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Quanell X

Quanell X (center) at Joe Horn protest, December 2, 2007
Born Quanell Ralph Evans
December 7, 1970 (1970-12-07) (age 39)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Ethnicity African American
Occupation Activist

Quanell X (pronounced /ˈɛks/) (born Quanell Ralph Evans; December 7, 1970) is the leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, Texas.

Contents

Early life

Quanell Ralph Evans was born to his father, Brian Chris Evans, and mother in Los Angeles, California. Both parents were Nation of Islam converts. When they divorced, Evans moved to Houston to live with his mother and younger brother in the South Acres neighborhood, where he attended Worthing High School.[1] Quanell was a drug dealer in the Sunnyside community located in southern Houston, Texas.[2]

Entry and ejection from the Nation of Islam

In September, 1990, Quanell Evans was inspired by a Louis Farrakhan speech at Sam Houston Coliseum and joined the Nation of Islam. The newly dubbed Quanell X quickly became a spokesman in the organization.[3]

In July, 1992, Quanell X found his brother Quinten Evans dead in his apartment with three others, all with bullets to their heads. In August, 2009, three incarcerated men were charged with capital murder in the killings. [4] Around this time Quanell X met State Representative Ron Wilson (D-Houston); he would eventually work for Wilson as an aide for a short while.[1]

In 1995, Quanell X was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying,

"I say to Jewish America: Get ready … knuckle up, put your boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down. … The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship with the Jewish community or the mainstream white community or the foot shuffling, head-bowing, knee bobbing black community. … All you Jews can go straight to hell."[5]

Quanell X was forced out of the Nation of Islam for publicly inciting violence with his televised, and highly publicized, exhortation to Houston-area blacks:

"[i]f you feel that you just got to mug somebody because of your hurt and your pain, go to River Oaks and mug you some good white folks. If you’re angry that our brother is put to death, don’t burn down your own community, give these white folks hell from the womb to the tomb."[6]

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Quanell X joined a paramilitary group named "MFOI", for "Mental Freedom Obtains Independence." The new faction was not designed to attract significant exoteric membership.[7] After the MFOI removed Quanell, he joined the New Black Panther Party under the leadership of Khalid Abdul Muhammad and is now a local leader of the organization.[3]

Community Activist

Since becoming a leader of the New Black Panthers, Quanell X has made himself and his views heard through public demonstrations and assistance with the surrender of outstanding suspects to law enforcement agencies.

In 1999, at the trial of John William King for the 1998 slaying of James Byrd, Jr., Quanell X and his entourage briefly disrupted proceedings.[8]

Jeffrey Battle served as a bodyguard for Quanell X in Houston during the late 1990s. Battle was notable as one of the Portland Seven, a group of American Muslims who tried to aid the Taliban in Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001. In October 2002 Quanell X traveled to Portland, Oregon, to attend a court hearing for October Lewis, Battle's ex-wife. Lewis was released at the hearing. Battle was convicted of sedition, and is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence.[9]

On March 30, 2004 Quanell X took the podium at a Houston City Council meeting and demanded that reparations for slavery be put on the council agenda. This demand had previously been denied by mayor Bill White. The exchange escalated enough that Houston police were called to remove Quanell forcibly from the chamber.[10]

In June 2004 Quanell X was charged with evading arrest. He was on the phone with a Houston Police Department assistant police chief when arranging the surrender of cop shooter Derrick Forney.[11] Quanell X was convicted on a lesser charge of 'running from a police officer', a class-B misdemeanor in the State of Texas; on December 1, 2006 the State of Texas First Court of Appeals overturned the conviction.

Quanell X is credited with helping officers in the March 2007 murder investigation of Texas A&M University student Tynesha Stewart.[12] He helped obtain a confession from Timothy Wayne Shepherd, the suspect in the murder.[13] He also criticized the Harris County sheriff's decision not to search for Stewart's body in an Humble, Texas area landfill, which was later discovered to be unrecoverable due to suspect burning remains in two barbecue pits.[3][14]

Quanell X called for Chuck Rosenthal's resignation following the email scandal that showed that he had sent and received racist messages, and organized a rally to take place outside the county courthouse January 24, 2008.[15] On October 16, 2008, KTRK-TV reported that Quanell X was paid $20,000.00 to arrange these protests and to pack the courtroom during the related Iberra trial.

He was instrumental in having a murder suspect, Randy Sylvester Sr., reveal the locations of his missing children. After initially giving Sylvester the benefit of the doubt, he was convinced otherwise when he went with Pasadena police and Sylvester to an apartment he maintained separately from his family's that he called his "dog house." There, Sylvester engaged in drugs and pornography. Quanell X would not go into detail, but other things he learned in that apartment changed his mind about Sylvester. He convinced the suspect to "Do the right thing" and lead Quanell X and police to a location just outside of Pasadena, Texas in Houston, where the charred remains were located.[16][17][18][19]

Joe Horn protest

Quanell X led a rally in front of the Pasadena, Texas, home of Joe Horn on December 2, 2007. Horn had shot and killed two men - Hernando Riascos Torres (aka Miguel Antonio DeJesus) and Diego Ortiz, illegal aliens and members of a burglary and fake ID ring from Colombia. The pair had broken into a neighbor's house. Horn, against repeated requests of the 911 operator not to confront the burglars, exited his home to confront them. On the 911 tapes Horn exclaims, "Move, and you're dead", followed by three shotgun blasts.[20]

Quanell X, who thought the shootings may have been racially motivated, approached Horn's house to speak to the media. He was overwhelmed by several hundred counter-protesters protecting Horn from Quanell X's accusations. The crowd of counter-protesters included bikers revving their motorcycles, many of them chanting, "USA," "Go home," and "We love our country; what do you love?" while waving placards, Texas flags, and US flags. Quanell X could not be heard over the noise, even when using a bullhorn, and left the area about eight minutes later. He returned soon after with more supporters and attempted to speak again, but the counter-protests continued. Riot police were readied in case of violence between the two groups. Quanell X believed that because Horn was white and not black, he was not prosecuted (even though at the time the District Attorney had not made a ruling). On June 25, 2008 the case was sent to a grand jury to decide whether or not Horn should go to trial. The grand jury relocated due to death threats, Quanell X did not take responsibility for them. On June 30, Horn was cleared by a Harris County Grand Jury in the deaths of Ortiz and Diego. [21][22] Quanell eventually made a speech on another street away from Horn's house. The speech included chants of "black power" and the exhortation for blacks to ignore "white law." On June 30, 2008 a Harris County grand jury cleared Horn in the Pasadena shootings after two weeks of testimony.[23]

Apologies

On January 28, 2008, after taking a tour of the Holocaust Museum Houston, Quanell said he became enlightened and apologized for his past statements on Jews.

"I seek the forgiveness of every survivor who has heard the words I've said. I did not say them in the proper manner to make the point I was trying to get across. I can see and understand how they might be utterly paranoid (of) a person such as myself."

He has been challenging those within the community who sympathize with Osama bin Laden.[24]

References

  1. ^ a b Patterson, Randall (1997-04-03). "Would You Buy a Revolution From This Man?". Houston Press. http://www.houstonpress.com/1997-04-03/news/would-you-buy-a-revolution-from-this-man/. Retrieved 2007-12-05.  
  2. ^ Crowe, Robert (2001-01-27). "Destructive Force Mars Sunnyside's Rebirth". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4274295.  
  3. ^ a b c Freemantle, Tony (2001-03-01). "Vitriolic Visionary". Houston Chronicle: pp. 33.  
  4. ^ Lezon, Dale (2009-08-12). "Quanell X Gets Closure of His Own". Houston Chronicle: pp. B1, B4.  
  5. ^ "Quanell X statement, October 17, 1995". New York Daily News. October 17, 1995.  
  6. ^ Chris Vogel (2009-01-13). "Quanell X: The Houston activist says he's dumped the hate, page 5". The Houston Press. http://www.houstonpress.com/2009-01-15/news/quanell-x/5. Retrieved 2009-08-07.  
  7. ^ Sallee, Rad (1997-02-04). "Ex-Nation of Islam official to form 'paramilitary' group". Houston Chronicle. http://0-find.galegroup.com.catalog.houstonlibrary.org:80/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS. Retrieved 2007-12-27.  
  8. ^ Gwynne, S.C. (2001-03-01). "The Second Coming of a Nightmare". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,990338-1,00.html.  
  9. ^ Hegstrom, Edward (2002-10-11). "Battle devoted to bin Laden, U.S. claims; Interviews cited at court hearing". The Houston Chronicle.  
  10. ^ "City Council Chamber, City Hall, Tuesday, March 30, 2004". houstontx.gov. http://www.houstontx.gov/citysec/agendas/2004/20040330.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-14.  
  11. ^ "Grand Jury Indicts Quanell X, Police-Shooting Suspect". click2houston.com. 2007-07-28. http://www.click2houston.com/news/3589213/detail.html. Retrieved 2009-05-14.  
  12. ^ Measley, Travis (2007-03-29). "Students, friends mourn loss of Houston native". The Battalion. http://media.www.thebatt.com/media/storage/paper657/news/2007/03/29/News/Students.Friends.Mourn.Loss.Of.Houston.Native-2811691.shtml. Retrieved 2007-03-29.  
  13. ^ Crowe, Robert (2007-03-23). "Officers Grateful to Quanell X". The Houston Chronicle: pp. B5. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4654897.html. Retrieved 2007-03-24.  
  14. ^ Hewitt, Paige; Villafranca, Armando (2007-03-23). "Agony, Anger Over Decision Not to Hunt for Teen's Body". Houston Chronicle: pp. A1.  
  15. ^ "Black leaders urge Rosenthal to step down". chron.com, Houston Chronicle. 2008-01-12. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2008_4493621. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  16. ^ Ruiz, Rosanna (2008-06-21). "Police: Burned bodies of missing Pasadena children found". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5847134.html.  
  17. ^ Leahy, Jennifer (2008-06-22). "The Discovery All Had Feared". Houston Chronicle: pp. A1.  
  18. ^ Leahy, Jennifer; Ruiz, Rosanna; Glenn, Mike (2008-06-22). "Father led the way to the discovery all had feared". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/pasadena/news/5850301.html. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  
  19. ^ Flores, Rosa (2008-06-23). "Quanell X: Time with slain kids' father 'like diving into the depths of hell'". KHOU. http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080621_mp_quanellx.27a00518.html. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  
  20. ^ Horswell, Cindy (2007-12-18). "Pasadena police give DA report on Horn". Houston Chronicle.  
  21. ^ Jennifer Leahy (2007-12-03). "Protest over slain burglars takes a confrontational turn". chron.com, Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4471491. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  22. ^ KTRK.com's video
  23. ^ Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings
  24. ^ Tolson, Mike and Dale Lezon. "New View of the World / Visiting Holocaust museum, activist apologizes for his past hate-filled remarks about Jews / Quanell X seeks to make amends." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday January 29, 2008. A1. Retrieved on January 14, 2009.

External links

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