Catherine Toney, a Mobile native, wants people to know that she and many more African-American nonviolent offenders would not be free without the help of President Donald Trump.
Toney was the first woman released from prison due to recently passed federal criminal justice reform legislation spearheaded by the Trump administration.
While at the White House’s African American History Month reception as a special guest of the president and first lady, Toney was honored by Trump from the podium.
He said, “We are very proud to be joined tonight by a citizen who transformed her life while in prison and is now the first woman to be released under the FIRST STEP Act, Catherine Toney. Where’s Catherine?”
Black woman, Katherine Toney is the 1st person to be released from prison after 16 years for a minor drug offense under President Trump’s 1st Step Act Prison Reform Bill. This has gotten ZERO media coverage. Why is this woman not on Good-morning America telling her story? Why? pic.twitter.com/zbSLYyyHj9— Melissa A. (@TheRightMelissa) March 3, 2019
To a resounding round of applause and chants of “Catherine! Catherine! Catherine,” the Alabama woman then joined Trump, who invited her to address the crowd.
“I just want to thank the president and everybody that worked so hard — Jared [Kushner] — for working so hard on this prison reform FIRST STEP Act. Because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing before you all today with my daughter and my granddaughter,” Toney said.
She added, “I’ve been incarcerated for 16 years, and it took the president and Jared and … everybody else to free me. And I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful to them. And I’m so thankful to God for the opportunity to be standing before you all. And thank you again, Mr. President.”