In a case where Hanlon’s Razor (“Never assume malice is the explanation if stupidity will suffice”) applies but one can’t really blame a mother for thinking otherwise, police in Newark inexplicably mistook an innocent pre-teen black boy for an adult robbery suspect and chased him through a Newark neighborhood with guns drawn. This is stupidity, not racism. Well, who knows: there could be racism mixed in there too, but what jumps out is the jaw-dropping incompetence.
Legend Preston, just ten years old, was fetching a basketball that had rolled into the street when he looked up and saw armed cops running towards him as if they meant business. So he ran.
“I was scared for my life,” Legend told reporters. “I was thinking that they were going to shoot me.” Good thinking, kid. If these cope were inept enough to get a ten-year-old confused with Casey Joseph Robinson, a 20-year-old, dreadlocks-sporting perp with facial hair (he was arrested in the next block), who knows what they might do?
Legend was quickly surrounded by neighbors who emphatically pointed out to the police that they were chasing a child, as the officers stammered that he “fit the description” of the criminal. Well, sort of. Okay, okay, now that we’re up close, we see that he’s under five feet tall, dressed like a kid, doesn’t have dreadlocks or facial hair, and looks nothing like the guy, except that he’s black, which means we also could also mistake him for Bill Cosby, Jesse Jackson, Morgan Freeman, or LeBron James. Continue reading