Photo: Jedida “DeeDee” Blaise and her family
By Wayne Mitchell and Miriam Cordova
Today, October 23, Jedida Blaise is scheduled for a court date on spurious legal charges intended to coerce her to drop her lawsuit against private police entity G4S.
Blaise, affectionately known to her friends and family as DeeDee, was viciously brutalized by G4S private security officers on March 9, 2018 while at the bus transit station in downtown Charlotte. She was subsequently taken to jail, where she was held for five days. This attack permanently damaged her wrist, leaving it partially paralyzed.
G4S attacking DeeDee. Her wife, Erika Robinson, and others rally around her, showing visible frustration as they take her away.
In a video provided to Incendiary, DeeDee’s wife and supportive community members angrily yell at the security as they manhandle her. The security is observed dragging her into an elevator as a bystander states, “They’re gonna hurt her in there,” and someone kicks the elevator door as it closes.
The wrist paralysis from brutalization left DeeDee unable to work. DeeDee and her family decided to file a lawsuit against G4S in early 2019 to seek compensation for the loss of work and emotional distress.
Less than two months later, on the morning of May 1, police arrived at her home and arrested her on several new charges including one felony. These included an arbitrary “malicious conduct by a prisoner” charge, which they allege happened the day of her attack. These charges were not based on any substantial evidence, but were instead retaliation for the lawsuit.
G4S has used legal retaliation against other Charlotte women in similar cases, demonstrating the collaboration between the state and non-state private security firms in enforcing national oppression. While the government and by extension police act as servants of the bourgeoisie, private security guards are directly on their payroll, specialize in “protecting” private property, and are subject to even less oversight and legal scrutiny.
Private security firms like G4S are international companies, which provide another avenue for imperialists in the US and Western Europe to control and profit from the unrest and violence in oppressed nations around the world. London-based G4S is known for supplying the surveillance systems used to enforce the genocidal campaign of settler colonialism against the Palestinian people. They also tout their role in “securing” the international airport in Baghdad as a means of “opening the country to the rest of the world,” another way of saying they make the country secure for imperialist finance capital.
A complete dismissal of the charges, and potential compensation, is the only sound resolution to this legal battle, but it still does not absolve the state of their role in the attack on DeeDee and will not prevent future instances of brutality and legal intimidation. This retaliation shows that the legal avenues available are not really for the people. Incendiary offers our deepest solidarity to DeeDee in her fight and unites with the call to drop the charges against her.