Black Lawyer Responds after Media Gives Kim K. Credit for Freeing 17 Inmates
Attorney Brittany K. Barnett has spoken up about Kim Kardashian getting all the credit for freeing 17 inmates when she and another black woman lawyer did all the work to make this happen. While she acknowledged that Kim was able to provide financial assistance to make it happen, it was the two lawyers who pulled through with freeing the inmates.
Kim Kardashian-West has been all over the news thanks to her hopes of becoming a lawyer in the next couple of years. However, what amazed people is that despite just being a law student, there were articles showing her "freeing" inmates that were detained for low drug charges.
However, attorney and criminal justice reform advocate Brittany K. Barnett broke her silence and wrote a lengthy Facebook post just to say that she and her colleague, MiAngel Cody, were the ones who freed the inmates through the Buried Alive Project and that Kardashian was a funder.
"MiAngel Cody and I have BEEN doing this work for FREE. Ask any of our dozens of clients who are now free living their best lives. Both of us left six figure salary jobs and wiped out our own savings accounts to fund our work."
According to Brittany, Kim "linked arms" with the two lawyers through the non-profit project, providing financial assistance when other organizations would not extend a helping hand.
"Kim linked arms with us to support us when foundations turned us down. We and our clients and their families have a lot of love for her and are deeply grateful for her. In 90 days TWO black women lawyers freed SEVENTEEN people from LIFE W/O PAROLE sentences - the second most severe penalty permitted by law in America. Only two of us. Prosecutors opposed nearly every single case we had."
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Last year I registered with the California State Bar to study law. For the next 4 years, a minimum of 18 hours a week is required, I will take written and multiple choice tests monthly. As my first year is almost coming to an end I am preparing for the baby bar, a mini version of the bar, which is required when studying law this way. I’ve seen some comments from people who are saying it’s my privilege or my money that got me here, but that’s not the case. One person actually said I should “stay in my lane.” I want people to understand that there is nothing that should limit your pursuit of your dreams, and the accomplishment of new goals. You can create your own lanes, just as I am. The state bar doesn’t care who you are. This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. It’s true I did not finish college. You need 60 college credits (I had 75) to take part in “reading the law”, which is an in office law school being apprenticed by lawyers. For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it’s not. My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying. There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can’t do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me. I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine - It’s never too late to follow your dreams. I want to thank Van Jones for believing in me and introducing me to Jessica Jackson. Jessica along with Erin Haney have taken on the role of my mentors and I am forever grateful to them both putting in so much time with me, believing in me and supporting me through this journey. This week I have a big torts essay due on negligence. Wish me luck ✨⚖️
However, she is disappointed that no credit is being given to the two lawyers who have been working day and night to make sure the inmates are freed.
"We are ELATED 17 people will not die in prison. We are ELATED 17 families are restored. Instead of negativity about Kim, why don’t y’all reach out and see if the 17 people we helped free need anything. Welcome them home. Give them jobs. Send a care package. Amplify their voices without the sharecropping."
No Bad Blood
While Kim Kardashian never really mentioned the two lawyers in her different social media posts about freeing inmates, Brittany understands that it's not the reality TV star's fault. In fact, she has made it clear that the media is the one that spins the whole story around.
"Kim has always been very clear in her role. It’s the media that spins it around - not Kim. We do not care how the media is portraying it - that’s what the media does. Who cares. We need Kim’s support and the support of anyone else who wants to join this fight. We love that she is using her platform to raise awareness. We not trying to be famous, we trying to get our people free. Period."