Ron O'BrienFranklin County Prosecutor373 S. High Street, 14th FloorColumbus OH 43215
RE: Masonique Saunders Dear Prosecutor O'Brien,
As members of the Columbus community, in addition to supporters from all over the country, we write today to support you in dropping all charges against Masonique Saunders. We feel strongly that Masonique, as a young woman with an entire life ahead of her––a life which, if spent outside of detention, would continue to contribute to Columbus–– should be free to invest her time in her education, friends, and family. Thus, it is our concern that the justice system choose to treat Masonique as a juvenile, and that the felony charges against her be dropped.
Earlier this month, the court magistrate rejected attorney Bryan Potts’ request to have Masonique released to her mother; a rejection which ignores Masonique’s lack of threat to the community. Though Masonique was not involved in the actual shooting of Julius Tate––which police do not dispute––she continues to await a trial date in juvenile detention, where she has already been waiting for months. This entire process has taken invaluable time away from Masonique’s education and emotional growth. In addition, while incarcerated, Masonique has been unable to be properly counseled through the death of her boyfriend, Julius Tate. Each of these circumstances is sure to greatly impact not only Masonique’s present state of mind, but her future as well.
Numerous local organizations have publicly supported Masonique Saunders, and her case has been recently written about by 10TV, The Dispatch, The Root, and Socialist Worker. You are an elected official with the power to set lasting precedents for justice in the city, and as a citizen of your precinct or further afar, we believe it is imperative that you use that power to honor the wishes of your constituents in their support of Masonique.