On April 2, 1993, in Rockford Illinois, there was a murder.
Patrick Pursley was wrongfully convicted of this crime.
There was no DNA or fingerprint evidence, eyewitness identification, or confession that linked him to the crime. Instead, the state’s case relied on the testimony of a state firearms and toolmark examiner. This expert concluded that the bullets and casings found at the crime scene were an identical match to a gun found in Patrick’s home, and could not match any other gun.
Patrick wrote again and again to the Center for Wrongful Convictions (CWC) and other innocence organizations. He wanted a second opinion, this time from new ballistics comparison testing. They rejected this request every time. In Illinois at that time, there was no legal avenue to fulfill this request.
Patrick worked with outside advocates to change this. In 2007, they succeeded in gettingan amendment to the Illinois post-conviction forensic testing statute passed. This amendment allows defendants to access ballistics comparison testing against digital images in a
That same year, the CWC finally accepted his case. In 2008, the lawyers they partnered with made a motion for ballistics comparison. It was the first time any motion under the new statute was made. In 2009, the state denied the request. Patrick and his team appealed, and in 2011, this decision was reversed.
Later that year, the Illinois State Police finally ran the ballistics comparison. Testing showed that the ballistics patterns on the bullets and casings found at the crime scene did not match those on bullets and casings from the gun found at Patrick’s house. This result enabled Patrick to hire a new expert witness, whose work would be peer reviewed by a second expert witness. Both of these experts separately concluded that the bullets and casings at the crime scene could not have been fired from the gun found at Patrick’s house.
On January 16, 2019, after serving almost 24 years in prison, Patrick was finally acquitted.
I Am KidCulture uses multimedia to reach at-risk youth in order to encourage them to set goals, find career paths, and pursue higher learning.
Patrick is striving to establish a multimedia center where youths can learn skills for podcasting, journalism, and film and audio production.
Use the following media player to listen to Patrick introduce I Am KidCulture.
The mixtape, Kid Culture Presents: Choices, is a collaboration that highlights the local talent in Rockford, Illinois. At its heart, it shows that the problems of one city are the problems of all cities.
Coming soon: You can listen on Spotify.
What do we teach our youth who are being raised in poverty in the era of Covid & Social Justice? What mental health coping skills do our youth need in neighborhoods ravaged with gun and gang violence? How do we impart personal responsibility to the kids who are living in the margins, and teach them to understand that the choices that they make will either enter them into School to unlock their potential, or into the Prison Pipeline?
www.iamkidculture.org is now offering an 8 week course that speaks to our youth through culture to get them to engage with these questions .
Our curriculum addresses the following issues:
• Intrinsic value assessment & discovery.
• Development of personal, family and community Empathy.
• “Hood” Trauma study.
• Hip-hop and youth centered media content.
This course uses academia, performing arts, and hip-hop to encourage kids and teens to recognize their intrinsic value, develop critical and creative engagement capabilities, and become a positive outlet within the community.
To request an in-person course for your school or group, use the form on our Contact page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wall to the Fallen
Magnolia Shorty, 28
Bad News Brown, 33
Adán Zapata, 21
Lil Phat, 19
MC Daleste, 20
Pavlos Pyssas, 34
Doe B, 22
The Jacka, 37
Chinx Drugz, 31
Bankroll Fresh, 28
XXX Tentacion, 20
Jimmy Wopo, 21
Smoke Dawg, 21
Young Greatness, 34
Kevin Fret, 24
Nipsey Hussle, 33
Pop Smoke, 20
King Von, 26
Young Dolph, 36
Drakeo the Ruler, 28
Snootie Wild, 36
Archie Eversole, 37
Sidhu Moose Wala, 28
The following is a list of hip-hop entertainers lost to gun violence, sorted by year. Age at time of death is noted after each individual’s name.
Scott La Rock, 25
Paul C, 24
Danny “D-Boy” Rodriquez, 22
Tupac Shakur, 25
Yaki Kadafi, 19
The Notorious B. I. G., 24
Fat Pat, 27
Big L, 24
Freaky Tah, 27
DJ Uncle Al, 32
Jam Master Jay, 37
Half a Mill, 30
Soulja Slim, 26
Mac Dre, 34
Blade Icewood, 28
Big Hawk, 36
VL Mike, 32
Patrick Pursley began developing the KidCulture curriculum while imprisoned. He developed it with the assistance of chaplains, professors, teachers, family members, and other prisoners.
Even before Patrick was exonerated, the KidCulture curriculum was already in use at schools, universities, gang peace circles, and other settings.
Patrick also travels to give talks about the I am KidCulture program, his experience, and gun violence. In the past he has delivered talks at locations like Notre Dame, the University of Illinois and the University of Illinois Chicago, the University of Michigan, the Arts Incubator, and DePaul’s Hull House.