black women

Rev. Jesse Jackson to Assist Gabby Calhoun, Honor Student Who Had Teeth Knocked Out by Police

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins

This is a quick update to those who are following the case of Gabriella Calhoun, the honor student who had her teeth knocked out by the Bloomington, Illinois police.  Gabby is being charged with two felonies, one alleging that she assaulted a police officer, the other stating that she resisted arrest.  The incident took place when girls that Gabby didn’t know were fighting in the parking lot.  As a result of the fight, Denny’s managers allegedly told all of the black teens in the restaurant that they had to leave, even if they were not involved in the fight.

I have stood behind Gabriella since the beginning for a few reasons: First, there is nothing in her history that says that she is the kind of child who would be involved in violence of any kind, especially not with a police officer.  Her mother told me that she’d never even been in a fight or put into detention.  Her educational record supports these claims.   Gabriella finished high school a semester early because she was such an outstanding student, and her brother is a straight-A student on his way to medical school.

Secondly, I am not convinced that there is anything that this petite, 130-pound, 18-year old could have done to an officer to justify her being knocked unconscious, choked half to death, have her teeth knocked out, and being dragged across a crowded restaurant with her upper body exposed.  According to Gabby and witnesses, when she told the officer that she has asthma, she replied, “I don’t care if you have asthma.”  This level of abuse, violence, excessive force and humiliation infuriates me to no end.  I am the son of a police officer, so I respect good police work.  But as the father of daughters, I am out for blood.


I reached out to Bishop Tavis Grant, who works with Rev. Jesse Jackson.  Bishop Grant confirmed to me that Rev. Jackson and Rainbow PUSH are now officially supporting Gabriella and her family.  They spoke with Rev. Jackson and further action is planned for the near future.   For those who are concerned, I will keep you posted on the developments in Gabby’s situation.   I also hope you’ll share her story with those who might also be concerned.

Rev. Jackson says that as we remember the legacy of Trayvon Martin, we must realize that there are thousands of youth just like him all over the country.

“We can’t embrace the legend of Trayvon, realizing that he’s a canary in the mine if you miss all the other birds in the mine,” Rev. Jackson said when speaking with me about Gabby’s case.  “We’ve got to use the symbol to illuminate the darkness.”

To those who are determined to be critical of Rev. Jackson, I hope you will realize that he provides a level of support for Gabriella and her family that almost no one can deliver.   At the age of 71, he could easily sit back and retire, but he is continuously working tirelessly on the matters that other national figures choose to ignore.  Gabriella and her family contacted several civil rights organizations to get help for their case, and none of them were able to answer the call.  So, I’d like to thank Rainbow PUSH for getting involved, and protecting this young woman’s bright and fulfilling future.

On a side note, Gabby went to the dentist and got new teeth this week.  She’s thrilled to finally be able to smile without feeling compelled to cover her face.  I told her to never let anyone keep her from smiling.

If you’d like to make a contribution to Gabby Calhoun’s legal defense fund, please use paypal to do so.  You can send the money to this address Paypal email address:  You can also give by visiting this link. 


Dr. Boyce Watkins


  1. Consuelo

    July 24, 2013 at 4:17 am

    For goodness sake-what on earth is happening in America? Dr. Martin Luther King is rolling in his grave. Racism is due to ignorance and is equated to incurable cancer: It kills. I do not know what is responsible for this escalation of racial bias in this society. What we do with it and how it is dealt with is of great importance now. Not all white people are racist, but I do believe that the police need to be educated and remove their stereotyped bias when dealing with black people.It sickens me to see and hear how many so called “previlidge” blacks have turned a deaf ear on the situation of today. Many of them are making themselves clowns by appearing on television programs implying that they are ashame to be black and shamelessly crticize their race. I do believe in the cycle of life – what goes around comes around and I believe this is the period for change. We have to unite, be forceful whilst peacefully continuing the the struggle until won. If not for ourselves, but for our children. lets keep the struggle alive! Peace people

  2. ajamu chaminuka

    July 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

    When will the Black man stand up? The police do what they do because the Black man allows it. We must BREAK THE FEAR BARRIER and begin to retaliate against police brutality. The Black Panther Party used to say ARM YOURSELF OR HARM YOURSELF! We need to stand up!

    • Vads

      July 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      My friend, you are making an important point, however you have to realize that they want to tempt us like Zimmerman did to Trayvon. Then they will loose their war machine to reduce our population and the court will acquit them. They are afraid of educated blacks, so we are discouraged to even our children to school.

      Rev. Jesse Jackson is a wise and experienced person. He is thinking of the most effective tool to use. We need to strategize to get the best results.

      God bless you

  3. Imhotep

    July 24, 2013 at 9:08 am

    @ajamu.Negroids ain’t gonna do shyt!! They scared to do what the Arabs do and take the fight to their enemies, this white demon!! All they gonna do is sing, pray and ” put it n Jebus’ hands!” They too chicken hearted to truly to the fight to their enemy. Hotep..

  4. Dartanian Porter

    July 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Its time to gather all the legislaters and congress men and women, representaitves and all the other people needed to make a national law to have a seperate body govern the actions of the police. We need a dsiciplinarian board made up of the people to hand out dsicipline to police officers who steep beyond thier duty. The chiefs of police cannot and will not change the culture of racism within law enforcement.

  5. Kevy

    July 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    STAY THE HELL OUT OF DENNY”S!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Amazing Grace

    July 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Lately I have been contributing to ALL defense funds for ALL AA’s youth that ask. I see how whites built that murderers defense fund. If all give what they can like $5 or $10 dollars we can begin to learn to help OUR CHILDREN to protect them and their future. Give what you can, but just give.

  7. cgqueen

    July 25, 2013 at 1:04 am

    This is awful. I pray that gabby will be exonerated and free to continue her education. In the first place blacks need to stop eating at Denny’s This restaurant has had so many discrimination suits against them. Secondly, whenever cops attacks anyone, its only normal for a person to try to resist their feet on your back and neck, the man handling of 10 men hands on your body at one time. Gabby wasn’t resisting she was just trying to break free from the force that took her by surprise. What kind a young petite possibly do to a policeman. They are lying. This is why we must continue to stand up for Trayvon and Gabby. These are our kids whose in danger of someone killing them unjustly.

  8. Elizabeth

    July 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

    When will African-Americans learn to think? Certain “whites” work at provoking you so that they can ruin your life and future.

    When a fight broke out she should have left “DENNYS”. Why hang around in that situation, not that bright.

    This does not justify the police actions, but racist are everywhere including the police force, don’t give them an excuse to kill you, you mean nothing to them.

    • StanH

      July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      She had come to a restaurant, on foot, to get a meal. A one-on-one fight broke out outside. Leaving wouldn’t have been the first thing on my mind, either. Don’t blame the victim.

  9. Angela Gardner

    July 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    We need to stand up and speak out for our children. I do not understand why Gabby was singled out by a police officer whose job it was to vacate the restaurant safely and attend to the girls who where actually fighting and creating a unsafe environment for everyone else who where civil, minding their own business. I am glad that Rev.Jackson and Dr.Boyce are supporting this young lady. That is an example of what each of us is supposed to do.

  10. Aaron Steinberg

    September 8, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Since discovering this web site I have continually spoke out regarding the abuses and hatred perpetrated by the Gentiles. I’ve written to the SPLC as to the military training of skinheads and white supremacists inclusive law enforcement. Yes, this is 2013 and time has changed for many of the ignorant haters. The racist have changed from linen and pointed hoods to Armani suits and uniforms such as police and fireman.
    I do not patronize Denny’s or other business establishments that have a history of discrimination. Our youth at times seem oblivious of the pass and according to the location these places are the only available eatery’s. During Jim Crow, there were many African-American businesses, especially restaurants serving the best home cooked meals. There were a few Jewish deli’s but no restaurants, we often visited the “soul food” establishments and were welcomed. The need is to reestablish the African-American businesses. I’m angry at the negative aggression against our youth and believe me it must end with a cohesive coalition to stop this hatred venom spewed by these barbarians. My question, why doesn’t Tavis Smiley and Cornell West take up this urgent issue instead of bashing our President? Tavis has his head so far up the Gentiles rectum, he blows Hersey bubbles! My children and grand children are of a loving, rich cultural heritage, African-American and Hebrew. God forbid any of them being confronted and brutalized by racist officers, I’d surely without hesitation suffer one of two events, death or jail. We’ve taught them to respect the law but don’t dare infringe on my children’s constitutional rights. Poster Amazing Grace, we donate to inner city youth groups and participate in the functions.

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