Here's how to support imprisoned activist Siwatu-Salama Ra


Siwatu-Salama Ra, then 15 years old, pictured speaking at an environmental justice rally in Wisconsin. - SHADIA FAYNE WOOD/SURVIVAL MEDIA
  • Shadia Fayne Wood/Survival Media
  • Siwatu-Salama Ra, then 15 years old, pictured speaking at an environmental justice rally in Wisconsin.

Supporters of imprisoned Detroit activist Siwatu-Salama Ra are holding an information session on Saturday to update the community on her case.

As we previously reported, Ra was sentenced in February for up to two years in prison. Her supporters say the case highlights the problems with mandatory sentences, flawed investigative policy at the Detroit Police Department, and demonstrates how race factors into enforcement of gun laws.

Ra, 26, is a mother, environmental activist, and community leader who is also pregnant and expected to give birth in prison in June.

The event is organized by the Nsoroma Institute for Community-Self Determination and will be held at 3 p.m on May 12 at the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church at 7625 Linwood St., Detroit.

Nsoroma says the event is an opportunity, "To get accurate information about the unjust imprisonment of our sister Siwatu-Salama Ra." It will offer an update on her appeals process and provide suggestions on how community members can help.

Ra's attorneys previously told Metro Times that Ra used an unloaded, registered gun to defend herself and her family from an attack. They say a woman used her car to ram a car that Ra's two-year-old daughter was inside, then tried to hit Ra's mother with a car.

The woman filed a police report first, so DPD treated Ra as the aggressor. Michigan’s Stand Your Ground Law covers those acting in self-defense, but Detroit Police and prosecutors claimed Ra acted as the assailant. That led to felonious assault and felony firearm charges, the latter of which carries a mandatory sentence of two years

Under questionable circumstances, a jury found Ra guilty of assault. Since the incident involved a gun, the judge was required to send her to prison for two years.

The case became national news after our piece ran in early April. Read Metro Times's full story here.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.