As we are considering the question of race in America these past two weeks, here’s an example of how the benefit of the doubtis differentially applied that involves an NBA player.
Miami Heat player Ray Allen’s wife, Shannon, awoke last week in the middle of the night to find seven teenagers between 18 and 19 years old wandering around her Coral Gables, Florida home. Initially, Coral Gables police, citing Florida law, dismissed it as a prank and said they could not arrest the teenagers. Allen and his family were incensed and released a statement to the Miami Herald.
We want to correct the erroneous information being reported about the crime committed in our home this week. On Thursday morning at 2:30 a.m., my wife Shannon was awakened by loud voices in our bedroom where she had been sleeping with our four young children.
She heard male voices loudly discussing our personal property and sat up in a state of alarm to find at least five people inside our bedroom with large flashlights. She was immediately fearful for the safety of her own life, but more importantly the lives of our young children. When she screamed at them, the intruders quickly fled the scene and laughter was heard as they made their way out of our bedroom, down the stairs and out of our house.
As these individuals were fleeing our house, Shannon immediately called security and the police for help. Shannon and I believe that a number of the public statements made through media outlets have mischaracterized certain important facts and what we believe to be the seriousness of this potentially devastating invasion upon our lives, home and family.
The teens, who were attending a party next door, were Hispanic. The Allens are, of course, Black. Coral Gables police spokeswoman Kelly Denham said that the teens were not charged initially because there was no forced entry, no theft and “no intent.”
The teens told police they thought the house was unoccupied and were just curious about how the Allen family lived.