UPDATED: 8:15 p.m. EDT, Aug. 17, 2019 —
From racial profiling to hasty police shootings, it’s no secret that Black people are treated more harshly by law enforcement, to put it mildly. But on the flip side, society consistently sees white people delicately arrested for the crimes those same Black people are suspected of, even those said white folks are a serious danger.
That was especially true last week when Jerri Kelly decided the best reaction to four Black teenagers who knocked on her door while fund-raising for their high school was to pull a gun on them and keep her firearm aimed at them until police arrived. While the obviously racist episode that unfolded in Arkansas resulted in Kelly being arrested, it took the Wynne Police Department — which arrived on the scene to see Kelly holding the boys at gunpoint while they were forced to lie on the ground — five days to actually take her into custody.
Kelly, the wife of the local jail administrator, was arrested with tender loving care for something — if the roles were reversed — that arguably would have gotten one or all of the boys shot and/or killed by police. She had the audacity to plead not guilty to four counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Similarly, privileged treatment was afforded to the accused El Paso mass shooter who allegedly killed at least 20 people earlier this month. Patrick Crusius was booked without a scratch on him after his surrender for launching a racially motivated mass killing that reportedly targeted Hispanics in the Texas border city on Aug. 3.
The mass shooting suspect, who was reportedly pro-Trump and against “race mixing,” was said to have used an AK-47 assault rifle, which should automatically consider him armed and dangerous. However, responding law enforcement was somehow able to apprehend the heavily armed Crusius, 21, and arrest him safely.
That treatment stood in stark contrast to when San Francisco police officers gunned down Mario Woods in 2015. The 26-year-old mentally ill man was suspected of stabbing someone when officers surrounded him. When Woods failed to drop the knife as ordered by the cops, they fired 26 rounds at him, even though cellphone videos showed that Woods was not directly threatening the officers as the cops claimed.
In another case, Sacramento police officers fired at 51-year-old Joseph Mann 18 times in 2016 after receiving reports of a man with a knife acting erratically. Police videos show Mann walking down the street making strange gestures when the cops at first tried to run him down with their police cruiser before shooting him.
In April 2018, four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — killed Saheed Vassell, 34, in a hail of 10 bullets on a Brooklyn sidewalk. The officers responded to calls about a Black man with a gun. But it turned out that Vassell, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was holding a pipe. No firearm was found at the scene.
Of course there is Laquan McDonald in October of 2014. Horrific video of the killing of McDonald showed Jason Van Dyke fired at him 16 times within 14 seconds. The video was released one year after McDonald’s death. The teen was seen walking away instead of confronting officers, which is what Van Dyke falsely said happened. McDonald continued to be shot at even after he fell to the ground from the initial bullets.
Two police officers and one detective were acquitted of trying to cover up the shooting for Jason Van Dyke, even though that was precisely what they did. The three men all said Van Dyke, who was convicted in October, was justified in shooting the teenager 16 times within 14 seconds. Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting, even said: “McDonald was walking toward Van Dyke and with his arms raised when he was shot.” The video would later contradict that account, showing Walsh lied. Still, he and his co-defendants were acquitted. Van Dyke received the light sentence of 81 months in prison.
However, when you are white — no matter if you gun down people at a church or even assault police officers, you can be peacefully arrested. Must be nice. See below.
1. Patrick Crusius, El Paso mall mass shooting suspect
Crusius was suspected of killing at least 15 people during a public shooting in and near the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas. Eye-witnesses identified him as the shooter to various news outlets. Still, despite his reported carnage and good chances of being armed and dangerous, responding law enforcement managed to arrest the alleged killer without using the same lethal force police many times employ on unarmed Black people.
2. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police…
3. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them…
4. Shot At Police At Trump Tower…
5. Shot At Police At Walmart — And Was Let Go…
6. Dylann RoofSource:Getty
In June of 2015, nine churchgoers were gunned down at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The killer, Dylann Roof, was treated so kindly by police that they reportedly bought him Burger King.
7. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested…
8. Grady Wayne Wilkes
Grady Wayne Wilkes in Alabama shot and killed a police officer and wounded two others. He was calmly arrested… imagine if he was Black.
9. James Holmes
On July 20, Holmes killed 12 and injured 49 others at a movie theater in Colorado. He was seriously armed and dangerous but, according to USA Today, he was calmly arrested. Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt reportedly found “him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was ‘completely compliant’ when told to surrender.” Oviatt said, “He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything.” Yet, police seized a semiautomatic handgun with a laser sight, a semiautomatic shotgun and an AR-15 military assault rifle equipped with a 100-round magazine drum from the scene.