AnswersFromMen.com Black History Edition: Inequity in Justice


February 17, 2014

racial inequality

Black History Month celebrates the contributions and accomplishments that people of African descent have made here in America. It acts as a reminder and a memorial for all the people who lost their lives during the formation of this country. Black history month recognizes all the sacrifices that brought African Americans closer to equality in the United States. However, African Americans still face inequality in the public conscience and in the judicial system. People, including African Americans, believe that African Americans are inherently violent and more prone to criminality. When, in fact, crime is a byproduct of poverty. People in poverty commit more crimes regardless of race. Black people have higher levels of unemployment and poverty, so they also are indicted in more crimes. People ask why White people are subjected to more scrutiny when they commit crimes against African Americans when Black-on-Black crime is far more prevalent. These people think that White men and women are less likely to commit crimes against other White people than they are to commit them against Black people. They are completely mistaken. White people usually commit crimes against other White people. Victimization is directly correlated to proximity. People are more likely to commit crimes against those who live closest to them. Since African Americans generally live in predominantly African American neighborhoods, and Caucasian people generally live in predominantly Caucasian populations, they commit crimes against people who share their race. 93 percent of crimes by Black people is against Black people, and 85 percent of crime by White people is against White people. The way that the penal system treats these criminals is very different though. Studies by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that Caucasian Americans fare better when accused of a crime against an African American person than do African American people accused of a crime against Caucasian Americans.

 

Roman found that the killings of black people by whites were more likely to be considered justified than the killings of white people by blacks.

….At FRONTLINE’s request, Roman analyzed the pool of 43,500 homicides by race in states with Stand Your Ground laws* and those without them. Because he wanted to control for multiple variables — the races of the victim and the shooter, whether they were strangers, whether they involved a firearm and whether the murders were in Stand Your Ground states — Roman used a technique known as regression analysis, which is a statistical tool to analyze the relationship between different pieces of data.

Using this analysis, Roman found that a greater number of homicides were found justified in Stand Your Ground states in all racial combinations, a result he believes is because those states yielded more killings overall.

Roman also found that Stand Your Ground laws tend to track the existing racial disparities in homicide convictions across the U.S. — with one significant exception: Whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are far more likely to be found justified in their killings. In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person; in Stand Your Ground states, that number jumps to 354 percent.

excerpt taken from PBS.org

Below is a list of some of the more recent cases of White men shooting minorities and being acquitted of murder charges. Some people will make accusations of race baiting with this list, however only the facts are stated below.

Jordan Davis – A verbal argument ensued over loud music that was being played from a SUV with four Black teenagers. Michael Dunn, a White middle aged man, and Jordan Davis, a Black 17 year exchanged words while Dunn’s fiance was in the gas station and Davis’ friends were in the car. Davis went to his vehicle and Dunn fired three volleys of shots from his semi-automatic pistol into the SUV striking Davis three times and killing him. He said that he felt threatened and that he saw a weapon. All four teens were unarmed when the police arrived. Dunn was found guilty on lesser charges, but not on murder. He faces two separate charges that have a minimum of 15 and twenty years imprisonment.

Trayvon Martin – George Zimmerman, a neighborhood wacthman, followed Trayvon Martin through the neighborhood that Trayvon lived in and confronted him against the direction of a 911 operator. According to Zimmerman, Martin jumped him, beat his head into a curb, and nearly killed him. He shot Martin several times in the chest and killed him. No weapons were found on Martin’s body. None of Zimmerman’s DNA was found on Martin’s body despite Zimmerman saying that Martin nearly beat him to death. Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and acquitted.

Diego Ortiz and Miguel de Jesus – Joe Horn called 911 to report a robbery in progress. While on the phone with the operator, he sees the men fleeing the house and asks the operator if he should stop them with his shotgun. The operator tells him at least twelve times not to confront the men, and that the police are on the way. Horn becomes more incensed as the call goes on, tells the operator that he is going to stop them, and records himself yelling at and killing the two thieves. He shot both men in the back and was never charged with a crime.

Jonathon Ferrell – Ferrell, a former football player had just been in a serious car accident where he kicked out the window of his car to exit the vehicle. He stopped at the first door that he saw and knocked for help. The woman at the door thought it was her husband, opened the door, and slammed it when she saw Ferrell and called the police. When the police arrived, Ferrell ran towards them. He was shocked with a Taser, and when that did not stop him, he was shot at 12 times being hit with 10 bullets. The dashboard cam was used to indict Randall Kerrick, the officer that killed him. His hands were empty on the tape, no weapon was found on him, and no drugs or alcohol were found in Ferrell’s body.

Renisha McBride – Renisha McBride had also been in a serious accident. Her cell phone had died, so she knocked on a door in a nearby neighborhood. McBride walked four blocks and made it to this particular doorstep. The homeowner answered the door with his shotgun in hand. According to police, the man thought that she was committing a robbery and that the gun accidentally went off. McBride’s family believes that she was shot in the back of the head while leaving the residence. The officer says that she was shot in the face. No charges have been filed as of yet.


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