In a frightening example of the hypocrisy of the justice system, a Baltimore teen who turned himself in for smashing a police car window is being held on $500,000 bail and facing life in prison. This as the cops who arrested Freddie Gray are all walking free and still collecting their paychecks.
Allen Bullock, 18, was seen smashing a police car window with a traffic cone in an image that ran on the front page of the Baltimore Sun’s coverage of the uprising in the city this week. According to The Guardian, after being encouraged by his parents to turn himself in, he was charged with eight criminal counts including rioting and destruction of property.
Bullock’s step father, Maurice Hawkins, told his son that he feared the police would “find him, knock down our door and beat him,” if he didn’t turn himself in.
So he did. And it appears he is now being made an example of by law enforcement.
Through tears, his mother Bobbi Smallwood said, “as parents we wanted Allen to do the right thing. He was dead wrong, and he does need to be punished. But he wasn’t leading this riot. He hasn’t got that much power.”
“It’s just so much money,” she added, speaking of his excessive bail. “Who could afford to pay that? If they let him go, he could at least save some money and pay them back for the damage he did.”
Bullock will be charged as an adult for the misdemeanor charges. The rioting charge carries a maximum of life in prison in the state of Maryland. His parents expect that he will face a sentence of around four to eight years.
And people wonder why Black people are so outraged and suspicious of cops.
While this young man was in the wrong to destroy property, the rage he and his friends feel is real and, clearly, valid. And, as activist Deray McKesson pointed out live on CNN, the media and law enforcement officials clearly value cop car windows more than they value the life of men like Freddie Gray.
How many cops have gotten off completely free for murdering Black men? How long will people pretend that this isn’t happening?
In a heartbreaking commentary on the state of affairs, Hawkins said he did not regret his decision, despite his son’s treatment.
“Because I know what would happen to him if he hadn’t,” he said.