After this weekend’s shocking decision by an all female and almost all white jury to let George Zimmerman walk, what more evidence do we need to prove that a Black life in this country is losing value faster than the dollar? People have gone to the slammer for a lot less, especially Black people, who make up over half of this country’s prison population. We all know that regardless of Zimmerman’s race, if he would’ve killed a white child, he would already be used to washing his underwear in a prison sink. Take a look at some of the things the judicial system has showed the black community they value more than a black man’s life.
5. Marissa Alexander’s Wall
31-year-old Marissa Alexander, an apparent domestic violence victim, got into a physical altercation with her estranged husband Rico Gray after he found text messages to her first husband on her phone in August of 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. After Gray attempted to prevent Alexander from leaving their home, she pushed past Gray and got her gun from her car’s glove compartment. According to court records, Alexander ordered Gray to leave the home, but he wouldn’t. Marissa fired a warning shot into the wall, prompting Gray and their children to flee out of the front door. Alexander was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and because she discharged a firearm during the incident, her case fell under Florida’s “10-20-life” law that mandates a 20 year sentence for the use of a gun during the commission of certain crimes. The judge rejected a motion from her attorney to grant Alexander immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” law, the same defense used by George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Ironically, Angela Corey, the same prosecutor in the Zimmerman case, prosecuted Alexander. Zimmerman is free. Marissa Alexander is currently serving 20 years.
4. Michael Vick’s Dogs
In 2007, Michael Vick was found to be the owner of property in Surry County, Virginia where evidence of unlawful dog fighting had been taking place. State and federal investigations unveiled an interstate dog fighting ring that promoted gambling and yielded profits from drugs. Vick and three other men were charged by federal authorities with felony charges of operating an unlawful dog fighting venture known as “Bad Newz Kennels.” The Atlanta Falcons star pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. In November of the same year, Vick turned himself in early to get credit for time served in his anticipated federal sentence. The next month, he was sentenced in a federal court in Richmond, Va. to 23 months in U.S. Penitentiary Leavenworth, Kansas. A year later, Vick was transported from federal prison to appear in court for the state dog fighting charges in Sussex, Virginia, where he received a three year prison sentence, which was suspended on the condition of good behavior. The Pro Bowl QB was released from federal custody on June 20, 2009.
3. Plaxico Burress’ Leg
After throwing back a few drinks while partying with fellow Giants teammate Antonio Pierce at the Latin Quarter nightclub in NYC in 2008, the Giants Superbowl star Plaxico Burress was making his way to the club’s VIP section when his .40 caliber handgun slipped from his waistband. When Burress attempted to catch the weapon falling down his pants leg, he pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the same thigh that was injured earlier in the season. The Giants wide receiver was charged with two counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon and second degree reckless endangerment. On September 22, 2009, Burress began his two years in prison sentence from which he was released in June 2011.