It’s quiet easy at times to sit back and forget about issues that deserved dramatic attention in the past. Case in point, the story of Eric Frimpong. Think back to last summer when the ESPN article written by Sam Alipour was released (The story of prisoner F95488). The story became the talk of the internet, and people were all for getting involved to fight the good fight. But over time, like with any media story, everything died down and people started to forget. Since the time of the article, Eric has still been holed up in Tehacapi, praying that the US judicial system would look at his case again, review the evidence, and see that he was deserving of a retrial. Well, again the US judicial system has let him down, a system that is supposed to stand up to the precedence of innocent until proven guilty. Today, Tuesday March 16th, the California Appellate Court affirmed the decision and denied his appeal.
I am not writing this article for public attention or acknowledgment. Believe me, there were ample opportunities to share Eric’s story over the past 2 years but I realized at the time, it would not have done him any good at the time. I am writing this to let you know that I, and Eric’s supporters, are whole-heartedly standing behind Eric and the fact that even though the judicial system has failed, in our eyes he is 100% innocent. Eric was a terrific soccer player at UCSB, and everyone of his teammates will attest to the fact that he is one of the nicest, friendliest, most genuine guys you could ever come across. Fact of the matter is that a young soccer star with huge potential has been played by a mockery of a judicial system; he has become another statistic in the underlying problem that is racism. A jury of all white ‘peers’ and a white judge determined that Eric was guilty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, again ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. They came to this conclusion even though there was semen in the alleged victim’s panties that belonged to her boyfriend, who admitted to seeing Eric with Jane Doe the night of the alleged offense. Add the fact that none of Eric’s DNA was found on the alleged victim, add to this the fact that her boyfriend had nobody to back up his alibi about where he was that night, add the fact that one of the dental expert stated he thought the bite marks were a better match for the boyfriend than Eric, add the fact that the police officers lied under oath about which dental experts they discussed the case with, add the fact that they staged Eric’s room (and clothes) a day after the alleged offense so they could take pictures as ‘evidence’, add the fact that Eric’s clothes were left out – unattended – at the police station when they should have been in a secure lockup, add the fact that the alleged victims blood alcohol was nearly at poisonous levels and her memory of the event and recollection of the night changed on several occasions. Do you see the pattern here and how it doesn’t make sense? Does Eric not deserve at least a retrial where he can tell his version of events on the stand? The most frustrating part is that there is so much evidence pointing to the fact that he did not do it, yet the jury were left with a “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” verdict? Am I missing something here?
From the very beginning, Eric’s story has never changed. His version of events is as stated from the morning after the alleged offense. I have talked with him extensively about the night in question and not once has he given any indication that he was involved in the incident. In fact, his version of events point towards the fact that he wasn’t even on the beach that night and the fact that the amount of sand found on his body matches that of any person in Isla Vista in a given day solidifies his story.
As we speak, Eric has been shipped off to Arizona, maybe this is all a ploy to bail the debt ridden state of California out. In fact, is it not a coincidence that instead of having a retrial that would cost the state thousands of dollars, Eric’s appeal was denied and he was immediately shipped out of California? Does it not seem like there is more than meets the eye on this one?
I am not asking you to spread the word on this one or to fight the good fight, all I ask is that you take away from this article the belief that Eric is innocent and share that knowledge if you read an article about the case, or hear someone discussing it. Eric is a soft spoken, genuine and honest guy who got caught up in a bitterly flawed judicial system, please think about him now with positive feelings and keep him in your prayers.
(as reference, I played soccer with Eric at UCSB and I sat through Eric’s trial in Santa Barbara)