Truthout - Sheriff Scott Franklin of Jena, Louisiana, said he is trying to rid his community of drugs. Critics say he is pursuing revenge against the town's black community.
At 4:00 AM on July 9 of last year, more than 150 officers from ten different agencies gathered in a large barn just outside Jena. The day was the culmination of an investigation that Franklin said had been going on for nearly two years. Local media was invited and a video of the sheriff speaking to the rowdy gathering would later appear online.
The sheriff called the mobilization "Operation Third Option," and he said it was about fighting drugs. However, community members say that Franklin's actions are part of an orchestrated revenge for the local civil rights protests that won freedom for six black high school students - known internationally as the Jena Six - who had been charged with attempted murder for a school fight. Read more.