How to serve white victims?
When we start treating criminals differently based on skin color our criminal justice system is finished. Yes, Blacks are disproportionately prosecuted & jailed for violent crime. Why? Mainly because they commit a disproportionate level of crime for their share of the population. That's not a racist comment it's a fact.
Given the higher rate of crime are blacks singled out more than white criminals? There is scant evidence that this is the case.
Want to support minorities? Give them more law enforcement boots on the ground in high crime areas (to protect the law-abiding population there/99% of the residents) and pressure the police unions to remove bad cops. Also, pressure Dem administrations to prosecute even smaller crimes (theft) and stop using the cops to collect bogus fines (traffic tickets and other shake-down programs that cities use to tax the poor).
Good cops and the majority of minority residents are being thrown under the bus by woke municipal leaders who are FOS and protect no one.
‘How to Serve White Victims’
Oakland, Calif., is plagued by crime—and by a district attorney, Pamela Price, determined to divide people by race.
By Heather Mac Donald, WSJ
Aug. 30, 2023 6:20 pm ET
After “antiracist” consultant Karen Fleshman finished a training in Oakland, Calif., she took to Facebook to express pride in her work: “Great afternoon training Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s Victim Services team in ‘How to Serve White Victims.’ Madam DA Pamela Price is my shero [sic] and mentor. She is a lifelong warrior for justice with compassion.” A few days later, Ms. Price thanked Ms. Fleshman for her “wisdom and support.”
But when I started asking questions about the June 26 training, suddenly trainer and trainee didn’t want to talk about it. Ms. Fleshman didn’t respond to my queries. Neither did the head of the district attorney’s Victim Services Division, Kristina Molina. Ms. Price’s press officer, Patti Lee, told me that she deals with the press, whereas I, as a think-tank employee, have a “specific point of view.”
The Victim Services Division consists of social workers who help crime victims obtain psychological and financial support. Ms. Fleshman’s PowerPoint slides reinforce the idea of dividing victims by race. (Photos of those slides circulated among Oakland’s law-enforcement community, one of whose members forwarded them to me.)
One PowerPoint panel lists the session’s “Key Takeaways.” Among them: “White people are not entitled to harm you”; “When interacting with white victims, speak up for yourself or for your coworkers”; and “If a white victim continues to harm you, ask that they be transferred.” The slide also asserts that “white victims are entitled to the same compassion and practices as all victims,” but the rest of the slide is at odds with that message. It’s unclear how white crime victims “harm” government employees. Another panel from the training asserts that “White Supremacy Culture” is characterized by “Perfectionism,” “Objectivity,” “Sense of Urgency” and “Individualism.” Perhaps it’s harmful to expect government employees to respond to crimes objectively and urgently.
Ms. Price has already introduced racial considerations into the prosecution of criminal defendants. During her campaign, she promised to dismantle a discriminatory system that had disproportionately “stiffed” blacks with disproportionate rates of punishment. The late Rep. Ron Dellums, backing Ms. Price’s first run for district attorney in 2018, lauded her commitment to “end the racial disparity in prosecutions and mass incarceration of Black and Brown people.”
An April 14, 2023, “special directive” from the district attorney’s office creates a presumption that prosecutors will foreswear higher sentences for particularly egregious crimes if those higher sentences would “result in disparate racial impact.” If a white person uses a gun during a crime, or if a white gang member commits a robbery, he might face an enhanced sentence based on that gun use or gang membership. If the defendant is black, however, he will be charged at the lowest possible level to avoid “disparate racial impact.” Only if a prosecutor receives permission from his supervisor may he pursue a higher sentence for a black defendant. Other reasons for forswearing a so-called sentencing enhancement are if the crime was “connected” to “childhood trauma” or if a defendant’s prior felonies were committed while he was a juvenile.
Ms. Price has announced that probation will be a prosecutor’s presumptive offer for all misdemeanors and for felonies that are statutorily eligible for probation. If a particular felony isn’t probation-eligible, prosecutors will charge the lowest possible term of confinement, unless a supervisor approves a higher charge.
Crime in the county, which surged after George Floyd’s death, hasn’t relented. As of July, Oakland’s homicide count was up 80% over 2019, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Car break-ins were up nearly 90%, and assaults were up 40%.
Ms. Price promised during the campaign to “decriminalize young people,” and she has stayed true to that pledge. After six boys and three girls, ages 12 to 17, were arrested in late May for three dozen robberies, five of the suspects were released without charge within three days. At a public meeting that same month, a woman in her 60s described a youth attack. “Two kids beat the s— of me in front of my house last Monday night,” she said. “Down on the pavement. Punching me, kicking me, dragging me through the street.”
The district attorney has drawn criticism from unexpected quarters. On July 27, the Oakland branch of the NAACP called on elected leaders to declare a state of emergency in Oakland. “Failed leadership,” including the “movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who murder and commit life threatening serious crimes, and the proliferation of anti-police rhetoric have created a heyday for Oakland criminals,” NAACP president Cynthia Adams and Bishop Bob Jackson wrote in their appeal. NAACP member Darren White told Yahoo News that young people on the street boast: “We can do A, B, or C because we’re not going to get charged.”
Ms. Price’s office shot back: “We are disappointed that a great African-American pastor and a great African-American organization would take a false narrative on such an important matter.”
Three veteran county prosecutors have resigned. One of them, Charly Weissenbach, complained that Ms. Price cares more about “criminal defendants and how she can undo what she believes are historical injustices” than about the victims of crime. Danielle Hilton wrote in her resignation letter: “I encourage you to look at crime scene and autopsy photos, meet the victims of the robberies, sexual assaults, home burglaries and other crimes from within the county. It is their voices you were elected to empower.”
On Aug. 15 opponents began gathering signatures for a recall effort. Ms. Price’s campaign invoked Donald Trump, who received less than 18% of the 2020 vote in Alameda County: “In a page out of the January 6th playbook, outside special interest groups, supported by the Republican party, are trying to seize control from local voters because they refuse to accept the results of a legitimate, democratic election.”
When Ms. Weissenbach resigned, she faulted the way her boss deals with victims of crime: “How Price approaches the families is always very much that the family needs to be more sympathetic to the person accused of the crime.” That’s bad enough. Ms. Fleshman’s training leads one to wonder if the next step in reorganizing the justice system is to treat crime victims as well as defendants unequally on the basis of race—for instance by seeking more lenient sentences when the victim is white. That would be a blatant deprivation of equal protection of the laws.
Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “When Race Trumps Merit.”