The reason they did it, prosecutors said, is because they were bored.
Allegedly because three Duncan, Okla., teenagers didn’t have anything better to do, Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, Australia, a baseball player attending college in the U.S. on a full scholarship, is dead. He was shot in the back while he jogged in an upscale neighborhood.
First-degree murder charges were filed August 20 against two of the teens, aged 15 and 16. Their names were not released because they are minors. Both are Black. They were ordered held without bond. A third teen, 17, whose racial identity could not be determined, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and with driving a vehicle while a weapon was discharged.
According to the Associated Press, the youth told a judge at a hearing the day of his arrest, “I pulled the trigger.” The judge then told the suspect to be quiet because the facts of the case would be argued at a later date. The young man then started crying, according to news accounts. His bond was set at $1 million.
African Americans interviewed by the AFRO said they feared the incident will fuel more attacks like those that left Trayvon Martin dead at the hands of George Zimmerman.
“I can’t even put it into words. I don’t have any words,” said B.T. Cooper of Bowie. “Now, there are going to be lot more people who do that ‘stand their ground.’
These young men were wrong and they are going to jail, but this is going to have repercussions for so many innocent young Black men. Some people already see any young Black man as violent and stories like this fuel that mentality.”
The 17-year-old allegedly told police the boys killed Lane for “the fun of it,” according to the Associated Press.
Washington D.C. Ward 5 ANC Commissioner Jackie Manning, of Northeast, who works with young people, said she will talk to the youths she knows about the incident.
She said while the crime was appalling, the public should remember that the accused youths are innocent until the case is adjudicated in a court of law. She found it unusual that authorities would release the alleged statements from the young suspects.
“Why would they come out and say what they were supposed to have said about the crime before they have talked to lawyers?” she said. “They are juveniles. I’ve never heard someone come out and give a reason why someone who is accused did something before they have a chance to talk to lawyers. We need to wait to see what happens in court.”
Cooper said she will remind the young Black men she knows to be extra careful in light of this case, the same way she did after Zimmerman attacked Trayvon Martin.
“This is the kind of thing that, as Blacks, we hate,” she said. “We sympathize with the young man who was killed. We feel sorry and pray for his family. I just hope that people won’t look at all young Black men and think they are capable of this kind of violence.
“Like Whites commit crimes that don’t have anything to do with anyone except the offender, Blacks commit crimes that have nothing to do with other Blacks. This case should not cause people to indict all Black boys.”
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