DETROIT (AP) — A young man who participated in a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist needed a father to “beat the hell” out of him as a kid to discourage him from committing such a crime, a judge said Thursday.

The stunning remarks by Wayne County Judge James Callahan came as he sentenced Latrez Cummings to six months in jail.

In response to the judge’s question, Cummings, 19, said his father wasn’t around when he was growing up.

Callahan said Cummings needed a dad, “someone to discipline you. Someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake, as opposed to allowing you or encouraging you to do it to somebody else.”

Cummings and four others have pleaded guilty to assaulting Steve Utash, who was in a coma for days after the April attack. The mob pounced on him in Detroit after he got out of his pickup truck to help a 10-year-old who had stepped in front of his vehicle.

The judge’s comments preceded a loud, spirited exchange with assistant prosecutor Lisa Lindsay, who said the six-month sentence was too light. She said there are many young black men who were raised without a father but haven’t commited crimes. Cummings is black.

“Did I ever use the term ‘black’?” replied Callahan, who is white. “It doesn’t matter if a person is black, white, yellow or red.”

Cummings was the last defendant to be sentenced in the case. The longest sentence was nearly 6 ½ years in prison for a man whose punishment was enhanced because of his criminal record.

The judge was aggressive throughout the hearing. He ordered the well-dressed Cummings to take his hand out of his pocket and accused him of lying a week ago about his school attendance.

Callahan, citing records, said Cummings hadn’t attended classes since December.

“Tell me what the heck you did with your time,” he said.

Despite the harsh tone, the judge said Cummings’ age and childhood were mitigating factors in the light sentence.

“We’ve all been 19 years of age,” Callahan said.

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10 thoughts on “Judge Tells Detroit Teen He Needed A Beating

  1. African American woman on said:

    Oh please! I was a mother of 2 boys by the time is was 20.I was young and inexperienced and also the product of an abusive and neglectful home, which, by the way included and abusive and neglectful father. After going to through labor, delivery, spending all of my money on baby stuff, rent and bills; I’d be damned if my efforts were going to be wasted. I wasn’t always the best mom, but I never cursed, abused or brought losers around my sons. I made sure they saw me work and I was always honest with them. I would point out the losers on the corners and let my sons know how much of a waste of life that was. I took my little money and took them on trips, museums and other adventures. I told them both, you get arrested, dont call me cause im not coming. Now I have an 18 year old son in his second semester of college and a 16 year old going into his third year in high school. Did I mention I also have two lovely younger daughters, I work and go to school, own my own home and am a single mom? All of these things can be done successfully if we as a people start focusing on what’s important, not this nonsense we surround ourselves with today. You really cant blame racism and thw white man because we were a great people during Jim Crow. We didn’t kill each other and tear our communities down. The judge was absolutely right and we are blind fools if we keep making excuses for our failures

  2. Honestly on said:

    You cave n!@@ers shut your shitty mouths. John Cougar Mellencamp sons beat the hell out of another cave n!@@er and their was no outcry from you mayonnaise monkeys. I guess white on white crime is acceptable. You neanderthal apes should be driven back into the caves of Europe.

  3. This kid got a huge break! I hope he can fully understand that and not commit anymore crimes. That said, I hate to see comments from folks who wouldn’t pour a cup a water on you if you were on fire because of your race, tell you what you need or where you went wrong! I don’t think this judges race interfered with him judging this young man…he’s probably right. It’s not easy to put yourself in someone else shoes, but try to understand that these kids (black kids-boys especially) are dealing with so much more than previous generations. I’m not making excuses, just pointing out that there is something so wrong with our society and its being manifested in our children (our future). I don’t recall where I heard the phrase, “hood disease”, but it’s a new study that likens being a black kid living in certain cities to what soldiers who fight in wars call PTSD. We need to show more love, kindness and respect and show a little less ridicule! We will reap what we sow…

  4. Linda on said:

    I somewhat agree with this judge.

    African American parents -particularly the single mothers need to do a much better job in the raising of their male children.

    If you must discipline your child, then do so.

    That way the cops won’t have to put a beating on the kid when he has committed some crime in the streets!!!

    • Yes you are right about that. I know a young man who lost both parents at a very early age today he’s an upstanding citizen he cares about people has a family & a wife..not kids with every girl in town just one. People who do crimes like that are completely hateful they care only for themselves, they think everybody owe them something. He got no excuse in my book. As for the Judge she can say whatever she want it’s her court. What he need is good counseling & a Bible…In Moses time parents used to stone their children in front of everybody.

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