Why Was This Black Man Charged With Terrorism For Carrying A Fake Gun?

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In Las Vegas, a man was charged with terrorism after pointing a fake gun at visitors and employees. Meanwhile, white mass shooters are not charged with terrorism for actually killing people.

 

On May 17, a Las Vegas man walked into a mall and a rifle. Witnesses claimed he pointed his gun at shoppers and employees, Fox 5 Vegas reported.

The suspect, Emile Daren Hobson, 25, was arrested. Later, the police determined no shots were fired because the gun was a fake. An employee at the store told the police Hobson had been denied a job at the store.

Hobson faces a slew of charges, including committing an act of terrorism, which has drawn widespread criticism.

Many have pointed out how Hobson, who is black, was immediately considered a terror threat, despite possessing a fake weapon and not harming anyone, while several white perpetrators of mass shootings were not charged with terrorism.

A recent example is that of Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old  white teen who opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas, killing 10 people. So far, he has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant.

Then there's 24-year-old Dylann Roof, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, who shot and killed nine black parishioners in a church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015. He was convicted of 12 hate crime charges, 12 counts of religious obstruction, and nine counts of using a firearm to kill. He did not face any terrorism charges.

In October 2017, 64-year-old white male, Stephen Paddock opened fire at a Las Vegas hotel, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800. He was found dead in a room. The shooting, despite being the worst in American history, was not called a terror-related incident because the police couldn't find the motive of the crime.

In November 2017, 26-year-old Devin Kelly opened fire in the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, San Antonio, killing 26 people, at least a dozen of them children. Kelley was found dead inside his vehicle in what the authorities determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot. The shooting was not labeled terrorism because the police couldn't determine if it was politcally-motivated.

On February 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people in a high school in Parkland, Florida. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. No terror-related charged here as well.

The disparity between how white suspects and those of color are described in the news and dealt with at the hands of police officers is quite evident.

However, the fact that it keeps happening is exactly why this disparity needs to be pointed out again and again.

In a country where a white college graduate can brandish an AR-10 on campus without facing any consequences and white perpetrators with extremist tendencies can avoid terror charges, it's odd to see authorities label a black man a terror threat for wielding a fake gun inside a mall.

 

 

 

 

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Las Vegas Police Department

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