A veteran U.S. prosecutor in Texas is under fire for allegedly implying on Facebook that Trayvon Martin looked like a criminal, the
Houston Chronicle reports.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Craft made the comments on his private Facebook page in response to a status update that supported “stand your ground” laws, according to the Chronicle. Such laws allow people to shoot intruders even if they have the opportunity to run away.
Here’s what Craft wrote, according to the Chronicle:
How are you fixed for Skittles and Arizona watermelon fruitcocktail (and maybe a bottle of Robitussin, too) in your neighbourhood? I am fresh out of “purple drank.” So, I may come by for a visit. In a rainstorm. In the middle of the night. In a hoodie. Don’t get upset or anything if you see me looking in your window … kay?
The night George Zimmerman shot him, 17-year-old Martin was walking in the rain and wearing a hoodie — a piece of clothing that’s become a symbol for racial profiling. He was also carrying Skittles and an Arizona iced tea.
The Beaumont Enterprise reports that Craft had also posted a graphic that said “Obama: Why Stupid People Shouldn’t Vote.”
Craft told the Chronicle the Facebook comments were “not related to the U.S. attorney’s office.”
It’s still deeply troubling that a U.S. attorney would make derogatory comments about a young, black male. He works for the Justice Department, which is in charge of prosecuting racially motivated murders. (Murder isn’t usually a federal crime, but it is if it involves a civil rights violation.)
The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, John Malcolm Bales, told the Chronicle that the U.S. attorney’s office didn’t have a social media policy. He also said federal prosecutors are entitled to their opinions, but he seemed eager to distance himself from Craft’s comments.
“We don’t think like that,” Bales told the Chronicle, referring to the U.S. attorney’s office. “We don’t act like that.”
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