Activist Says State's Attorney Should Resign

Staff Writer

During the Saturday event for Black lives, Travon Groves of Randolph said that the rally was to put people on notice that racism still exists. He claimed some of the racists are members of the justice system, among others. Groves alleges that people are sitting in jail for years without having a court date. And some are taking plea deals in the court system because of what repercussions might happen, he said.
Groves alleged that Orleans County State's Attorney, Jennifer Barrett likes to bring domestic aggravated assault charges on young black kids. He also said that women call the police for help about black men. Groves, who came to Vermont for an education, said he has been in the court system for 12 years. He said for most of the time, he has been defending himself for assault charges by people who called him racial slurs and threatened his life.
“I had to defend myself,” Groves said. “Because I can defend myself more than other people can, I’m looked at as the aggressor and the monster.”
Barrett responds: "I do not prosecute individuals differently or more harshly based upon their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other factor other than the facts of the case and the egregiousness of the offense," Barrett said. Cases are referred from law enforcement agencies and reviewed by my office for prosecution. All violent domestic abusers in Orleans County prosecuted by my office have been treated the same. Any allegations of prosecutorial-bias are clearly not supported by the facts, including those of the cases affiliated with organizers of this event. I consider an attack in which a woman’s eye-socket was broken, and another where the injuries were so severe it put the victim in the hospital, to be prosecution-worthy, and I think most of my constituents would agree," she said.
“I encourage all individuals to examine our own potential biases and to work toward eliminating any form of racism or hate from our community. My office continuously reviews our practices to ensure that everyone in our community is treated respectfully, fairly and equally because we care about doing our work professionally and with the utmost integrity,” Barrett said. (Read more in The Newport Dail Express Tuesday, July 21