Rep. Lee: Shooting Of Black Child By Black Suspects Is Still Hate Crime Because It Was Hateful

hate crimeJonathan Turley – A second suspect has been arrested in the shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes in Houston Texas. Larry Woodruffe was arrested in the drive-by shooting after the earlier arrest of Eric Black, Jr., 20.

Barnes was shot and killed on Dec. 30, while riding in a car with her mother and three siblings. She died at the scene and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, and her 6-year-old sister were both injured. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Tx) previously called the shooting a hate crime when the suspect was alleged to be white. Now, however, Lee still insists that this should be prosecuted as a hate crime despite the fact that the two suspects are both African American.

Lee insisted that it was “absolutely not” irresponsible for her to label the crime as a hate crime so early in the investigation. The day following the shooting, Lee declared “do not be afraid to call this what it seems to be — a hate crime.” She was not alone. Barnes’ family lawyer, Lee Merritt, insisted that “we do believe that it [the murder] was racially motivated in part because our nation at this moment is highly racially charged.”

When confronted with the race of the alleged culprits, Lee insisted that she still believes that this should be treated as a hate crime. She seems to view a hate crime as any crime involving hate. Lee said at a press conference “I believe – and having written hate crime legislation, knowing the criteria, I believe that this should be looked at as a hate crime. We don’t want to have on the street someone who is willing to kill children and possibly kill them in the name of hate.”

The law itself states:

18 U.S. Code § 249 – Hate crime acts

♦  (a)In General.—(1)Offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person—(A)shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and(B)shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—(i)death results from the offense; or(ii)the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

♦  (2)Offenses involving actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.—(A)In general.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B) or paragraph (3), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person—(i)shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and(ii)shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if—(I)death results from the offense; or(II)the offense includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

A hate crime is not a crime simply because it involves hate. Such an interpretation would convert most crimes into hate crimes. The statement of Jackson reinforces the concerns over the uniform application and basis for hate crime designations. As one of the authors of the law, Jackson’s suggestion that such a charge can be based without a motivation based on race or gender or other immutable characteristics is baffling.

When asked “Do you feel it was irresponsible at all to suggest that this was a hate crime when we didn’t have all the facts?” Lee responded “Absolutely not, nothing is irresponsible when it comes to the loss of a precious 7 or 8-year old.” That is clearly not true. A tragedy places the onus on all leaders to speak carefully and accurately about the underlying facts so not to fuel tensions or mislead the public.

SF Source Jonathan Turley Jan 2019

One thought on “Rep. Lee: Shooting Of Black Child By Black Suspects Is Still Hate Crime Because It Was Hateful

  1. Blacks or Hispanics can never be convicted of a hate crime. The law was made to increase penalties on whites and stir up minorities. Unequal penalties are a part of the divide and conquer polarization of factions and to emotionally weaponize the NWO agenda of open borders worldwide. While Europe has no official ‘hate crimes’ the legal machinery in effect has strongly implemented such laws by mainly ignoring crimes and or penalties by foreign minorities.

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