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(8/25/08): Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters: Double Standard PDF Print E-mail
Local NAACP President, Christopher Smitherman, is outraged by the lack of charges in the recent death of a child.  Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters continues to prosecute and jail African American women for child endangerment and neglect that did not result in the death of any child.  However, Joe Deters currently is reflecting on whether he will charge Mrs. Edwards, an upper middle-class white female from Wyoming, with neglect, child endangerment, or anything at all after her actions did result in the death of her child. 

 

Smitherman proposes that the Criminal Justice System in Hamilton County is not just broken, it is racist. The Cincinnati NAACP continues to illuminate why so many African Americans in Hamilton County have no confidence or trust in Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters, or the criminal justice system. "The African American community is just tired of the double standards," Smitherman announced.

 

The court system, the Prosecutor's Office, and many judges inconsistently apply and enforce our laws.  This includes over-prosecution and high bonds, under-prosecution, or no prosecution . These inconsistent and preferential treatments are the indicators of the institutional racism.   This issue will be discussed at the 6:00 p.m. general membership meeting of the Cincinnati NAACP on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at the Thomas Moore building located at 3457 Montgomery Road .

 

August 25, 2008
Media Release

 

Cincinnati NAACP

 

Local NAACP President, Christopher Smitherman, is outraged by the lack of charges in the recent death of a child.   He proposes that the Criminal Justice System in Hamilton County is not just broken, it is racist. The Cincinnati NAACP continues to illuminate why so many African Americans in Hamilton County have no confidence or trust in Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters, or the criminal justice system. "The African American community is just tired of the double standards," Smitherman announced.

 

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters continues to prosecute and jail African American women for child endangerment and neglect that did not result in the death of any child. However, Joe Deters currently is reflecting on whether he will charge Mrs. Edwards, an upper middle-class white female from Wyoming, with neglect, child endangerment, or anything at all after her actions did result in the death of her child.  Mrs. Edwards left her child in her car all day, yet Mrs. Edwards is not in jail. That is a fact. There are many African American women in Hamilton County who have left their child unattended for minutes and were arrested immediately, jailed, and strip searched.  That is a fact. 

 

Smitherman highlighted that the NAACP was flooded with calls from African American women insisting that a mother does not forget about her child in the back of a car.  Many callers adamantly stated that sometime during the day a mother thinks about her child--what the child is doing, what the child should be doing, what she needs to do for the child before the day ends.  Smitherman anticipates that Joe Deters will try to sell to the community that he [Deters] cannot find any law with which to charge Mrs. Edwards whose actions directly resulted in the death of a child. 

 

Joe Deters intentionally is delaying on taking action.  Since Mrs. Edwards is not in jail, she does not have to post bond; she does not have to face a strip search at the Hamilton County jail while being processed; nor does she have to be evaluated for her fitness as a mother to her other children.  Deters' choice not to prosecute to date is his strategic method of not criminalizing, dehumanizing, and demoralizing his white counterpart.  He also is preventing Mrs. Edwards from having a documented offense within the criminal justice system.  The facts prove that Joe Deters more frequently puts African American women through this entire process with no regard for their criminal record, their humanity, nor their families.

 

The court system, the Prosecutor's Office, and many judges inconsistently apply and enforce our laws.  This includes over-prosecution and high bonds, under-prosecution, or no prosecution . These inconsistent and preferential treatments are the indicators of the institutional racism.  Smitherman says, "The African American community is the base of the Democratic Party.  But Tim Burke, the Chair of the Democratic Party, cut a deal with the republicans not to run democratic candidates against currently elected republican judges, the county prosecutor, and the sherriff.  More African Americans will be voting in November when local democratic candidates had a better chance of ever being elected in the history of Hamilton County."  Smitherman stated that the deal undermined democracy while simultaneously tying the hands of African Americans by prohibiting candidates from opposing Joe Deters.

 

This issue will be discussed at the 6:00 p.m. general membership meeting of the Cincinnati NAACP on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at the Thomas Moore building located at 3457 Montgomery Road .
 
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