Criminal Justice Reform Comes Home to Roost
“Why did they have to let him go?” That is what an anguished Anastasia Starr shrieked after watching career criminal Dietrich Thomas kill her husband Eric just a few days ago.
Dietrich was out on bail for a similar shooting in February, just one in a long series of arrests for guns and violence.
Now Eric’s family wants to know how that could have happened. Aren’t dangerous people supposed to be in jail so they can stop hurting people? That was the way it was, before Criminal Justice Reform.
From the smallest district attorney to the President of the United States, the so-called Criminal Justice Reform movement is now the law of the land in places like Houston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.
The same public officials who used to brag about how many criminals they arrested are now proud of how many they let go. In Chicago, the local papers run banner headlines touting the success of this new social-justice strategy -- as measured by the record low number of people in Chicago jails.
The thinking is that we have to rethink how we treat black criminals. The talking heads and politicos agree that black people are victims of relentless white racism, all the time, everywhere, and that explains everything -- especially why so many black people are stopped, arrested, charged, convicted, sent to prison, released, then returned to prison in numbers that are so wildly out of proportion.
And when black people are arrested, is it really fair to keep people like Dietrich Thomas in jail with a high bail before he is put on trial? Isn’t that just criminalizing poverty? Isn’t that just one more example of institutional racism?
More and more public officials are giving that question a resounding “Yes.” The families of more and more victims are wondering how this kind of insanity created so many nightmares.
Here’s a homework assignment: Check how often victims of crime are mentioned when talking about Criminal Justice Reform. Then check how often white racism is mentioned during the same conversation.
Spoiler Alert: Never. Always.
If you need a cheat sheet, check out my video of the examples mentioned in this story.
In Queens, New York, last week, the winner (and current public defender) of the Democratic primary for district attorney dedicated her victory to the inmates at Rikers Island. Quoth the New York Post:
“Our victory belongs to folks who have been locked up on Rikers simply because they could not afford their bails,” Tiffany Caban said Saturday, days after early results showed her the likely winner of the Democratic primary. She furthered promised the audience at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, to “end the war on black and brown low-income and working class communities.”
You can be forgiven, at least for a while, if you thought it was the other way around: That criminals had declared war on us. Don’t worry, you’ll get over it.
All this is in the name of Criminal Justice Reform which even Fox News now points out -- often several times daily -- how that is an example of the “bipartisan cooperation” this country needs in these troubling times. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Let’s look at a few more examples on the butcher’s bill:
In Racine, Wisconsin, career criminal Dalquavis Ward was back on the streets for four days after his latest release from the pen. That’s how long it took him to get a gun, case a popular bar, rob it, then kill an off-duty cop who tried to stop him. That was just a few weeks ago.
In Houston, the chief of police wants to know how an accused killer was walking the streets with low bail, so he could try and kill someone again three weeks ago. This time a 10-year old. “At the time of the child's shooting, the suspect -- identified as Ketrell Beasley, 18 -- was out of jail on bond on a murder charge,” said KHOU news. “Beasley is accused of murdering a 20-year-old man in Third Ward in February, but he bonded out last week after being given a low bail.”
In Nashville, the headline tells the story: “Accused Nashville killer rearrested while free on bond,” said the local Fox affiliate. “Police believe Myeisha Brown killed Ruxin Wang last year as he was taking out the trash in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood in South Nashville. Wang died from two gunshot wounds, one to the stomach, another to the leg.”
They caught Myeisha leaving a drug house with the keys to a stolen car.
You think the Jarod Kushner-Van Jones version of criminal justice reform could not get any stranger? Don’t bet on that.
Myeisha was released after a lily-white coven of socialites formed a group to raise money to bail black people out of jail. Myeisha “walked out of jail in January after posting $10,000, enough for release with a $100,000 bond. Crowdsourcing funded the money in a Cyntoia Brown-inspired campaign by an organization called EPIC Girl.”
I hereby swear this story is true, and not some Onion-inspired prank on the readers of American Thinker.
There’s more. In South Carolina in May, Shagura Mack shot the new boyfriend of his old girlfriend. Mack “was out of jail on bond for a murder charge from a 2014 homicide at the time of Saturday’s shooting,” reported TheState.com. “In that case, he is accused of opening fire on a vehicle during what witnesses said was a botched drug deal.”
This is a long list: In Burlington, North Carolina just a few days ago, 26-year-old Hyquan Parker was partying with four fellas and lovely ladies. As they say, an argument broke out. Hyquan got a shotgun and killed three of them.
By now he knows the drill. the News Observer connected the dots:
“In February 2009, Parker was convicted of second-degree murder in Durham for the August 2007 killing of Kordero Teriq Odom, 19. He was sentenced to between 7 years and 10 months in prison and 10 years and 2 months in prison and was released in January 2016.”
That’s six years and 11 months for murder. There’s more:
“In June 2016 Parker was convicted of assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and common law robbery, records show. He was sentenced to between 2 years and 4 months in prison and 3 years and 10 months in prison. He was released in December 2018.”
That’s 30 months: For a killer, back on the streets, robbing and hurting people with a gun.
Back in Houston, it happened again -- all in the time between sending this article to my editor and seeing it published here: Killer. Bail. More argy bargy. More public officials acting surprised. Check out this “I would not believe it if I did not see it” video: Killers on the loose in Houston.
Meanwhile, down in New Orleans -- one of America’s truly dark and dirty and dangerous Chocolate cities -- the same politicians and local media who insisted we need Criminal Justice Reform because cops are always picking on black people for no reason whatsoever, now wonder why so many criminals are targeting so many tourists in the French Quarter.
Everyone tries to ignore that violent crime in the French Quarter is a black thing, even as they say they are worried about losing their “Gold Mine.”
That’s Criminal Justice Reform. Get used to it.
Colin Flaherty is the author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry, as well as the host of a scintillating podcast where every day we expose the biggest lie of our generation: the hoax of black victimization. Of course he’s on Twitter.