Welcome to Free Spook. Our purpose is to create justice for Michael Armendariz. Michael was convicted of murdering an off duty police officer in 2002.
That killing was a tragedy for several reasons. Of course the first tragedy is that a person died. Someone’s life should never be an afterthought. That being said, equal protection under the law is also important. The killing was the result of the officer and others attempting to murder his best friend. His friend was being attacked by several people – pinned down and being strangled. He could not breathe.
Here we are talking about an evident act of self defense. Michael had terrible legal representation from a public defender who assisted this revenge prosecution. Because of illegal tactics, the “victim” was promoted to “fallen hero.” And from a person trying to survive, Michael was reduced to a “violent criminal.” The true story was hidden and suppressed.
Why “Free Spook” as opposed to “Free Michael Armendariz”? To have sensitivity to the prejudicial attitudes which convicted him of first degree murder is the same thing as complicity in his own oppression. Spook is not a gang name. During his trial they focused on that name as much as the charges in order to further prejudice the jury which included a cop. Spook is Michael’s identity as an artist and emcee.
Put simply, this is not a joke. Michael’s from the Barrio, he never made the honor roll, but always had a heart of gold. In his struggle for justice, self defense is not a destination but a journey. Michael doesn’t feel obligated to shatter any stereotypes other than the one where he’s guilty of murder.