Jeremy Marks $50,000 Xmas Gift From Google Engineer Neil Fraser: He's Out Of Jail

Comments (0)


Sat, Dec 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge Jeremy Marks, center,, with his brother and his mom Rochelle Pittman. His lawyer Mark Ravis is in ballcap. - LYDIA GRANT
  • Lydia Grant
  • Jeremy Marks, center,, with his brother and his mom Rochelle Pittman. His lawyer Mark Ravis is in ballcap.
Jeremy Marks, a Verdugo Hills High School student jailed for eight months for "attempted lynching" after he used his cell phone camera to videotape a campus police officer striking a 15-year-old at an MTA bus stop, was finally home with his family on Christmas Eve.

A Google engineer from San Francisco heard about Marks' plight, in an exclusive story by Katharine Russ for LA Weekly that created widespread outrage. Here's why the Google engineer, Neil Fraser, posted $50,000 to get the 18-year-old out of the tough, adult, Pitchess Detention Center:

Neil Fraser is tentatively slated to appear Sunday, Dec. 26 on MSNBC to talk about why he helped a stranger -- a boy with a troubled background whose parents transferred him to Verdugo Hills to help him get a fresh start. Fraser also put $1,500 toward Marks' defense, which was matched by Google.

Marks was welcomed outside the jail the night of Dec. 23 by his brother and mother, Rochelle Pittman, a part-time swimming pool attendant who for months couldn't raise his $155,000 bail. The bail was hiked up after Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutors insisted Marks was a gang member.

His long incarceration fueled deep public anger because Marks touched no one, and his only weapon was his cell phone camera.

Two YouTube vidoes taken by other students with their own cell phone cameras show Marks speaking once as Los Angeles School Police Department officer Erin Robles repeatedly pushes a younger boy against an MTA bus.

Robles and the younger boy physically grappled, and Robles hit the 15-yer-old with her baton and sprayed him with mace. Marks and numerous other students waiting at the bus stop last May looked on.

Fraser's explanation to the Weekly for why he stepped forward to help a young stranger has been widely repeated: "bad things can only happen if good people do nothing."

Jeremy Marks was arrested and charged with a pile-on of felonies, and another LAUSD cop who was not present at the bus stop altercation named Jeremy Marks as the student who called out "Kick her ass!"

Prosecutors claim that yelling that phrase while an officer is subduing an uncooperative teenager is tantamount to "attempted lynching," defined in California law as trying to incite a riot to help a suspect get free of the police.

Hundreds of comments at the LA Weekly's website and nationally expressed outrage, with a minority of commenters taking the side of the police.

Robles actions led to a cascading series of events. It all began when she approached the 15-year-old at the bus stop -- allegedly for smoking either a cigar or joint -- and the boy resisted her.

Marks, an observer of the altercation, faced seven years in jail, and now prosecutors want him to accept 32 months.

Related Content


Now Trending

  • Sexual Predator Is Targeting Females in Eastside Park

    A sexual predator is on the loose in an Eastside park, police warned today. Cops say the creep has targeted "lone females" walking in Ernest E. Debs Regional Park three times between January and July. He has groped, exposed himself and even attacked with a knife, the Los Angeles Police...
  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.