Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee stands by remarks suggesting Jazmine Barnes’ killing may have been a ‘hate crime’
As you can see for yourself in the video segment where a Houston reporter for CBS affiliate KHOU asks Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee about her comments, Rep. Jackson Lee does not back down from having called the murder of Jazmine Barnes a “hate crime” in an article by Fox News.
A Texas Democratic Congresswoman is defending her earlier comments suggesting the drive-by shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes may have been a hate crime, even though both suspects in the case turned out to be black – and not a white individual as police and members of the public initially believed.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, when asked Sunday by a reporter about some of the comments made in the aftermath of the young girl’s death in Houston on Dec. 30, said it was “absolutely not” irresponsible to make that suggestion.
Barnes was shot and killed while sitting in the backseat of her mother’s car. Witness descriptions of a white man in his forties at the scene of the shooting – and a sketch put out by police – prompted widespread speculation a hate crime had happened.
“I believe – and having written hate crime legislation, knowing the criteria, I believe that this should be looked at as a hate crime,” Lee said during a press conference Friday, in a video posted to the Congresswoman’s Facebook page. “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.”
Prior to the arrests, Barnes’ family lawyer, Lee Merritt, also said “we do believe that it [the murder] was racially motivated in part because our nation at this moment is highly racially charged.”
(Read more at Fox News)
After a fashion, I think that Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee is correct and wrong. She is correct that a murderer of children deserves the most complete and severe punishment. However, she is wrong in initially crafting “hate crime” laws to punish criminals on the basis of their purported hate (or on the basis of race — and assuming that infers hate). I can tell you without wavering that almost no crimes are committed out of love for the victim.
So, if there is no case here for applying “hate crime” law against the perpetrators of a heinous murder of a little girl, why not just fully prosecute every crime? Why give certain groups postmortem advantages due to the density of melatonin in their skin or their choice of lifestyle?
As a Christian, I rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15 NASB). However, I think the “hate crime” model steps beyond empathy with the victim and steps into trying to assume and assign the unseen (that is, trying to guess motives, emotions, and other unquantifiable variables).
Family of man wrongfully accused by activist Shaun King in Jazmine Barnes’ shooting speaks out
The family of a man whose photo went viral on social media as a possible suspect in the murder of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes is telling everyone to “back off.”
Hailey Cantrell says despite the arrests of two suspects in the murder case, as recent as Monday, there have been threatening comments on her Facebook page regarding her uncle, Robert Cantrell.
“I hear, ‘Someone is going to rape, torture and murder the women and children in your family,” Hailey read from one comment.
Photos of her uncle were widely circulated starting last Friday. In a now-deleted Twitter post, activist Shaun King, who has one million followers, posted Cantrell’s mugshot and wrote, “We’ve had 20 people call or email us and say he is a racist, violent (expletive) and always has been. Just tell me everything you know.”
As a white man with blue eyes, he resembles the sketch the Harris County Sheriff’s Office released last week. Even his niece was afraid it was him.
“I’m not going to lie, I teared up,” said Cantrell.
The sheriff’s office now believes the sketch is of a witness that Jazmine’s sisters remembered and has said all evidence shows the little girl and her family were innocent victims.
Eric Black, 20, is charged with capital murder. Larry Woodruffe, 24, is in jail on an unrelated charge, but believed to be the shooter, according to ABC13 sources. Both are African American.
(Read more at ABC)
It would be nice if we could get back to the standards of “one crime, one punishment” and “assumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Robert Cantrell may have had a history that put him far from purity. However, if he currently resides in jail and two other men have been identified by numerous other sources as the murderers, then nobody should be threatening this man or his family.
Community remembers “Princess Jazmine” at her funeral service
The pint-sized casket was adorned with purple and white flowers, with the words “Princess Jazmine” sewn into the fabric.
Hundreds of mourners wore purple — Jazmine Barnes’ favorite color.
And the pews were filled at The Community Faith Church Tuesday as family, friends, dignitaries and perfect strangers turned out to remember a young life cut short by a gunman who apparently mistook her family for someone else.
Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, her voice raw from tears, read a missive she said was 7-year-old Jazmine speaking from Heaven.
“There are no more tears, pain and sadness, just eternal love,” Washington told the congregation. “Do not be unhappy just because I am not by your side.”
In a case that sparked international outrage, Jazmine was gunned down in her mother’s car about 7 a.m. on Dec. 30 as they drove with her three sisters in northeast Harris County. The dogged manhunt began with a description of a white man seen in a red pickup truck amid growing tensions that the shooting had been racially motivated.
But by the time the funeral began Tuesday, two black men — including one suspected gang member — had been charged with capital murder in the shooting. Investigators said the men apparently thought they were aiming at a group with whom they had an altercation hours earlier.
(Read more at the Houston Chronicle)
Thank Heaven that Christ’s church reached out to the suffering mother of this murdered girl.
Likewise, thank God also for the widespread financial contributions that went toward the funeral expenses of Jazmine Barnes — including dollars provided by Shaquille O’Neal, Officer Kenneth Miles, Deandre Hopkins, and others.
However, one of a number of things this article does not mention was the stump speeches offered by Sheila Jackson-Lee, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, and Mayor Sylvester Turner. Admittedly, campaigning at funerals has been a Democrat mainstay well before the Wellstone memorial; however, until the performances of Jackson-Lee, Gonzalez, and Turner, I did not know how much of an art form it was.
Shaq sends best wishes to Marine impaled in freak accident
A Marine still in the hospital after being impaled in a freak accident around Christmastime got a much needed boost in the form of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.
“Shaq,” who is a friend to one of Fernando Dominguez’s friends, posted a video wishing him a speedy recovery.
“Fernando, it’s Shaq. Get well soon, brother. Everything will be alright. Drink that water. Start working out. Everything will be fine,” the Lakers legend said.
According to Dominguez’s mother, the message brightened his spirits.
The Marine, who suffered his injury on Highway 225 near Scarborough in Pasadena, underwent his sixth surgery since the freak accident occurred in late December.
(Read more at ABC)
While this bit of support has seen less air play, it seems to demonstrate Mr. O’Neal’s giving heart that he would send a supportive message to an injured Marine. Maybe it’s little — but if it gives hope and brightens the Marine’s spirits, it may be more valuable than many medicines.