Trust asks Kilpatrick supporters to raise money to free him - New York News

Trust asks Kilpatrick supporters to raise money to free him from prison

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By: M.L. Elrick

(WJBK) - It's a new year, but it's the same ole' Kwame Kilpatrick. A new video on YouTube, fronted by former congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, asks you to donate money to the Freedom and Justice Trust.

According to www.freedomjusticetrust.com, "The definite purpose of the Trust is to raise money to free Kwame Kilpatrick from prison, and support efforts to realize justice in his legal fight."

The webpages are filled with photos of Kilpatrick with his wife and with his sons as well as images of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. Those heroes appear on the disgraced mayor's sites as a not-so-subtle suggestion that Kilpatrick, too, was railroaded.

For those who miss subtlety, there is also this posting about Kilpatrick's conviction on public corruption charges last year:

"The 28-year prison sentence is a culmination of a meticulously-crafted series of events to erase Kilpatrick's accomplishments from the history books, lay blame on Kilpatrick for every shortcoming the city has faced over the past 50 years and, ultimately, to take Detroit."

Despite a 6-month trial and a unanimous jury verdict, the trust insists that Kilpatrick is still not guilty.

Kilpatrick is also not going quietly. Since landing in federal prison last year, he has been posting to Facebook about his experiences on the inside. On December 17th, he wrote

" ... in spending time here, I have the unique opportunity to accomplish the greatest thing that any man can. The opportunity to learn myself."

Most of the visitors to Kilpatrick's Facebook page express support.

One fan wrote, "This is an injustice. He does not deserve to be behind bars."

Another said: "28 years. What a travesty of justice."

But at least one critic weighs in, too: "Brotha admit your mistakes. Repay what you owe and make things right for your children. Show they can be proud of their father."

And if you're one of those who are not buying Kilpatrick's political statement, maybe you'll go for a fashion statement. The trust is selling a 28-for-28 T-shirt. The idea appears to be a marriage of his 28-year sentence and the 28 dollar cost of the shirt.  But, buyer beware - there is no refund policy.

The Freedom and Justice Trust says any money it receives is considered a gift, so the fund does not have to disclose any donors.

Elrick spoke with federal prosecutors Tuesday, who say they're aware of the trust and are looking at ways to access the money to chip away at the millions of dollars Kilpatrick owes the city of Detroit in restitution.

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