Another day, another display of truly heinous racism in the United States of America. Jeffrey Zeigler of Rochester Hills, a suburb of Detroit, is currently on trial for opening fire at a black teenager, who committed the truly despicable crime of approaching Zeigler’s house to ask for directions.
In early April, fourteen-year-old Brennan Walker missed the bus to school. His phone having been confiscated by his mother, he needed directions, so he went to the nearest house for help.
Instead of getting the help that he needed, he was met by a shotgun-wielding Zeigler:
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“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot.”
While Ziegler’s wife tried to tell the police that Walker was “trying to break in,” the family’s own paranoia did them in. Their “Ring” electronic doorbell recorded the entire thing, making it clear to the police makes it clear that the boy was fired upon just for knocking on the door.
Ziegler only missed because he had failed to take the safety off of the gun, say police. The former firefighter has been charged with “Assault with Intent to Murder and Felony Firearms.”
Reflecting on the encounter, Walker told FOX 2 that “My mom says that, black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age. I’m 14; but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic.”
It’s a perfect illustration of the horrifying double standard that white and black boys are held to. When the president’s forty-year-old large adult son was forced to testify before the Senate on allegations of treason, he was called a “good boy” and a “good kid” by the President while twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was called “large for his age” and was gunned down just for playing in a park by cops.
Scientific studies show that white folks are much much more likely to overestimate the age of young Americans of color:
Whether it is a result of or simply a corollary to a racist corporate media and political establishment that has spent decades painting young black men as dangerous thugs and “superpredators,” it’s not hard to understand how we end up with horrifying incidents like this.
Watch the footage here: