jena01

Myles Townsend stands on a table near the LaSalle Courthouse during a national vigil for the Jena 6 September 20, 2007 in Jena, La. The Jena 6 are a group of African American male Jena High School students who were charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white student on December 4, 2006 at the school. The white student was knocked unconscious but not hospitalized. On August 31, 2006 three different white students hung nooses from a tree at the high school and were not charged with a hate crime nor were they expelled from school. One of the Jena 6, Robert Bailey, Jr., was also beaten by white men at the Jena Fair Barn on December 1, 2006. A white men was only charged with battery against Bailey. Several thousand demonstrators came to protest their perceived disparity in charges between white and African American males in Jena. The charges against the Jena 6 were later reduced to battery.