NY City jogger's confessed killer hated white people
The confessed murderer of a white female jogger from Queens told police in a videotaped statement that he didn't like people from the jogger's white neighborhood in Howard Beach, raising the possibility that he would be charged with a hate crime.
But authorities have yet to indicate that a hate crime is even on the table despite the clear racial motivation for the killing.
"I don't like those people over there," said Chanel Lewis, 20, who is black and split time between homes in the largely impoverished neighborhoods of East New York and Brownsville, according to sources.
Lewis made the statement to a black detective when asked why he killed Vetrano, whose body was found strangled in Spring Creek Park. His comment caused cops to believe race was a factor in Vetrano's slaying, sources said.
A white detective initially tried twice to get Lewis to talk and he refused, according to sources.
But when the black detective, Barry Brown, interviewed him, Lewis waived his Miranda rights and gave two videotaped statements, confessing he'd "hit" and "choked" the jogger on Aug. 2.
Brown is known as a highly skilled officer and the "best detective in Queens for getting confessions," sources said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Vetrano's grieving father, Phil, visited his daughter's murder site, spending time at the makeshift memorial he's created with rocks taken from the path of his child's final run. He expressed his relief that cops have caught his daughter's alleged killer in a Monday post on a GoFundMe page set up in her honor.
"As you all know by now we have caught this piece of [s---]," the father wrote. "As we expected he is a loner loser. He will pay for his crime. I want to thank all of you who have supported us so long."
Lewis had a history of threatening female students in high school, telling a teacher's aide at the HS for Medical Professions in Brooklyn in 2011 that he wanted to "stab all the girls."
This is a case that shows exactly why hate crime legislation can never be applied equally. When a white person murders a black person, an investigation into any kind of racial motivation is automatically undertaken. But in this case, authorities weren't even looking at the killer as a perpetrator of a hate crime. He had to confess his racial bias before the hate crime statute was even considered. At this point, it is unknown whether the prosecutor will even apply the statute to the jogger's murderer.
The main argument against hate crime legislation is that it forces prosecutors and police to become mind-readers, peering into the souls of criminals to deduce whether they acted out of racial or other biases or that their crime was a matter of opportunity, or anti-social behavior, or whatever motivates most criminals to violence.
Of course, there is zero evidence that hate crime statutes deter any crimes at all, which makes their unequal application even more problematic.
No doubt that passing hate crime legislation makes liberal activists feel good. But its efficacy as a tool of law enforcement has yet to be proven.