SEAN WORSLEY: How the System failed him
“I feel like I’m being thrown away by a country I went and served for”
Sean (33) a medical marijuana patient (2011) in the state of Arizona. He’s a Disabled Black Army Vet who was honorably discharged with the Purple Heart (2008). Sean stopped at a gas station in Alabama, on his way from Mississippi to help his grandmother in North Carolina. At 11pm Officer Carl Abramo heard loud music coming from Worsleys’ car
(AUG 2016). Officer Abramo asked to search the vehicle, Sean and his wife Eboni allowed the officer to, thinking nothing of his legal prescription. He found some marijuana, pain pills (prescribed to Eboni), a 6 pack of beer, and a bottle of vodka. He arrested the BOTH of them. The pills weren’t in the original container (he claimed its a felony), they were stopped in a dry county meaning the sale of Alcohol is illegal (not drinking or possessing it for personal use), while his MMP card was invalid in the state, having it clearly for personal use Sean should have been charged with a misdemeanor given it was his first possession offence instead the decision is left up to the officer who decided it was a felony.
They both spent 6 days in jail. Having paid bail bonds and to get their car out of impound, they went back home to Arizona. The Worsleys didn’t have much money before this, living off of Sean’s VA check and small jobs he could work, Eboni spent a lot time taking care of him, she also faced her own health issues. About a year after the Worsleys were informed that the judge was revoking bonds on all the cases managed by that bail bondsman. At court, they were taken to separate rooms, Eboni informed them because of his severe PTSD he needs a legal guardian to help. “They said no, and they literally locked me in a room separate from him. And his conversation with me is that they told him that if he didn’t sign the plea agreement that we would have to stay incarcerated until December and that they would charge me with the same charges as they charged him,” Eboni said. “He said because of that, he just signed it.”
In 2019 they were homeless, again Sean had a fugitive warrant out for him missing a court in February to which he was unaware of, this caused his VA checks to stop for months. Not having his VA check and Eboni’s health problems not allowing her to work/needing care put the Worsleys in even more debt. In 2019 Sean’s medicinal marijuana card expired, he couldn’t afford to pay for it. He was pulled over in 2020 with marijuana (again an amount for personal use). The officer who pulled him over called Alabama police and they wanted him extradited to Pickens County where the original encounter (2016) happened. He’s been in jail since, the judge has him sentenced to 5 years in Alabama Department of Corrections. The state of Alabama has one of the WORST prison systems for men, their safety, physical and mental health are put at a high risk.
A quote from Sean’s friend Ellis English, also a Black Veteran
“You go over there. You come home messed up. Then you still get targeted”