Ex-White Cop Amber Guyger’s 10-year sentence exposes US discriminatory justice system against blacks

Mohammed Awal Oct 4, 2019 at 12:32pm

October 04, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Opinions & Features

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

October 04, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Opinions & Features

Amber Guyger sentenced to 10 years in prison sentence for fatally shooting to death unarmed black man. Photo: Credit

A Dallas County Jury has handed down a 10-year jail term to a former white police officer for killing unarmed Blackman.

The jury found Amber Guyger guilty of fatally shooting Bothan Jean to death in his apartment less than 24 hours after it was empaneled. The incident happened last year. 

With the option to decide whether or not Guyger acted reasonably in fatally shooting Jean, the jurors handed down a 10-year jail term.

The verdict brings an end to a case that has roiled national attention and sparked anger among black people.

One would have thought the Dallas County Jury’s decision would have whipped some confidence in the American Criminal Justice System. But that was not the case. 

A lot of people believe it has rather exposed the fiction of liberty and justice for all mantra in America. Countless incidents in American courts point to the fact that criminal justice is usually against blacks. 

No wonder in 2016, Kelontre Barefield – a black – was handed 34 years behind bars for killing a K9 officer – a dog to be precise. Compare that to Guyger, who heinously killed a young promising Blackman – a paltry 10-year imprisonment – suggesting subtly the life of a canine matters more than Blackman’s.

Brandt, brother of Bothan Jean and Guyger hug. Photo Credit: Dallas Morning News

The racial disparities in America’s criminal justice system are no accidents, they are deep-rooted in history to suppress the Black American.

Cornell law professor Sheri Lynn Johnson in 1985 after reviewing a dozen mock-jury studies concluded that the “race of the defendant significantly and directly affects the determination of guilt.” 

Professor Johnson uncovered after stimulating identical trials in the studies sometimes with white defendants and sometimes with African Americans white jurors were more likely to find a black defendant guilty than a white defendant, even though the mock trials were based on the same crime and the same evidence.

Radley Balko in a Washington Post piece on 18 September 2018 titled: ‘There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal-justice system is racist. Here’s the proof’ wrote when one considers that much of the criminal-justice system was built, honed and firmly established during the Jim Crow era — an era almost everyone, conservatives included, “will concede rife with racism — this is pretty intuitive.”

The modern criminal-justice system, he argued helped preserve racial order, keeping black people in their place and that for much of the early 20th century, in some parts of the country, that was its primary function—that it might retain some of those proclivities today shouldn’t be all that surprising.

According to him, after more than a decade covering “these issues, it’s pretty clear to me that the evidence of racial bias in our criminal-justice system isn’t just convincing — it’s overwhelming.”

The racial disparities in America’s justice system are so glaring that even white Americans have acknowledged them. 

According to a new poll by The Associated Press – NORX Center for Public Affairs Research, majority of Americans across racial lines say white people are treated more fairly than black people by the police.

Per the Mapping Police Violence project, black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people, and 99 percent of those cases in 2015 did not result in an officer being convicted of a crime. 

“I think there’s a misconception that black citizens are inherently more dangerous or more likely to react violently to a police encounter,” Gabe Wood, 49, of Wilmington, North Carolina told The Associated Press-NORX Center for Public Affairs Research polling team.

“I do think in some areas of the country and some parts of towns, I think police officers are quicker to resort to deadly force because of a perceived and sometimes unreal threat,” Wood who’s white added.

Guyger’s trial was the latest in a string of high-profile cases in recent years in cities including Baltimore, Cleveland, and Minneapolis, as well as, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and North Charleston, South Carolina, to highlight the issue of desperate policing in communities of color and as well the discriminatory nature of the Criminal Justice System.

The outcome of such trials involving an officer and unarmed black people often results in acquittals for the whites and points to the fiction of liberty and justice for all in America.

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