On July 5, 2015, Naomi Freeman chose to survive. Naomi is a 23 year old Black woman from Chicago and the mother of 1 and 2 year old children. In choosing to survive that day, Naomi Freeman unwittingly joined the ranks of Marissa Alexander, Cierra Finkley, Cherelle Baldwin, Paris Knox, Tewkunzi Green, Eisha Love, and many women who made the split-second choice to survive rather than die at the hands of an abuser. Also like them, she was arrested for it. Some of these women are still awaiting trial while some are already serving decades in prison and seeking clemency. Marissa Alexander, however, avoided her initial 60-year sentence after successful public pressure and fundraising support. Cierra Finkley was also released after her charges were dropped. Naomi should be free as well, and can be with your help.
Like many of the women named above, Naomi chose to survive an attack by an abusive partner. We know from Naomi and other eyewitnesses that Naomi was pulled from a vehicle by her hair and slammed to the ground. Once on the ground, Naomi was beaten and punched in the face no fewer than 20 times. During this assault, Naomi was in the early stages of pregnancy and suffering a chronic autoimmune disease that affects her joints. Sadly, this was not the first time Naomi had been assaulted by this man. Had Naomi not acted in self-defense, it is likely that she would be dead. Instead, like many other women and girls incarcerated right now, who are disproportionately Black, she survived and was punished for it.
As of December 8th, Naomi has been in Cook County Jail for nearly 6 months. Naomi’s pregnancy is complicated by Lupus and the ongoing traumas of pre-trial detention and separation from her two young children. For saving her own life, Naomi Freeman is being charged with 1st-degree murder and was held on $350,000 bond (reduced from $500,000). It is our intention to support Naomi by working alongside her family to advocate for the dismissal of these outrageous charges by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Naomi Freeman was released on bond on December 23, 2015 thanks to your tremendous generosity! In total, 345 people donated to Naomi’s freedom in amounts ranging from $3 to $1,000. You joined Naomi’s family and a host of grassroots organizations to raise almost $13,000 in less than a week. That amount was enough to fill the gap in Naomi’s bond ($35,000) and a $26,000 grant to CCBF from the Women’s Justice Fund (WJF). The WJF was established in the 1990s specifically to post bond for domestic violence survivors who had been criminalized for actions taken in self-defense. Since its creation, the WJF has been housed at Crossroads Fund, but was accessed infrequently in recent years. Partially as a result of this successful campaign to #FreeNaomiFreeman, the WJF has now been transferred to the Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF), where it will remain available as a revolving fund designated to serving women charged with crimes related to self-defense.
Naomi will need future court support. As those hearing dates are set, we will let the community know.
With Love and Solidarity,
Family of Naomi Freeman
Love & Protect (formerly Chicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander)
Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration
Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Women
Black Lives Matter Chicago
We Charge Genocide
Chicago Community Bond Fund
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Trinity UCC/Next Movement
A Long Walk Home
Chicago Books to Women
Stand With Nan-Hui
Asian Women’s Shelter