Pimpin' Is Not Stylin'
Baker spent more than 19 years in jail for that crime. "I made a bad decision when I was 16. Since then, my life has been in other people's hands,” Baker said at the time of his parole hearing in August 2004. He made a tearful plea to the parole board at that hearing. “I need for the board to believe in me. Give me this opportunity and just let me show you,” he said, “I've never had a Christmas with my daughter. Ever. My daughter will be starting college this year.” He pleaded, “I'm just asking the board to please give me an opportunity. Just please give me a chance. Please.”
Members of the parole Board grilled Baker over breaking the rules by establishing a personal relationship with a female guard at the State Prison. Baker explained it this way:
“Everyone always remembered all the bad I did. This officer suggested that I needed to have spirituality in my life. So she began giving me Scriptures to read and talking to me about different aspects that had happened in my life. At that time, to me, that felt like a pat on the back for me to continue trying to make positive strides to do the right thing. So I began going to church in the institution and just trying to push forward and to be somebody different.”
Michael Washington, Chairman of the State Parole Board, said, “I understand from what you've told us that this officer was being very helpful to you, but this clearly was a violation of the rules and caused the institution some great concern. It causes us some concern as well because it's going to be a lot more open and free out in society. We need to have some idea that the conditions that are going to be applied to you are going to be adhered to.”
The conditions of Baker’s parole are strict: He is not allowed any contact with minors, nor is he allowed to be present in any area that minors frequent. He is not allowed to have personal relationships with any female without permission from his Parole supervisor. He is not allowed alcohol or pornography and he is not allowed to enter bars or taverns. He has to attend AA and NA meetings, enter an Anger Management program and to submit to routine polygraph tests.
With these restrictions, Baker was released on parole August 30, 2004. His post-release supervision is scheduled to end August 21, 2021. I guess Lavont must have thought that the restrictions were a little severe. Or maybe his spiritual rebirth didn’t quite take, because he has disappeared and is now wanted by Multnomah County.
When I see kids going to Halloween parties as pimps, shows like “Pimp My Ride” and outrages like Pimpfants “stylin’ wear for infants,” I like to remind myself what the word “pimp” really means. Thanks, Lavont.