What is the price of tolerating systemic law enforcement racism In this case, it may mean that a gang terrorist and murderer will go free.
A well-known gang leader, previously on death row and accused of more than 20 murders since the 1990s, might be the beneficiary of a racist deputy district attorney, and the Los Angeles Police Department lead investigator on his case may be dismissed because of the N-word. The Supreme Court will now decide the prosecution’s negligence.
Defense attorneys for Cleamon Johnson (aka Big Evil) are asking for the “recusal of other members of the district attorney’s office or the office as a whole, as well as other possible sanctions,” because Brian McCartin, lead investigator, got chummy with the N-word in a bar when referring to Black gang members he encountered while the DA was present.
This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has stepped in to recognize racism in sentencing. In January, the court ruled 6-3 that convicted murderer Keith Tharpe, a Georgia death row prisoner who murdered a Black woman 27 years ago, could get a second chance to prove the sentence was influenced by a racist juror. And last year they stopped an execution of a Texas prisoner convicted of murdering his girlfriend in 1996, Duane Buck, because of a racist testimony during his trial.
Police racism with the high percentage nationwide of police brutality, arrests and killings of unarmed Blacks isn’t declining. Last year of the 987 people killed by police, almost 23 percent (223) were Black. So far this year already, 19 percent (99) are Black. And less than 2 percent of police officers receive charges for killing them; convictions are fairy tales.
Veteran LAPD Det. Brian McCartin was with Deputy District Attorney Robert Rabbani, who was prosecuting Johnson in this case, and stated in response to the shock to his racial slur usage: “What, you’ve never used that word in the privacy of your own living room”
The DA’s office said that they don’t condone the language, and the legal analysis conducted was to determine if the comment was so racially biased that it had to be offered up at the trial.
Colleagues of McCartin recalled the incident in statements, saying he said “he knew there was a difference between a N-word and a Black person” and “I was out there with those N-words that’s what they call themselves,” and that gang members were “thugs,” “assholes” “and all little N-words.”
Defense for Johnson says those accounts prove that McCartin led a racially biased investigation.
This time, the very officers that intended to have Johnson tried for recent murders may be the ones who give him freedom.
McCartin left the department in June 2015, taking a $485,000 payout as a member of the agency’s deferred retirement program, as well as an annual pension.