Friday, January 23, 2015

Michele Swan Arrested by Henry County SWAT Team After Fighting Wrongful Eviction

Michele Swan has been locked in a struggle to gain ownership of her home ever since a contentious divorce from her husband, Triveni Omar Singh, in 2012. Despite being granted ownership of the home in her divorce, Ms. Swan was ignored by Chase bank when trying to transfer ownership, and ultimately the home was foreclosed on; sold on the Henry County Courthouse steps to an investment firm.

American Residential, the group that bought the property, has continually refused to negotiate with Michele despite her efforts to buy back the home. Instead they opted to break into the home and remove all of the items of value; furniture, electronics, clothes, and personal momentous. Michele reported the theft to the local police department and detectives asked for entry to the home to discuss the burglary. Per Henry County detectives Michele’s personal items and everything of value was removed and placed off site by American Residential.

Since the foreclosure Michele has been subject to one difficultly after another in her attempt to regain legal control of her home. After being evicted by WRI Group, a property management firm affiliated with American Residential, Michele reclaimed her home in an attempt to rectify the unjust sale to American Residential.

After occupying the home publicly with support from community members for weeks, and receiving no response from American Residential, Michele and her allies where removed from the home by Henry County Police by over twenty officers. After Michele and supporters complied with an order to leave the property, Michele was arrested for criminal trespass and remains in custody at Henry County Jail, supporters are working towards her release.

Update: Michele has been denied bond and has been charged with criminal trespass, theft by taking, and burglary. This is a sad precedent to set for nonviolent housing justice protesters. Tonight there will be a vigil at the Henry County Jail.

There was a time in this country that women were not recognized as land owners, and claims to property by women were not considered legitimate; that dark chapter in American history is supposed to be closed. It is a cruel irony Michele had a rightful claim to her families home, and has been begging the financial institute that profited from Michele's clear injustice to sell her the home at a more than fair price(FYI Michele's loan has been pre-approved for months); yet tonight she sits in a jail cell with fairly serious charges.

It was just years ago that Wall street and the big banks crashed our economy and over 11 million Americans lost their homes and even more lost all of their wealth and NONE or the architects of the worst fraud in human history face jail time...but there's Michele Swan surrounded by a SWAT team for standing up to a system that continues to stack the deck against regular everyday people.

We also encourage everyone to sign and share Michele's online petition and follow the hashtag #Justice4Michele on twitter and instagram. 


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