we do & hopefully we make a public statement that reaches people at the same time.

Adding to the Civil Court argument - Many drivers have the bare minimum 20/40 insurance.  Does $40K really sound like fair compensation for someone's life?  Like I said, no money will ever bring back a loved one.  But let's say someone had 10 years until they retired and was making $30K.  That's at least $300,000 they would have helped their spouse to pay bills with.  You can play with the variables of that example all you want but insurance most often doesn't even come close to providing much relief for the victim's famil


 Glad to hear you had a nice turnout, hope it goes well.
  As far as insurance goes, I carry a rather large under/noninsured coverage. Hopefully, I'll never need it, but if something happens to me, my family will be taken care of for a decent amount of time. It would be nice if we could count on other people to do the right thing, but the trend is definitely not skewed that way. Maybe ,once again, we need to be pro-active in that matter as well, instead of hoping for the best in a bad situation. In all honesty, how many people on this site carry more than 50-100K in under/non coverage? I know we "shouldn't" have to carry that much, but the people you speak of feel the same way. I don't expect anything from anybody in this world, not my safety nor the future of my family. I would strongly suggest everyone do the same, I see it enough to know nobody cares about anyone outside of their little circle. Instead of mandating how much other people should carry in case they hit you, why not do for yourself/family what you are advocating others do. Leading by example is always good.

Not looking for an argument, just trying to provide a different viewpoint that others may not think of.
 
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 05:29:20 PM »

I wasn't saying I have 20/40 insurance.  I said many other motorists do, if they have insurance at all.  Therefore, relying on civil court and insurance settlements as a solution for prevention, deterrence or just relief for the victims and their family is not sufficient.  Even the highest insurance policies don't fully provide relief for the victims.

So we must actively find another way of making our streets safer instead of deferring these incidents to civil court.

GZ

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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2009, 05:39:48 PM »


In Wisconsin, they are trying to pass a no-texting law as well.  Opponents say it's un-necessary since the state already has an "inattentive driving" statute. The BIG problem is enforcement.  You can add all the laws you want but if they're not enforced, what good are they?


Withstupid

I'm fine with adding laws, but will they be enforced?  
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2009, 05:50:45 PM »

It depends on how much we demand they get enforced.  Milwaukee ABATE has a court liason tasked with making sure their newly adopted "enhanced penalties" get enforced.  The argument of practical enforcement being beyond reach is blown out of proportion.

Appropriate laws need to be in place more importantly for adequate prosecution of these incidents.  Prosecution needs to back up any enforcement we get.  If there is no prosecutorial precedent, all the effectiveness of frontline enforcement is lost.

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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2009, 03:25:39 AM »


I wasn't saying I have 20/40 insurance.  I said many other motorists do, if they have insurance at all.  Therefore, relying on civil court and insurance settlements as a solution for prevention, deterrence or just relief for the victims and their family is not sufficient.  Even the highest insurance policies don't fully provide relief for the victims.

So we must actively find another way of making our streets safer instead of deferring these incidents to civil court.

GZ




 I figured you didn'y Greg, I didn't mean it that way at all, sorry if it came across that way. Agreed on all other fronts.
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2009, 03:08:23 PM »

Article comment by: Janaya Troupe (Jamilla Simms' daughter)

I sat in court with my grandma, auntie and great uncle and tears ran down my cheek as I listened to court officials speak on Ms Brown traffic tickets. I didn't understand it then nor do I understand it now, why the police didn't mention that Ms Brown was breaking the law when she killed my Momma. They didn't even mention that she was in an accident.

I've read the news article and the readers comments. Some of them are so way off the real issue which is, my Momma is dead and gone and the person who is responsilble was protected and escorted by 3 police officers.

Please help me to why I shouldn't feel so much anger toward our so call justice system. Oak Park police please help me to understand why you showed so little value for my Momma's life and rights.

Ms Brown left her no choice but to run into her van, Ms Brown was making a u-turn and right in front of my Momma and her motorcycle. Ms Brown was blocking my mother's path.

It's been really hard to sleep, I keep waking up during the night and it still hard for me to accept that she's gone. I love you Momma and Murray and I will be ok one day. But right now I still cry alot and I miss you.

To you Ms Brown and to the Oak Park police my Momma was a good mother and every morning before she left to go to work she'll always come to my bed room and kiss me on the cheek before she left for work and would always tell me, "to learn something in school". I miss that.

God please help me to stop hurting.
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