January 8, 2019

USA: The Killers Of The Beautiful 7-Year-Old Who Was Murdered In Houston, Jazmine Barnes, Turned Out To Be Two Black Gang Members And The White Man Initially Blamed Was An Innocent Bystander.

BBC News, England
written by Staff
Tuesday January 8, 2019

Police in Houston have filed capital murder charges against a second man in connection with the drive-by shooting death of a seven-year-old girl.

Police say Larry Woodruffe, 24, killed Jazmine Barnes after he fired into her mother's car on 30 December.

He and Eric Black Jr, 20 - who authorities say acted as his getaway driver - have now been charged.

Police say the killing arose from a case of mistaken identity and that the family was not deliberately targeted.

Tuesday's arrest came as Jazmine's funeral was held - her family opted for an open coffin before the ceremony at a Houston church.

What happened?

Jazmine's mother, LaPorsha Washington, was in the car with Jazmine and her three sisters near a Houston-area Walmart store on 30 December when a red pick-up truck pulled alongside them and a man inside opened fire.

Jazmine was struck in the head by a bullet and died at the scene.

Ms Washington was shot and injured in the arm.

The case caused widespread outrage and celebrities joined an appeal to find Jazmine's killer using the hashtag #JusticeForJazmine. A rally in Houston on Saturday attracted about 1,000 people.

Ms Washington tearfully recounted the attack from her hospital bed and urged the gunman to give himself up.

A $100,000 (£79,300) reward for finding Jazmine's killer was also offered.

Both Eric Black and Larry Woodruffe were arrested on Saturday as the result of a tip-off, Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

Mr Black admitted taking part in the shooting. Charges were finally brought against Mr Woodruffe on the basis of corroborating evidence

Who is the man in the photofit?

Both men charged are black but a photofit of a suspect released last week showed a white male believed to be in his 30s or 40s.

Campaigners had feared the shooting, targeting an African-American family, might be racially motivated.

When the suspect was wrongly identified as Robert Cantrell, his photos were circulated online by bloggers.

Police now believe the man in the photofit was a witness that Jazmine's sisters remembered, not a suspect, WABC-TV reports.

His niece, Hailey Cantrell, said that threats had been sent to her Facebook page and she asked people to "back off".

"I just want everyone to back off," she said. "The truth is out. It had nothing to do with us, nothing to do with my uncle at all."
Washington Examiner
written by James Gagliano
Monday January 7, 2019

Just over a week ago, while distracted by a government in the throes of a partial shutdown, we were forced to confront an unthinkable tragedy in Houston, Texas. A sweet seven-year-old girl named Jazmine Barnes, along with her three sisters, had happily piled into the family car early one morning and set off on a coffee run with their mother, LaPorsha Washington, at around 6:50 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30.

And then the unthinkable.

A vehicle pulls alongside Washington and someone opens fire. The car’s windows shatter, spraying glass all over the terrified occupants. Bullets pierce the mainframe. When the shooting stops, and the smoky haze clears just enough, Washington realizes she’s been hit by gunfire. But her immediate concern is the backseat. She quickly whips her head around to check on her babies. Her panicked eyes take in Jazmine’s lifeless form, crumpled in her seat, and gravely wounded by the unknown assailant.

Like many victims of violent crime, LaPorsha Washington must have felt like this was all one big, horrible nightmare. But that was not to be the case. Little Jazmine was gone.

In the days that followed, Washington participated in numerous videotaped interviews with national media. Her gut-wrenchingly tearful pleas for the killer to turn himself in were swallowed up by the mournful sobs that only a mother who has lost a child to mind-numbingly senseless violence can conjure. But just who could possibly commit such an unspeakable crime? What kind of craven, soulless creature could wantonly snatch such a beautiful and precious life?

According to Washington, she did not see the gunman, but one of her teenaged daughters described the shooter as a blue-eyed white man, wearing a black hoodie — who looked “sick.” A renowned suspect sketch artist was called in to construct an image from the shattered family’s recollections, which was subsequently released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Washington then floated the idea to the national media that she (an African-American woman accompanied by three of her offspring, inside a vehicle without tinted windows) may have been targeted by the perpetrator of a “hate crime.” The distraught mother asserted that the crime was “racially motivated.”

Why? She is black, and she believed the assailant was white.

In a news conference last Wednesday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez made clear that law enforcement was pursuing a number of leads, and would also revisit an unsolved 2017 investigation involving a white-on-black, nonfatal shooting that took place in the vicinity of this drive-by.

But we exist in an age where racial tensions are continually enflamed through political discourse and every incident of police use-of-force against a minority is hyped as evidence of America’s inability to move past its 19th-century sins. This case in Houston begged for an intervention by opportunists. If not engaging in downright perfidy, some of the current crop of racial-arsonists who masquerade as activists fiercely believe in the ubiquitous credo: Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste. In the Black Lives Matter era, any opportunity to make the case that white supremacy and white privilege are the unspoken laws of the land must be seized and exploited.

As if on cue, enter one Shaun King.

King, a columnist for the Intercept, is a shameless social media provocateur and self-proclaimed civil rights activist. He has made a career of whipping up the social justice warrior masses with provocative postings that often target police for perceived injustices.

The problem is that some of the stoked-up hysteria that follows is wholly misdirected. The allegations are often later debunked, exposed as outright hoaxes, or proven to be demonstrable falsehoods perpetrated by the “victims” he throws his considerable media presence behind – without fully vetting the accuser or the story.

Channeling his inner-Al Sharpton (he of the iconic false accusation promotion in support of Tawana Brawley’s racial hoax during the late-1980s) King lamely offers up less than sincere apologies after his supporters have harassed and threatened the falsely accused objects of King’s activism. In one particularly egregious instance, King falsely accused Texas State Trooper Daniel Hubbard of sexually assaulting a woman, until police released body camera footage that debunked the ludicrous allegations and left egg all over an unrepentant King’s face.

The tragedy in Houston presented yet another opportunity for King, et al. As protesters gathered at a nearby Walmart in the days following the slaying (one is pictured in The New York Times armed with what appears to be a baseball bat emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter”) the usual race-hyping characters descended upon the scene.

From Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, whose congressional district includes parts of Houston: “Do not be afraid to call this what it seems to be: a hate crime.” She went on to highlight the racial components of the case and implored the Justice Department to open an investigation.

Lee Merritt, the Philadelphia-based attorney representing Washington’s family (and incidentally, friends with Sherita Dixon-Cole, the fraudster in the Texas State Trooper hoax case that King promoted) joined with King to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Merritt, without evidence, assessed that the crime was in all probability a “hate crime,” due to the “randomness and unprovoked nature” of the shooting.

King took to doing what King does best: stoke racial fires. First, he tweets a commendable call for information in the days following Jazmine’s murder:
Once the speculative “analysis” that this was a “hate crime” posited by irresponsible politicians and activists begins to gather steam, he posts a photograph of a white man and tweets this:
What more can you tell me about Robert Cantrell?

He was arrested in Houston hours after Jazmine was murdered on another violent crime spree.

We’ve had 20 people call or email us and say he is a racist, violent asshole and always has been.

Just tell me everything you know. pic.twitter.com/7p1XAku1cd

— Shaun King (@shaunking) January 4, 2019
But according to Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller, King had received a tip on Jan. 3 as to who the actual killer of Jazmine was, which he subsequently shared with the Harris County Sheriff. But with the tweets above, King continued to push the Robert Cantrell “white man culprit” theory on Jan. 4.

When a 20-year old African-American male, Eric Black, Jr., was arrested on Saturday, and subsequently confessed to being part of a group that had conducted the murder in an apparent case of mistaken identity, the armchair investigators and social justice activists were left scrambling. The cacophony of angry “No justice, no peace!” chants at the Walmart rally were reduced to a barely perceptible murmur of “Wait, what?”

King, ever unrepentant, had this to say: “We live in a time where somebody could do something like this based purely on hate or race. And that it turned out to not be the case I don’t think changes the devastating conclusion that people had thought something like that was possible.”

Utterly disgraceful.

Merritt, the family attorney, allowed that the arrest came as a surprise to his clients. But he added, “They didn’t want a white person to be prosecuted. They wanted the right person to be prosecuted.” He also waxed philosophic on how appreciative he was that the racial implications were taken seriously and that the case garnered national attention, which he cautioned “shouldn’t only be weaponized for political purposes when the suspected killer is white.”

Allow that delicious irony to sink in for a moment.

The case, which garnered maximum national television coverage for a solid week will now fade into obscurity as media outlets recall their deployed reporters. As horrific as the tragic slaying of a precious 7-year old little girl was, the story was the potential “hate crime.”

Isn’t that what caught the interest of Shaun King? Young black lives are violently snatched up far too often in our country. But the national interest is much less focused on someone like two-year old Lavontay White, Jr., shot dead by a gang member in Chicago on Valentine’s Day 2017. Why? Because the shooter was a young black man in Chicago, and not a white man in Houston.

I don’t fault Jazmine’s family, in particular her young eyewitness siblings, for getting the description wrong. It happens, especially during extreme life-and-death situations. I believe witnesses to violent crimes can and do make honest and sincere mistakes while attempting to recollect events that happen in real time, while frightened out of their wits.

But since 2011, The Chicago Tribune has reported that 174 children under the age of seventeen, the vast majority who are black or brown, have been murdered, and 1,665 have been wounded by gunfire. Like with Lavontay, you probably know none of their names. While we rightly grieve the tragic loss of Jazmine, let’s realize why this case made national news.

Let’s also recognize the irony in Shaun King’s next public appearance in April:
One wonders if King will be allowed to bring along Trooper Daniel Hubbard and Robert Cantrell to hear his timely remarks.

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