Cyntoia Brown led a sad childhood as she was given up for adoption at the tender age of two years old by her white birth mother Georgina Mitchell, who faced issues with alcohol and served in prison herself.
Brown has been adopted by Ellenette Brown who is a substitute teacher in which Ms Mitchell had known. Cyntoia, by the age of 16 years old in 2004 had been living with a 24-year-old man nicknamed “Cut Throat”. He began pimping out the teenager, and with him having a history of physical, sexual and drug abuse.
Her mother would not see her biological daughter, Cyntoia again until after she was already incarcerated for life in prison for the murder of a man who had picked her up for sex.
So why the fascination with her, so much so celebrities like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Cara Delevingne standing up to Cyntoia’s side? She has been in prison for the last 13 years only because she killed a man after being raped and sex-trafficked and most of them agree that justice was not served in her case.
One day, a man named Johnny Allen, 43, took her to his home. Cyntoia said of how terrified she was of Allen who was behaving in a threatening manner, and had multiple guns in his home as he uses to serve in the military. While lying in bed, Cyntoia feels as if he was going to reach for his gun and probably take her life away. To defend herself, she killed him with a gun she kept stashed in her handbag.
Right after murdering Allen, she took two guns, some money out of his wallet and drove to a Walmart parking lot. However, the jury rejected Brown’s claims of self-defence. She was found guilty of first-degree murder and prostitution.
She was convicted as an adult. In 2006, she was sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole when she is 69 years old. The hashtag #FreeCnytoiaBrown is trending and here’s what celebrities had to say about this on their social media;
The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown pic.twitter.com/73y26mLp7u
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 21, 2017
Why is the story a headline now?
This all started from filmmaker Daniel Birman who made a 2011 documentary about Brown that tracked her for nearly seven years, called Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. He shared a clip from it on a Nashville television station just last week that inspired a viral post.
After the documentary, a clemency petition was launched. It has received more than 220,000 signatures and needs 250,000 signatures to reach the Governor’s desk.
If you want to know more about her story, here’s the documentary;