15 year old Dayonn Davis, an honors student, stole a pair of Jordans.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 31, 2018
They tried him as an adult and sentenced him to 5 years in adult prison + 10 years of probation.
This is the New Jim Crow. https://t.co/P8YXfrDygr
Lyle Burgess, 79 – raped a 5-year-old girl and pleaded no contest to statutory rape. Sentence: 90 days of house arrest and exemption from registering as a sex offender.
Corey David Burfield, 18 – assaulted an African-American teacher’s assistant brutally enough that the victim had to be placed on life support. Sentence: Released without bail
Brianna Brochu, 18 – poisoned her African-American roommate by rubbing used tampons on the victim’s backpack and spitting in her coconut oil. Sentence: 200 hours of community service that will lead to her criminal charges being dismissed.
Dayonn Davis, 15 – stole a pair of Nike sneakers priced a little over $100. Sentence: five years in prison and 10 on probation.
Apart from the comparatively less severe crime and harsher punishment, the thing that sets Davis apart from the other offenders listed above is the color of his skin.
While Burgess, Turner, Burfield and Brochu are prime examples of white privilege, Davis’ case highlights the racism in the criminal justice system.
As reported by the Ledger Enquirer, Davis was 15-years-old when he contacted a Facebook user selling a pair of coveted Nike Oreos and the two agreed to meet at the Shirley B. Winston Park in Columbus, Ohio.
According to prosecutor Sadhana Dailey, the teenager visited the park with male compared and asked to try on the shoes to see if they fit. He then told the seller “These shoes is took,” as his friend pulled a gun and the two ran away. No one was injured and the police was able to track down Davis and recover the stolen sneakers from his closet.
That was in 2016.
Davis, who is now 18, was tried as an adult and sentenced to five years in prison and 10 on probation – even though there is no evidence he ever possessed the weapon or even held it. The second suspect, who was eventually named by Davis, was not identified by the victim in the police lineup.
“I don’t get that,” Judge Bobby Peters said during the teen’s sentencing. “Must be some valuable shoes.”
It is also important to mention the teenager has no criminal record. He was reportedly an honor roll student at Kendrick High School until his arrest.
“He’s been extremely remorseful,” said defense attorney Susan Henderson. “He’s got his life on track now.”
The attorney asserted Davis had no idea his accomplice would pull out a gun.
While that doesn’t make him innocent of the robbery, it also doesn’t make him guilty enough to be given such a stringent prison sentence.
The teen’s mother told Peters her son had “been with the wrong person,” to which the judge replied, “Maybe he’s the wrong person. He’s the one with the shoes in his closet.”
Davis also told the judge he had a made a big mistake.
“I was young at the time, so I wasn’t in my right mind,” he said.
Unfortunately, Davis is one of countless people of color facing similar injustice across the country. Unless the current administration takes the topic prison reform seriously, the situation is likely to get worst.
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