SACRAMENTO — A California State Prison inmate is anxiously sitting in a cell at Salinas Valley State Prison hoping that the governor of California grants him a rare opportunity to see his son who is clinging on to life.
Nathan Jackson’s four-year-old son Navaun accidentally shot himself in the head last week in Oakland. Reportedly, while viewing television, the toddler found a gun under a pillow.
All through the weekend, Navaun’s great aunt Jamilia Land has been working diligently to get Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow Jackson see his son who is on life support, she said.
Nathan Jackson has never seen his son.
“I don’t know how it feels to be a father because I’ve never had the opportunity to be there,” said Jackson during a cell phone interview that took place before the media in front of the State Capitol. “It hurts me a lot because I feel like I owe my son for not being there.”
Navaun is at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland and is listed on life support, Ms. Land said. The bullet entered through his forehead. The boyfriend of Navaun’s mother has been charged with several felonies related to the incident, including child abuse and possesion of a gun by a felon.
Nathan Jackson was already expected to be transported to Folsom State Prison as part of his sentence. The family hopes he can see Navaun enroute to the prison in Sacramento County.
“In conversation with Nathan, it became apparent that it was urgent to get him to his son’s bedside,” Ms. Land said Monday. “Nathan has been incarcerated all of Navaun’s life. He has not ever physically met or seen his son. This would be his first time meeting him, touching him, holding him.”
In a desperate plea to Gov. Newsom, Ms. Land was accompanied in front of the State Capitol with the support of members from of Brothers 2 Brothers, Law Enforcement Accountability Directive, and the clergy. Ms. Land said she was able to set up real-time Skype video for Nathan Jackson to see and talk to his son last week.
Through NBC Bay Area television, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released a statement while the press conference was in progress in front of the State Capitol on Monday.
“The department is aware of the request made by Mr. Jackson’s family, and we are thoroughly reviewing the circumstances of this very unfortunate situation. Ultimately, we are looking at all the case factors to ensure they meet CDCR’s policy, and maintain public safety. We are also evaluating other options of communication available to us to try to assist the family during this difficult time,” the written statement by CDCR said.
Jackson, who is currently serving a nine-year stint in prison, is devastated about the tragedy involving his son.
“To hear that has happened to my son is taking a big toll on my heart,” Jackson said. “I’m devastated behind what happened. I’m not blaming anyone or anything because accidents do happen. This is something that I hope doesn’t happen again.”
Jackson said he would stay optimistic about the situation. For support, he is sharing a cell with Navaun’s mother’s uncle. However, as the hours tick away, he is pleading with Gov. Newsom and officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to grant him access to see his son in person for the first, and possibly the last, time.
“If my son doesn’t survive what has happened to him, this is something that will scar me for the rest of my life,” Jackson said. “I am asking, I’m on begging knees, asking please, please grant me the opportunity of being by my son’s bedside.”
A GoFundMe account has been set in the name of Navaun Lamarii Price Jackson to help support his mother through this difficult time. For more information, visit https://www.gofundme.com/na039vaun-lamarii-price-jackson.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer
OBSERVER photo by By Antonio R. Harvey