Believe it or not, I hardly ever write when I’m mad. Miffed? Yeah. Mildly annoyed? Maybe. But, real mad? Hardly. Well, that ends tuh-day.
This week, in Baltimore, a police officer was killed when she was run over by a 16-year-old in a car named Dawnta Harris. He was the alleged “mastermind” behind a series of burglaries with his friends. This particular incident happened after 4 arrests within a period of 6 months and multiple attempts in the days leading up to his coup de gras of killing the officer to contact him and his mother after violating the restrictions of a type of juvenile probation program Baltimore has. He was on an ankle monitor and his caseworker and others in the program tried intently to track him down once they saw that he was not following the edict to only go from home to school and back.
Now, why am I mad?
Well, before I knew anything about this incident, I was innocently strolling my Facebook timeline when I saw that someone shared a “statement” by Harris’ attorney. I read it. I was, for lack of better word, livid. I’ve posted the statement below.
Reading this statement, I had more objections than Perry Mason.
First of all, I have said forever that I object to the notion that teens (the ones who don’t organize crime operations), must be reckless, deceitful, disrespectful and generally amoral. I object to this because I’ve seen so many teens show a consistent pattern of good behavior. I was one of those teens (and I’m not just saying that).
For Dawnta Harris’ attorney to chalk up his 4 arrests in the last half-year, failure to comply with the conditions of his program, and eventual murder of a police officer to him being a child who “is not perfect” is frankly offensive to so many teens out there who manage to go through the emotional, mental, and physical upheavals of adolescence WITHOUT a rap sheet.
Secondly, I object to the insinuation that this is more the system’s fuck up than Dawnta’s or his parent’s. Yeah, he should have never been out on the street in the first place. It was a complete misstep to allow someone who had his record to be integrated back into society. But, his attorney’s last statement, that implies that the environment in which he grew up caused him to make decisions that were not “advantageous” to his social welfare is laughable. Who the fuck cares what’s “advantageous” to someone who not only burglarized people’s property that they worked to acquire but killed someone’s daughter/sister/mother/ friend (even if she was a cop)?
That leads me to the third objection. Apparently, the general public is supposed to give a fuck about Dawnta being charged as an adult and being held in an adult detention center. Apparently, because he’s either Black or from Baltimore or both (first three lines of statement), “we” are supposed to embrace him even though he has proven, more than once, that he’s a danger to “us” and a bane of his own community. When the attorney asks if the public is comfortable “forsaking” him, I offer a resounding, “fuck yes!”
Let me pull over here and say that I can’t help but notice the irony of his lawyer invoking The Almighty when it clearly states in the “good book” that we all reap what we sow. Maybe his lawyer missed that part, or maybe he thinks it doesn’t apply to his client.
But I’m not done yet.
After I read that dreadful nonsense from Harris’ attorney, I broke the international rules of reading anything on the internet and perused the comments. I feel like several of them were worse. I just screenshot two.
First of all, I’m not a cop sympathizer by any stretch but you have to be one deranged person to read the account of what happened and come up with this as your response. Cops are paid by taxpayer money and I can say for certain that Lanear, who doesn’t know the difference between “hear” and “here”, would be one of the first ones to howl if the cops took her up on her suggestion to “mind their fucking business.”
Next, Lanear, in a stunning display of contradiction, sounds a little miffed about all the cops who don’t “actually” do their job. At least she has a weak grasp on sarcasm to make up for her misunderstanding of homophones.
For the finale, Lanear asserts that (apparently), Dawnta Harris shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions because cops in general kill so many “prince” [sic] and “kings” in the Black community.
Now, I don’t know who these princes and kings in the Black community are but I cannot wrap my head around someone saying that a cop should not have been doing her job as a response to a thieving recidivist killing her.
The second crazy comment…*sigh* where do I start?
I’ve chosen to ignore the Go Fund Me part because I don’t know what to say but, “damn that!”
Let’s talk about how Candice shows up in the clutch with the sound financial advice to nix the Go Fund Me campaign and just but it on the boys’ books once they are sentenced to life. Great idea, Candice. I have another idea. Donate to a victim’s assistance organization. Help someone replace the things that were stolen by Dawnta and his friends.
Mdot Innc (which I’ve decided is just a YUGE typo), comes back with the fact that George Zimmerman, an adult who murdered a child who actually did NOTHING wrong (unlike Dawnta and his homeboys) had a Go Fund Me. I love how Mdot notes that George Zimmerman was “clearly wrong” when Dawnta Harris has confessed to running over the cop. Plus, you don’t get put on an ankle monitor and a probation program because there’s confusion about whether or not you did anything wrong. It’s as if Mdot isn’t clear whether or not burglary and running over someone on purpose is a “wrong” thing to do.
For her final stroke of genius, she notes that a white kid killed a family of four (I’m thinking he’s talking about Affluenza) and got probation. Here’s what, MDot, Dawnta Harris was in a probation-style program too after 4 arrests within 6 months sooo…..I guess the “if they can do it, we should be able to do it too” defense is out the window.
To that end, it’s terrifying how people like Lanear and MDot will choose the most horrid, base, wretched behavior to declare their desire to be equal to white people. All the hardships our ancestors fought through to get us here was not so that we could comport ourselves as badly as white people and get away with it.
Here’s the biggest reason why this pissed me off:
it’s another dazzling display of how in the Black community, we willingly overlook, downplay, and even excuse Black male pathology at all stages of the game. Dawnta Harris (and probably his friends too) should not have been free to exist among us-at all. Even Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney who stuck her neck out over the Freddie Grey case, seemed very dismayed that Dawnta Harris wasn’t locked up where he should have been.
Though I have divested from everybody but Black women and (law-abiding) children, this thing where the community makes up excuses for the criminal behavior of Black males still affects me and society at large, to be quite honest. Similarly, this problem spans across all of maleness, as even the Santa Fe shooter’s father has attempted to shift the blame for his son’s murder spree on being “bullied.”
This bullshit has got to stop.
To Dawnta’s attorneys:
No it wasn’t basically a “traffic stop.”
No, he was not in “survival mode.”
No, it wasn’t an “accident.”
No, it’s not a problem if the officer showed “aggression.”
I don’t need to see the video. I have common sense.
To the rest of you dunderheads who came out of your keyboard to type some bubbameister defense of Dawnta Harris:
what if the officer he killed was your family member? Would you be so quick to engage the mental gymnastics you’re performing now to excuse his actions or would you want him and his clique under the jail? Be honest.
As for me, I’m on #TeamUnderTheJail.
In my estimation, Dawnta Harris’ lawyers are a part of the same “system” that they are blaming. The county allowed him the opportunity to further victimize those in his community by not keeping him locked up and now, his lawyers are trying to minimize the fact that this child is a serious problem and needs to be treated as such.
I understand what lawyers do and I understand it’s their job to defend their client. I think they would have been better off leaving that baloney attempt at a soliloquy about how less guilty their client really is off of Facebook.
Crime is perpetual. We know this. But if our communities keep cradling these males this way, nothing positive will ever be accomplished long-term.