PITTS JR: Republicans “Give back importance to bigotry” | Chroniclers

Leonard Pitts

You might think it was a crime, but last week a grand jury didn’t.

This is the case of a certain Jared Lafer. He’s a white man in his twenties who was driving in Johnson City, Tennessee in September last year when he ran into a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters in a crosswalk. According to witnesses, Lafer’s SUV struck a man named Johnathon Bowers, after which Bowers, standing right in front of the vehicle, hit the hood to get Lafer’s attention. In response, Lafer reportedly accelerated, crossing the group and leaving Bowers with two broken legs – all captured on cellphone video.

Instead of stopping, Lafer stayed at his home in Bakersville, across the border in North Carolina. There he hired a lawyer and surrendered two days later. His level of contrition could be judged later from his activity on social networks. Tennessee Holler, a self-proclaimed “progressive news site,” took a screenshot of a post that has since deleted: a relieved-looking man meme with the caption: A looter.

To which someone by the name of “Jared Lafer” replies, “This is GREAT! with a laugh emoji until you cry. Lafer would also have called Black Lives Matter a “Marxist” group.

Still, the grand jury refused to indict him, determining that – despite the video and eyewitnesses – there was not enough evidence to do so. “It’s not about racism,” defense lawyer Mac Meade said. Because of course not. This is never the case. The lawyer, according to WLOS-TV in Asheville, explained that Lafer simply “did what he felt was necessary to get out of a situation he felt was dangerous for his family.”

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