more on the Jena six

I really like this article in the Financial Times today about the Jena six – the author captures my personal opinion about the matter pretty well. Read the whole thing here or just read the last two paragraphs below:

“Civil rights groups have been demonstrating in solidarity, accusing the town, the state and the country as a whole of allowing a racist system of justice to persist. The issue arose in the first place, they say, because of white bigotry. As events unfolded and escalated, white offenders were treated mildly, they argue, while black offenders faced all the punitive savagery that America’s criminal justice system is capable of. Shamefully, the facts appear to bear this out.

The black youths appear to have committed a nasty assault. This was more than a schoolyard brawl, and could have ended in serious injury. It warranted police intervention. The young men need to be punished and should command no respect. Campaigners who hold up the “Jena Six” as something close to heroes, as some do, are not helping the cause of racial equality. Nor was Jesse Jackson, when he characterised Barack Obama’s measured and sensible comments on the issue as “talking like a white man” – a racist provocation of another kind. But none of this diminishes the scandal of the wider circumstances: first, the school’s apparent tolerance of bigotry, and then the authorities’ zeal to punish blacks, though not the white racists who provoked them, to the fullest extent of the law. The president’s “sadness” is a sadly inadequate response.”

28 Comments so far

  1. Craig (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    The very last sentence of all that is pretty much the epitaph of the current administration. For virtually anything you can name.


  2. Blair (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

    Following the Jena High School beating incidence, the Justice Department reopened its investigation into the noose-hanging incident and found no link to the assault on Justin Barker or other confrontations between black and white students. Donald Washington, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, told CNN that “A lot of things happened between the noose hanging and the fight occurring, and we have arrived at the conclusion that the fight itself had no connection.” He added that “We could not prove that, because the statements of the students themselves do not make any mention of nooses, of trees, of the ‘N’ word or any other word of racial hate.” Washington also told CNN that Bell had “several previous assault charges on his record. ” The CNN story is online at http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/09/19/jena.six.link/index.html?iref=newssearch


  3. Owen (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 4:29 pm

    Two points:

    #1: The President should scarcely have to have a response to this. It’s nothing he really can or should do anything about, and with all the misinformation floating around, it would have been extremely foolish for Bush to give a more detailed statement.

    This knee-jerk Bush-bashing is getting tiresome. Even when there’s nothing to blame him for, and his involvement is understandably minimimal, people still see grounds for criticizing him. There are many areas where Bush has (arguably) done very poorly as president. This isn’t one of them.

    #2: Blair points out an important fact — there was no connection between the nooses and the beating perpetrated by the Jena 6. Even if there were, a violent beating doesn’t compare with a nonviolent crime, which although clearly despicable doesn’t merit worse than a misdemeanor charge.

    Moreover, I’ve heard conflicting reports about what exactly the students’ punishment was. I’ve heard from most sources that it was only three-days in-school suspension, which is far too mild considering the implied threat of the nooses. I heard elsewhere, however, that it was a month at an alternative school followed by two weeks in-school suspension, which still seems mild but at least more reasonable. Again, this is all the more reason why it’s a bad idea for politicians removed from the situation to be making statements beyond “sadness.”


  4. Richard (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    The victim of the beating, Justin Barker, did not hang the nooses from the tree or provoke the attack. Unlike aggravated battery, there is no state or federal law prohibiting hanging a noose from a tree.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/opinion/26walters.html?em&ex=1190952000&en=92c547bf9d97eb27&ei=5087


  5. Jack Ware (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    I really lost interest in this story almost immediately and I heard about it months ago along blogging circles. It seems to me that everybody involved is at fault, if for no other reason than for letting the situation escalate. The individuals should have, at some point, realized things were escalating and it needed to stop, but this comes from maturity which all seem to lack. The school could have had some impact on defusing the situation, but schools are nearly powerless so the real onus doesn’t fall on them anyway in thaty they manage what they are given. It comes down to the parents as it always does. And in a bit of a stretch, the community as a whole should have long ago dealt with racial tensions. This last point can be considered appropriate for our beloved New Orleans as well.

    Having said that, it seems that the only thing this situation has done, in no small part to the involvement of the Push Coalition (Jackson and Sharpton as primaries) is to polarize the situation in “us” against “them” terms on all sides. This is typical for situations like this and usually only serves to aggravate the situation and does little to nothing to help the community deal with its obvious racial issues.

    Not being from the South, it is very, very painfully clear that the South has some serious racial issues that it is going to have to deal with at some point one way or another. Exploitation of situations like these by the media and civil rights has beens, and sadly, in this case, the internet blogging community serve no purpose than to polarize communities outside the immediate area. This isn’t because this sort of thing should be hidden away, but because it isn’t being handled in a healthy or productive way.

    So basically, I have no sympathy for either side and I have no use for them. I will not let this polarize me one way or the other. But I would like to thank the people of Jena for reinforcing the mostly true stereo type of Louisiana as a racist state. Maybe one day we’ll get over it. Until then I think a new approach is needed to address these things in a more appropriate way than reactionary, defensive/offensive bullshit on all sides.

    Maybe once our bald-ass mayor gets done mishandling the city of New Orleans and uses all that money he’s been gathering his entire second term to buy a seat at the big kids table of managing race relations on behalf of the African American community things will be better. After all, his racially provocative statements are just what we all need to understand each other a little better.


  6. Laurie (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    Hiding and pretending that nothing is there is no answer either.

    We talk about differences down here.

    Laurie


  7. Brian B (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

    Being black, I realize that more times than needed the race card comes out when it shouldn’t be used at all. In the case of the Jena 6, I think an injustice was served by charging those involved with attempted murder for a school yard brawl.

    Some may say that this was just no school yard brawl, it was a vicious assault. When is the last time you have witnessed a high school fight? Did they beat the guy up? Yes. Did they use any object to assault the victim? No. Did they attempt to murder this individual and is their any evidence to point to that intent? No. Does this crime require several teenagers to be tried as adults so their punishment can be more severe? It’s a matter of opinion. After the fight, the victim attended a party later on that evening. Do this sound like 6 black kids were out to murder a white kid and would have done so if not stopped by someone?

    So, let talk about why the fight occurred. The fight occurred in revenge to a previous fight at a party involving the victim and others (white) assaulting another individual (black). A white male was charged with simple battery and released on probation. One of the victims claimed that a bottle had been broken over his head by the white male.

    But, if you were to go further back, the incident with the nooses appeared to be the catalyst which started racial tension in the school. The school principal did try to expel the students from the school, but the superintendent reinstated the students who hung the nooses. The school, in my opinion, tried everything they could to eliminate the brewing racial tension within the school.

    There in lies the basic argument. Why does one kid receive a simply battery and probation when he used an object in an attack, while the others get tried as adults and charge with attempted murder? This can be viewed as differential treatment based on the ethnicity. Not saying that this is the reason, but it very well could be.

    Being a black American, I have had my fair share of witnessing and being a victim of racism. But, it is very hard to prove that someone doesn’t like you because of your race. I had a girl work for me that wouldn’t touch a black person’s hand. This does not that proves she’s racist. When I suspended her, she called me a “N”. My car has been illegally searched several times because it appears that I may have been in “possession of” something. This does not prove that the white cops were racist. When they searched all parties that were black riding in the vehicle and not my white friend, what is one to assume? I’ve heard several whites’ state that I don’t talk “black” or “street”. This does not prove that there racist. When in college at UNO, one of my professors was failing everyone black in the class. I had all my worked double checked by peers, my aunt who has her master’s, and other professors. Yet, I still failed the class. That doesn’t prove that they were racist. Still in all, our country went to war with another country that couldn’t prove any valid reasons of why.

    True, black people are too quick to cry wolf. It doesn’t mean, however, that the wolf doesn’t exist. In the Jena 6 case, it does appear that some unfair treatment transpired. Was it because of Race?? It was the underlying cause. Should all of the 6 go free with no punishment? Hell No! Maybe, the spotlight shined on a small town to help them amend the racial tensions within that school. What spotlight should be cast on America so that racism is erased?


  8. Owen (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

    Brian B.,

    You’re wrong. What happened was definitely a “vicious assault” as opposed to a “schoolyard brawl.” There was no brawling whatsoever; they simply knocked the guy into the pavement, giving him a concussion and rendering him unconscious, and proceeded to kick him in the torso and face. He didn’t suffer any injury requiring hospitalization, but that was more dumb luck given the nature of the attack.

    In any case, his injuries were considerable and required an emergency room visit, unlike the previous fight in which a white student pled guilty to simple battery. Furthermore, you’ve got your facts wrong — nobody alleged that it was the same student who pled guilty to battery who cracked a bottle over somebody’s head. You were dealing, apparently, with a simple fistfight that resulted in no serious injuries. I can’t say much beyond that, but I see no evidence that the fight there was comparable.

    In any event, I do agree that there was no intent to kill in the Jena 6 beating. However, the attempted murder charges probably were never serious. Rather, the D.A. was using the attempted murder charges as a vehicle to secure adult convictions for battery. That’s why the charges were quickly reduced after the original indictments.

    There may well have been racist motives here on behalf of the D.A., the school board, etc., but the facts are hardly a slam dunk.


  9. Owen (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

    Jack Ware,

    Not being from the South, it is very, very painfully clear that the South has some serious racial issues that it is going to have to deal with at some point one way or another.

    You think maybe that’s more true for the North, Jack? Race riots and de facto segregation have proven to be considerably worse in northern cities. The South has at least confronted racial divisions; northern states have tended to pat themselves on the back and while ignoring any lingering problems.

    I do agree with you that both sides are to blame, though, at least in the sense that this could have defused long before it became a focus of national attention.


  10. Owen (unregistered) on September 26th, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

    Richard,

    Contrary to the New York Times article, I would argue that the hanging of the nooses is at least criminal mischief — a misdemeanor offense.

    By hanging the nooses from school property, the students were “tampering with the property of another . . . with the intent to interfere with the free enjoyment of any rights of anyone thereto.” Generally you can get caught on criminal mischief charges if you mess with another’s property, in this case, the school’s.


  11. Ann (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    To say the hanging of the nooses weren’t racially motivated and are in no way connected to the outbreak of violence is ascinine, at best. When the D.A. gathers all the black students into the gym and tells them he can change their lives with a stroke of the pen, his motivations become crystal clear. IMHO, the D.A. is a lying racist s.o.b. who will burn in Hell, if there actually is one.)

    I think a point that protesters such as the Most Reverands and their counterparts on the other side miss is this: the parents/families have never said the boys (because that what they are) were innocent; rather, they objected to the severity of the charges and the apparent favortism given to white students/boys that were guilty of the same type of behavior. (white kids pull shotgun and threaten to kill black students off school property; gun wrestled away, victims fled, then found and charged with theft?! Attacker faced no charges?! Puh-LEEEZ!)

    The D.A. has backed himself into a corner – by grandstanding with the initial charges and flagrantly violating the Louisiana constitution and several state statutes, he has opened the door for this kid to walk. (Although, considering he has spent his senior year plus 4 months in jail, I think time served applies to Michael Bell.)

    What the D.A. should do is plead out the remaining kids, (BTW, Owen, several of which are STILL charged with attempted murder with a SHOE! See the cnn.com story for verification) on misdemeanors that fit the crime, and go back and address the gross inrquities viz-a-viz the white kids involved. But, that would imply he made a mistake and apparently, this D.A. is incapable of that.

    I have some legal questions for anyone qualified to answer it – if Bell should not have been charged as an adult, wouldn’t his prior charges be irrelevant to the bail in this case since they are juvenile offenses? Also, can Bell sue his public defender for gross incompetence – he didn’t catch the mistakes of the D.A. and he allowed an all-white jury to be enpaneled. Can an ordinary citizen ask the Louisiana Bar to look into that attorney?


  12. Owen (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    Ann,

    When the D.A. gathers all the black students into the gym and tells them he can change their lives with a stroke of the pen, his motivations become crystal clear.

    It was a SCHOOL-WIDE assembly. The D.A. didn’t just invite all the black students in and lecture them personally. This is just more misinformation.

    [T]he parents/families have never said the boys (because that what they are) were innocent; rather, they objected to the severity of the charges and the apparent favortism given to white students/boys that were guilty of the same type of behavior. (white kids pull shotgun and threaten to kill black students off school property; gun wrestled away, victims fled, then found and charged with theft?! Attacker faced no charges?! Puh-LEEEZ!)

    The facts of that incident were not well known. I’m fairly certain we’ve only gotten one side of the shotgun incident. The police reported that they got conflicting statements from both sides; I don’t know for certain, but it’s probably a good guess that the white student who pulled the shotgun claimed that he pulled it out in self-defense. In any case, I’d need to see a police report to make any judgment on that.

    The D.A. has backed himself into a corner – by grandstanding with the initial charges and flagrantly violating the Louisiana constitution and several state statutes, he has opened the door for this kid to walk.

    I doubt he’ll just walk, although he might get time served. I also am unaware of what constitutional protections the D.A. violated, or of any evidence that racism was motivating him. It is true that the appeals court disapproved of the tactic he used to get Bell tried as an adult, but that’s it.

    BTW, Owen, several of which are STILL charged with attempted murder with a SHOE! See the cnn.com story for verification.

    I don’t know what story you’re referencing, but I’m pretty sure all of them have had their charges reduced to some form of battery.

    [C]an Bell sue his public defender for gross incompetence – he didn’t catch the mistakes of the D.A. and he allowed an all-white jury to be enpaneled.

    He can sue the attorney for malpractice if he committed any. As far as the empanelling of the all-white jury, there wasn’t anything the defender could do about that. No blacks appeared in the randomly-selected jury pool.


  13. Ella (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

    Owen, I don’t know why you have recently decided to stop by and comment multiple times on every post on this blog. (And by “comment”, I mean “argue with everyone else incessantly”.) But I do know that this is not the “Owen Opines” blog. A little disagreement and discussion is fine, but you seem to be taking things a little overboard.

    If you feel so strongly about issues that you feel you must respond to every commenter on every post, I suggest you go start your own blog. It’s easy! And free!


  14. Ann (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

    ********Alert: Guardian reports D.A. will not appeal ruling overturning Bell’s conviction.************

    Owen – I was referncing the cnn story another commenter provided a link for . . that story was dated 9/19, a week ago. As far as the media knows and I can find, as of 9/27, there are still several charged with attempted murder and conspiracy.

    (After I typed this, I found the report on the Guardian site that refernced a change in charges, but I can’t find a U.S. site to cooberate that. Don’t bother posting one – if it’s there, I’ll find it eventually. If the charges have been reduced, it’s only because of the pressure brought to bear on the D.A. by all the media scrutiny, not any admission on his part of fault.)

    The D.A. violated the Louisiana constituion which sets specific instnaces of when a juvenile can and can not be tried as an adult – that was the basis for the overturning of the conpsiracy conviction. There are also possible federal violations of the Equal Protection Clause because of the inconsistency in charges between the white and black youths involved in all the incidents. As for the public defender, he could have, and should have, demanded another jury pool be pulled BECAUSE there were no blacks in the “random” drawing. He also called no defense witnesses, even though there are reportedly white students willing to testify that at least one of the boys was not even in the cafeteria when it happened as well as others who would testify they never saw another defendent throw a punch or any other violent motion – rather he was pulling people OUT of the melee. (I double-checked the legal stuff with 2 lawyers and a judge, all grads of LSU law, who practice, or practiced, in Louisiana in the last 3 years.)

    Based on my experience as a native of Louisiana, I KNOW, in my heart of hearts, that the hanging of the nooses was a hate crime, by definition. It was perpetrated by white students with the intent to intimidate the black students. Whoever tries to say otherwise is, IMHO, an idiot, blind, niave, or in denial. Maybe all of the above.

    All sides in the imbroglio are at fault – the students on /both/ sides, the adults, on /both/ sides that encouraged and condoned the spiral of violence. However, the D.A. was in a position to defuse the situation and he made stupid, stupid moves, that considering the facts we /do/ know, can eaasily be construed as racially motivated. He was either ignorant of the law he was charged to uphold, or, deliberately acted contrary to it. Or, again, both. Either is inexcusable.


  15. Owen (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    Ann,

    As far as the media knows and I can find, as of 9/27, there are still several charged with attempted murder and conspiracy.

    I know you asked me not to, but I’ll remove all doubt: “Authorities, at first, charged five of the six with attempted murder, although now none of them faces attempted murder charges.”

    http://www.thecitizen.com/~citizen0/node/21001

    And I’m pretty sure this was a trial tactic, not due to any outside pressure. D.A.’s routinely put forth greater charges to induce a plea deal. In this case, the attempted murder charge was also used to get into adult court.

    The D.A. violated the Louisiana constituion which sets specific instnaces of when a juvenile can and can not be tried as an adult – that was the basis for the overturning of the conpsiracy conviction.

    He was arguing a reasonable interpretation of the law; the court of appeals didn’t call his tactic ridiculous, just wrong.

    There are also possible federal violations of the Equal Protection Clause because of the inconsistency in charges between the white and black youths involved in all the incidents.

    As I pointed out before, the facts of other incidents are unclear. Accordingly, it’s difficult to say if there was disparate sentencing, and whether or not it was based upon race.

    As for the public defender, he could have, and should have, demanded another jury pool be pulled BECAUSE there were no blacks in the “random” drawing.

    You can demand one, but given the small percentage of blacks in La Salle Parish and the fact that far fewer blacks than whites typically show up for jury duty, there would have been no guarantee that any blacks would have actually ended up on the jury — and nobody is guaranteed racial representation on their jury.

    Based on my experience as a native of Louisiana, I KNOW, in my heart of hearts, that the hanging of the nooses was a hate crime, by definition.

    However reprehensible, it wasn’t a hate crime under federal law or the laws of this state. I know the symbolism, though. It wasn’t a frivolous prank.

    However, the D.A. was in a position to defuse the situation and he made stupid, stupid moves, that considering the facts we /do/ know, can eaasily be construed as racially motivated. He was either ignorant of the law he was charged to uphold, or, deliberately acted contrary to it.

    I’m at least willing to entertain the notion that Walters believed he was acting properly by trying to secure an adult conviction for Bell given his priors (although I don’t know the criminal backgrounds of the others). He may also have believed the route he took to the adult convictions was legitimate.


  16. Owen (unregistered) on September 27th, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

    Ella,

    I’ve been blogging for years, and I’ve never had anybody criticize me for for effusive commenting! Most blogs regard commenting as a net positive because it means posts are generating friendly debate and therefore traffic.

    I’m being civil and complying with the terms of service — what’s the problem?


  17. Ann (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 6:10 am

    Sorry Owen – an opinion column from Fayette County, GA does not count as a verifiable news news source. (especially one that seems more a rant against the right reverands than anything else). An AP stringer story or soemthing from the Town Talk or Times-Picayune is what I’m looking for.

    BTW – I never said the appeals court said the DA’s actions were ridicuous – I said they found his actions unconstitutional – which they did. Whether he thought that route was “legitimate” only begs the question of his apparent lack of knowledge of the state constitution, IMO.

    This is a moot point – you are simply arguing for arguments sake. I need to go to school.


  18. Owen (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 7:50 am

    Ann,

    I know it’s an op-ed, but it’s the first thing I found, and as I said — I’m pretty sure that’s accurate.

    And I’m not “arguing for argument’s sake” anymore than you are. If you want to end a discussion, you can simply stop posting; you don’t need to insult me.


  19. Ann (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 9:55 am

    I wasn’t intending to insult you – simply letting you know I have other things to do – such as going to teach the constitutional law I was discussing. I personally think it is ruder to just stop than to inform a person with whom you are having a discussion that you are moving on to other things. But again, that’s me. My family is painfully polite most times – if I truly insulted you, believe me, you would feel it in your bones.


  20. DanF (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    Can’t we all just get along?

    Damn, where’s OJ when you really need him


  21. aN (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    in his Bronco?


  22. Ann (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    in his Bronco?


  23. termite. (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    think he traded it in for a golfcart or something. :p


  24. jack Ware (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

    Owen, you were right to call me out on the “not being from the South” thing. I didn’t mean to imply that the North had it all figured out. Thinking about it a little more, at least as New Orleans is concerned it may be better to say that there is a serious class issue in New Orleans that is aggravated by race. Where I grew up, in Cincinnati there was a significant middle class which seemed to lend something in the way of commonality. I mean to say, where people of different races can look at each other and say ‘we make about the same amount of money, have a similar job, have a similar house, and a somewhat similar lifestyle’ as being middle class. And I think in some ways that commonality makes it easier to speak more openly about things whether they involve race or not – I guess it kind of neutralizes things some ways.

    Now, that’s just my perspective as a white guy growing up there and I’ve never spent much time there as an adult. But I see the near absence of a middle class here in New Orleans as divisive. People on both sides are quick to point out that they’re not [insert group here]. So there’s a tendency on everyone’s part to see the differences – sometimes in horribly inaccurate categorizations. But, like you pointed out very well, there’s a big gray area. And I think sometimes broad class statements take on a racial charge that may not be necessary. Still, you can’t discount the racial implications because as soon as you do, examples of institutional racism surface to suggest there is a racial bias in the system (i.e. per capita income by race, availability of quality health care and let’s not forget the implications of prison demographics).

    It may just be that there were significant race riots in Cincinnati in the 60’s and as a result, the community that is Cincinnati seemed to sort it out and I probably grew up in the fallout of that. Also, Cincinnati wasn’t as heavily hit by the introduction of Crack cocaine in the 80’s and later heroine in the 90’s so that didn’t impact the delicate balance. There was, however, a pretty big problem with neo-Nazis in the 90’s but somehow that was seen as a “white problem” since most of it ended up being white on white hate crimes.

    Truth is, I don’t really know the answer, but I’m confident there is one. It’s just lost in misinformation and ignorance and suspicion. Some individuals and groups are really doing great work to bring things together but still others are pulling it all apart. Its unfortunate. But I do know this; talking about it has to be a good thing as long as its respectful and honest. It doesn’t mean everyone has to agree, but everyone should be able to state what they think, and more importantly, why they think it. If you don’t know why you think something then you’ve never questioned it so you’ve never given yourself a chance to grow out of some of the beliefs you inherited that may just be wrong. And it gives you a chance to appreciate the things you inherited that were right and to make sure you pass that stuff on. If everyone did that, many of the beliefs people hold would not stand up to the burden of proof life experience offers. These problems with race (among others prejudices) would have long since disappeared into the books as just an ignorant phase of human evolution where people were hurt and killed for no good reason at all…like so many others already behind us.


  25. Laurie (unregistered) on September 28th, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

    Only One race-Homo sapiens sapiens!

    Branches are not races.

    Laurie


  26. Jon (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

    Ann,

    Your characterization of the “shotgun incident” is grossly flawed.

    “white kids pull shotgun and threaten to kill black students off school property; gun wrestled away, victims fled, then found and charged with theft?! Attacker faced no charges?! Puh-LEEEZ!”

    * There was only one “white kid” involved, not a group of them

    * The white kid was also a student

    * There were three black students

    * The single white student was chased from the “Gotta Go” convenience store by a group of three black students, ran to his truck, TRIED to grab his gun, but lost it in the ensuing struggle. You make it sound like he started the incident, but he clearly didn’t.

    * Just think logically… if he HAD the gun pulled on them and was threatening to kill them, how were they able to stroll up to him and wrestle it away? Are these black students some sort of superheroes? No.

    Like with so many aspects of the Jena 6 saga, most people are ignorant of the facts and blindly believe the first news report they stumble across.


  27. Dan F (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2007 @ 7:35 pm

    Easily the most butchered story by the media in years. Not one media outlet every got the complete story correct. Beware your sources for information. Tough to find the truth anymore.


  28. Ann (unregistered) on October 4th, 2007 @ 6:20 am

    Jon – I am not “ignorant of the facts” nor did I “blindly believe” the first report I stumbled upon – I read many many accounts of all the incidents during the last 6 months as followed this story. I have never seen the version you relate, and I have read dozens. I notice you cite no references – I’m not saying that the reports I read are wholly accurate, but what guranatees that YOURS are?

    Dan is right – this story has been butchered, but I don’t necessarily blame the media . . . solely, anyway. There have been conflicting reports from day one and all parties have enhanced, contradicted, and otherwise altered their version of events.

    Given the totality of the information out there – I am sympathetic to the black kids involved. I’m not excusing or condoning their actions in any of the incidents, but I do believe they were unfairly treated by the DA and the law enforcements agencies. I think that the mistreatment was racially motivated.

    A.



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