I watched and listened to bits and pieces of the Amber Guyger murder trial days ago. Full disclosure, I missed most of the trial itself but watched the sentencing phase.
I missed the trial because I have zero confidence in the American justice system to hold a white cop accountable for murdering a Black person, much less a white female who happens to be a cop.
Some friends of mine thought differently, because it happened to be a jury trial, and so they were hyped that for once the system would give African-Americans a second dose of the O.J Simpson adrenaline, this many years later.
Me, I have no such delusions about any degree of equity in the system I have watched up close for so many years.
I have seen a black woman sentenced to five years in prison for illegally using a wrong address so she could get her child into a good school and a white woman who paid thousands to get her kid into an ivy league colleague get a couple of weeks in a country-club jail as punishment.
We have seen a black woman Marissa Alexander receive twenty (20) years for firing her gun into a ceiling to ward off her abusive husband, nine days after giving birth to their child in Florida, a state with stand your ground laws.
We have seen Kelontre Barefield, 23, receive a (45) year sentence after pleading guilty to the shooting death of a police dog.
We have also seen countlessly innocent and unarmed Black men gunned down in hails of police bullets and no one held accountable.
And who can forget the National Kerfuffle that was created around former NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s alleged involvement in a dogfighting ring?
Vick was eventually sentenced to 27 months in federal prison, even though there was zero evidence that Vick himself had personally hurt a single dog.
Cyntoia Brown served fifteen (15) years in a Tennessee prison for an incident that occurred when she was a mere 16-year-old girl.
Cyntoia was sentenced to life in prison in the shooting death of 43-year-old Johnny Allen.
Allen was found dead of a single shot to the back of his head.
Brown who never denied pulling the trigger, said she was sent by her then-24-year-old boyfriend and pimp to make money. According to Brown, Allen picked her up at a Nashville Sonic restaurant, bought her food and then took her to his home. She said he wanted to have sex with her, and intimidated her by pointing out the guns he owned and his experience as a military sharpshooter. Brown shot Allen as he lay in bed, saying she feared he was reaching for a gun.
Regardless of where the truth lies, Cyntoia Brown received a life sentence for a crime she committed at the tender age of sixteen, and had been a victim of sex trafficking.
She was institutionalized for more than half of her life. Eight years later, in 2012, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling found sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional.
Needless to say, Jonny Allen just happened to have been a white man. His supporters at the time said they didn’t believe Allen propositioned Brown, only that he was trying to help her stay off the streets.
I gotta say though, the foregone is really not the central tenet of what I wanted to say today.
Instead, I wanted to talk a little about what I personally observed in State District Judge Tammy Kemp’s courtroom.
I must admit that having spent many hours in courtrooms as a former law enforcement officer, and having spent eons of time watching trials, both, as a writer, and someone focused on the criminal justice system, I found Judge Kemp’s mannerisms peculiar, to say the least.
I’ll also admit that while watching the sentencing of Guyger I shed a few tears.
Those tears fell for the Jean Family, I know what it feels like to lose a son who was like a bright light, albeit under different circumstances.
My tears flowed even more freely because of the intransigent stubbornness of the injustice which still pervades the American Justice system.
I thought to myself, and told my wife, if this trial was up to judge Kemp, Amber Guyger would be home free.
In the end, Amber Guyger was [kinda] held responsible for the blatant unprovoked murder of Botham Shem Jean. Her sentence for killing mister Jean, 10 years. A tiny slap on the wrist.
Of course, to many in the African-American community unused to seeing murderous cops held accountable, this is some kinda start.
For others, the verdict is just another example that for Black people in America, no matter how distinguished they are, their lives can be snuffed out, and there is hardly any consequence to police, even when they are sitting in their homes watching television and enjoying a bowl of ice cream.
Before we talk about the impropriety of a sitting judge hugging a convicted murderer, there were other things which just seemed odd to me and I expect other observers, other than myself may have had a problem with what we observed.
For example, a uniformed Black female police officer in the courtroom, brushing back Amber Guyger’s blond hair, seemed to symbolize to me that no matter their position, some Black-Americans are still not conversant that they are no longer on the plantation.
Regardless of the fact that Guyger may have been a colleague, it was highly inappropriate that a uniformed officer was in open court acting like (Mammy).
In that very courtroom, evidence was led that the then alleged murderer Amber Guyger had mocked Doctor King’s death and espoused violent killings.
As far as forgiveness is concerned, I am all for it, nevertheless, the very Bible which demands forgiveness of us was used to keep us enslaved.
It seems to me that the only time that forgiveness becomes a discussion topic, is when white people seriously aggrieve Blacks and are to be held accountable.
I am not opposed to the young brother of Botham forgiving Amber Guyger and telling her he loves and forgives her. It is his right. I am doubtful however that contextually, the young Jean has a full appreciation of America’s entrenched injustice.
The idea that a sitting judge would embrace (a just convicted) murderer seemed way beyond the pale for me.
It may certainly be the Christian thing to do but why are Blacks the only officials supposed to demonstrate mercy and Christian forgiveness on the rare occasions they get to decide?
I care nothing about the fact that Judge (weirdo) Tammy Kemp handed Guyger a Bible. I am yet to see one single instance of a white Judge demonstrating that kind of compassion to a Black convict. Where is their humanity when they have power?
Never have I seen it. Judge Kemp’s decision to allow the Jury to consider the “sudden passion” defense which experts assert does not apply to Amber Guyger, may very well have impacted the Jury’s decision to let her off the hook with a slap on the wrist.
Jude Kemp’s decision to also act as “Mammy,” destroys the myth which many Blacks seem to embrace, that Blacks can change the injustice system when they hold positions of power in it.
Understandably Judge Kemp had to abide by the jury’s decision, but her actions made it clear she was more concerned with pleasing her backers, rather than acting according to precedent.
Even before the disgraceful hug, I thought from her body language Kemp would rather allow Amber Guyger to walk free.
Former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill — criticized the judge’s action as “unacceptable.“
I’m with her!
I wondered whether I was being fair to Judge Kemp even as I was bothered by what I saw. Maybe I was being too sensitive.
And then wallah…
No, you were not wrong Mike, there is always something under the surface. Something deeper than the self-righteous Black Christians who refuse to think outside the brainwashed and blinkered box can comprehend.
These public officials, prosecutors, judges, and other leaders, are all beholden to the powerful police unions whose endorsement they seek, while tacitly surrendering your rights and mine, for those endorsements.
If you believe that having black police officials, prosecutors, judges or legislators guarantees justice, guess again.
In fact, the Dallas Police Chief is black, one of the prosecuting attorneys was black and of course, [Mammy] Kemp is also Black.
Clarence Thomas’s actions on the Supreme Court ought to have dispelled that myth long ago.
The indoctrination of Black people through Religion has been a masterful stroke of genius on the part of the white oppressors.
Today, even when American Blacks sit in seats where they have the ability to wield power, they are so socialized to be in servitude that they cannot help acting like servile fools.
Additionally, there are millions more, who agree with their slavish deference, because they too are slaves to the brainwashing.
It is a sad despicable spectacle to behold.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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