Kash Kelly made a personal decision to leave a gang in Indiana at age 19. He became known as The StreetLight after choosing to return to gangs in his community and shine light, encouraging children to find a better way. Kelly was soon invited to speak across the country before diverse audiences. He spoke continually about unity.
“He grew a large following across the country because his words and actions pointed to the ability to actually change yourself and spread knowledge of how to truly take responsibility in yourself to change the community around you,” tells Kash’s fiancé, Erica Conklin.
In addition to speaking with inner city children, Kelly focused his energy on becoming a model father. He reflects on the joy he derived from being present in his children’s lives, coaching their sports teams.
“I feel like that’s the one thing in life I’ve been good at,” he told me over the phone, fighting back tears.
“I’ve been with my children every moment.”
After walking inside previously opened doors at the Capitol on Jan. 6th and later deciding to leave, Kelly’s life with his thriving family has been brought to a sudden halt. He has been detained in DC Correctional Treatment Facility-CTF for over a year.
During his initial hearing last year before Magistrate Zia Faruqui, he was unfairly chastised and called a “domestic terrorist.” Prosecutor Jacob Steiner interrupted the Magistrate’s rant, speaking up in Kelly’s defense.
“I know it looks bad. He has been a pillar in his community,” Steiner explained.
He told the judge it was rare to encounter an individual like this. While serving a previous, unanticipated charge eight years after leaving a gang, Kelly fulfilled every probationary requirement and release condition. His behavior was described as “impeccable.”
Nonetheless, he was ordered detained without bail. This typically only occurs after an individual evaluation in which a person is determined to have a specific plot to harm someone or is considered a danger to the community.
Kelly states people at the top of CTF’s administration will not change their minds and see the humanity of those confined in cases related to Jan 6th. However, he knows a few individual correction officers who personally admit they do not see J6ers as “inmates.”
“They see us as people and that we are being held here for reasons that are political. This whole thing is political,” Kash explains.’
Since last year’s, Kash Kelly has met with his lawyer Carmen Hernandez only once. In a motion to continue his preliminary hearing on May 24th, Hernandez states “additional time is necessary for Mr. Kelly to review the materials and discuss them with counsel.” (Ms. Hernandez was reached in referenced to this case, but declined to comment on Kash’s predicament.).
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With your help, the Kelly family can have adequate resources and hope as they wait for the return of their loving father. You can help the Kelly family and their children at Kash’s GiveSendGo here: https://www.givesendgo.com/KandE.