89.8 F
Fort Worth
Friday, August 14, 2020
Entertainment The real Brian Banks speaks out on prison injustice, reform

The real Brian Banks speaks out on prison injustice, reform

Other News

9 men, including 3 soldiers, charged in child sex ring case

KILLEEN, Texas (AP) — Central Texas authorities say they've cracked a child prostitution ring involving nine men, including three soldiers.Two Fort Hood...

Texas man attempts to take ownership of controversial statue

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — A Black resident of a Texas city that has a statue honoring three white supremacists has attempted to...

Court upholds murder sentence of ex-cop who shot Black teen

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas appeals court has upheld the murder conviction and 15-year sentence of a white ex-police officer who fatally...

Memorial set in Houston for slain Texas soldier

HOUSTON (AP) — A memorial for a slain Texas soldier has been scheduled more than three months after she was killed by...

NEW YORK (AP) — When Brian Banks’ home was a prison cell due to a crime he didn’t commit, he never imagined his life would be the subject of a film. He was only concerned with clearing his name and regaining his freedom.

Now, seven years after he was exonerated on a rape allegation, Banks hopes the film detailing his fight for justice helps move along reform.

“What I want people to take away from this is that what I went through was unacceptable, what many others have gone through is unacceptable,” he told The Associated Press.

“For those that are currently behind bars, or no longer behind bars but have experienced wrongful conviction, I want you to know that you’re not alone, that you haven’t been forgotten, that there are people working on trying to fix these wrongs, and as a person who’s been through it, I’m one of them,” he added.

Banks, 34, was a standout high school football player who many believed had a shot at the NFL, until his dreams were derailed when he was falsely accused of rape by a high school classmate in 2002. He was only 16, took a plea and served nearly six years in prison. He spent an additional five years on parole with a mandatory ankle bracelet as a registered sex offender, until he was exonerated in 2012 after his accuser recanted and with help from the California Innocence Project.

The film, “Brian Banks,” recently opened and stars Aldis Hodge as Banks and Greg Kinnear as Justin Brooks, co-founder of the innocence group. Sherri Shepherd plays Banks’ mother, Leomia Myers.

Brooks hopes the film will motivate viewers to join the criminal justice reform fight. Once Banks was cleared and Hollywood came calling, the two said their goal was to make a “justice movie,” not a football movie.

“I want people to walk out of this movie theater and remember this movie next time they’re sitting in jury duty, that maybe this person in front of them is innocent,” Brooks told the AP. “And next time they go into a voting booth to not vote out of fear because politicians have been making people afraid for a long time. The only way reforms can happen is if people are thinking straight.”

Since his release, Banks has worked as a life coach and public speaker. His book, “What Set Me Free,” came out in July.

The film follows the release of “When They See Us,” the Emmy-nominated Netflix limited series that tells the stories of the Central Park Five, a group of New York teens who spent six to 13 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of raping a female jogger in 1989.

“I know those guys — those are friends of the Innocence Project network. We get together on a yearly basis and share our stories,” Banks said.

He had a hard time sitting through parts of the series that was created, co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay.

“I have only watched half of that series and that’s because the second half was just a little difficult for me to watch because I can relate,” Banks said. “I know what it feels like. I know what they went through. And so once the court proceedings of that series kind of came to a conclusion and they were found guilty and the whole prison experience began, I had to tune out, man.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Trump admits he’s blocking postal cash to stop mail-in votes

By DEB RIECHMANN and ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump frankly acknowledged Thursday that he's...

Review: A new voice from Texas rips it but tests the censors

By SCOTT STROUD Associated PressKolby Cooper, "Vol. 2" (Combustion Music)Kolby Cooper could add a fresh voice to country radio — if he...

Spicoli to the rescue with ‘Fast Times’ virtual benefit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spicoli is making a virtual return to Ridgemont High to raise money for a pair of nonprofit groups.Sean...

Trump’s EPA dumps methane emissions rule for oil, gas fields

By MARC LEVY and ELLEN KNICKMEYER Associated PressHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration is undoing Obama-era rules designed to limit...

Texas hospitalizations below 7,000 for first time in weeks

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated PressAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas reported fewer than 7,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time in...