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

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.

86 thoughts on “Rep. Lee: Shooting Of Black Child By Black Suspects Is Still Possible Hate Crime Because It Was Hateful”

  1. All murders, assaults, rapes, etc are hateful. She is right about that. But, that is exactly why the whole idea of Hate Crimes should be done away with. In this country we punish actions not thoughts. An action is either a crime or it is not a crime. The action is what we are supposed to punish. The thought behind the crime should not enter into it. All murders should be prosecuted as the crime they are, irrespective of the motivation behind the crime. People do not commit deliberate murder without hate in their hearts, the exact reason for that hate is irrelevant.

    1. While I’ve also questioned whether hate crimes warrant an additional penalty, we obviously cannot remove intent as a factor in crime and sentencing. This is why premeditated murder is punished more than spontaneous murder, and why unintentional manslaughter isn’t punished to the degree of murder.

  2. Nonsensical “hate crime” law is a corollary to nonsensical welfare and affirmative action. Recipients of redistribution and social engineering gain nonsensical, artificial power and lose respect for their natural superiors. Coherent civilization requires self-reliance and respect for natural superiors. Without those conditions, people will be compelled to pay obedience to artificial dictators.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    – Maimonides

    The nonsense state is a funciton of one man, one vote democrazy. No nation in history has allowed one man, one vote governance. Representative government has always been in the form of a restricted-vote republic. A restricted-vote republic is what the American Founders established. As a mortal oversight, they entertained no concept of one man, one vote democrazy ever being considered or imposed and failed to codify their understood restrictions on the vote. When Americans regain their sanity, likely just before falling into the political abyss of brutal, totalitarian dictatorship, America will re-implement restrictions on the entitlement to vote.

    Originally, the vote criteria were: Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. sterling or 50 acres. Whatever qualifications are ultimately required, America must abolish, with extreme prejudice, the nonsense state of democrazy and re-implement the original intent of a rigorous restricted-vote republic.
    __________________________________________________________

    “…supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote…”

    Merriam-Webster

    republic noun
    re·​pub·​lic | \ri-ˈpə-blik
    \
    Definition of republic

    b(1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law

  3. It was irresponsible to use this tragedy to make political hay, playing the race card. Statistically speaking, the most likely killer of a black person is another black person, due to high crime and gang activity.

    The death of children is not political leverage.

    My heart goes out to this poor lost child’s mother, her siblings, and the rest of her family, and I hope the injured get well soon.

    There used to be a time when the mafia left women and children alone. If a heavy accidentally took out a kid, he got some cement shoes. The problem with gangs is that the neighorhood doesn’t turn them out. No one wants to rat on anyone. There is more loyalty to the gangs terrorizing the neighborhood and killing kids than there is to law enforcement. In addition, the high rate of single motherhood helps run the gang industry. It’s the highest risk factor for the kids to be born into poverty, live their lives in poverty, do poorly in school, drop out of school, join a gang, do drugs, commit crimes, go to jail, and/or be killed. Single motherhood alone is the highest road block anyone can put up in a child’s future. The government made false promises that you can make it just fine as a single mother. You can’t. The government is a poor substititute for a contributing father. Welfare also needs to be reformed so that it does not punish poor mothers for living with their babies’ fathers, or for working. The whole system has been set up to make it hard for anyone on benefits to succeed.

    If anyone wants to significantly reduce the gun violence and poverty in black neighborhoods, then reduce the rate of single motherhood. Send the message that you are probably not going to get anywhere in life. Wait to get married before starting a family, and you’ll have a shot at middle class.

    1. Karen, as Squeeky will tell you, you cannot mention single motherhood here in a negative tone. That’s racist, and proof positive that you are KKK.

    2. yes, so true…
      “The government made false promises that you can make it just fine as a single mother. You can’t. The government is a poor substititute for a contributing father. “

  4. If Lee is a espert as she claims, then this law needs to be corrected to reflect the spirit of or intent of this law. Seems like she f—ed this one up.

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