Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes New Tennessee Trial for Black Man Convicted by All-White Jury in Room with Confederate Symbols 

(WASHINGTON D.C., 12/6/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a decision by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals to grant a new trial to a Black man convicted of aggravated assault by an all-white jury that deliberated in a room containing Confederate symbols.  

The man was sentenced to six years for a 2018 altercation. His attorney argued that he did not receive a fair trial because the jury deliberated in a room containing a Confederate flag and a picture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. On Friday, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the man deserves a new trial, citing the presence of Confederate symbols while the jury deliberated and the trial court’s decision to allow a challenged witness statement. 

SEE: New trial for Black man whose all-white jury met in room with Confederate symbols  

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/05/new-trial-black-man-white-jury-confederate-symbols-tennessee

All-white jury votes to convict Black defendant in room with Confederate flag, new trial ordered 

https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/584465-all-white-jury-votes-to-convict-black-defendant-in-room

Black man deserves new trial after jury used room decked with Confederate tributes, court says 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/05/confederate-flag-jury-room/

“It is obvious that any verdict reached by an all-white jury deliberating in a room adorned with symbols of slavery, white supremacy and systemic anti-Black racism would be tainted with at least the perception of bias,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison. “We welcome the decision to grant a retrial and urge courts nationwide to ensure that all Americans are provided equal justice before the law.” 

He said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy and all other forms of bigotry.    

SEE: BREAKING: CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Arson Targeting New Mexico Mosque 

CAIR Calls for Independent Probe into Racism at N.C. School, Supports Anti-Racism Teaching in Utah After Backlash 

Breaking: Surveillance Video Obtained by CAIR-Washington Shows Explosive Device Being Detonated in Front of Olympia Mosque 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.            

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.           

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END 

CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530, e-Mitchell@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280, iallison@cair.com  

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