A cell-phone call from convicted killer-turned-gang peace activist Stanley Tookie Williams interrupted a Los Angeles rally on his behalf attended by actor Jamie Foxx, rapper Snoop Dogg and dozens of students.
“Stan, it’s Jamie! How are you, my brother?” Foxx, who once portrayed the death-row inmate, said into the receiver. He then held the phone to a microphone so Williams, scheduled to die by lethal injection Dec. 13, could address the crowd.
“I’d like to thank all you youngsters,” Williams said. “I am honored, truly honored, and regardless of what happens to me, whether I am alive or executed, I know you all will remember me.”
Foxx gave the phone back and turned to the crowd.
“If that don’t move you, I don’t know what it takes,” the Oscar-winning actor said.
The event at the downtown library was one of several held around the state Wednesday to urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to spare Williams. The co-founder of the Crips street gang was convicted of murdering four people in 1979.
Schwarzenegger has scheduled a Dec. 8 meeting with prosecutors and lawyers for Williams, who are seeking clemency.
“What I want to do is make sure we make the right decisions, because we’re dealing here with a person’s life,” Schwarzenegger said Wednesday, echoing comments he made earlier this month while on a trip to China.
Williams, 51, was convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk and, days later, three people at a motel. He denies committing the crimes.
Some people are convinced Williams should die, including a former acquaintance.
“Tookie really murdered those people,” Jimel Barnes, 52, of Compton said at Los Angeles City Hall before a rally there.
Williams “went around South-Central [Los Angeles] bragging about it,” said Barnes, who is also cited by some as a co-founder of the Crips.
The rally Williams called into at a Los Angeles library was one of about a dozen held Wednesday from San Diego to Sacramento. They coincided with hundreds of demonstrations around the globe for “World Cities Against the Death Penalty Day.”
“We’re all remaining optimistic, we’re all remaining prayerful,” said Bonnie Williams-Taylor, Williams’ ex-wife and mother of one of his sons. She said her ex-husband was convicted to be a “fall guy” for out-of-control gang violence.