Death equals probation but threats mean jail?

There is something very wrong when murder equals probation but threats equals prison

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

Do you remember the Facebook Four? That's the name I gave to Brittany and Tanisha Covington, Jordan Hill and Tesfaye Cooper. They are the four people who broadcast on Facebook Live the torture of a young, mentally challenged teen. The video they posted quickly went viral and, because they are black and the victim is white, they were made out to be the worst villains to walk this earth ever. Both Tanisha and Tesfaye are being held in Cook County Jail and they have "no bond" placed on their incarceration. Jordan's bond is $900,000 and Brittany's bond is $500,000.

The Facebook Four have been locked up for the past six months since January. They will have had their latest court date on Tuesday, July 18, which is after this column's deadline. Although their crime was heinous, the young man who was the victim survived the encounter. When there is a court date, he will be able to testify against them on the aggravated kidnapping/ransom charges.

I got to thinking about them as I read the update on an even more horrific crime that happened back in 2015. An 18-year-old-woman, Mubashra Uddin, gave birth in her bedroom on the eighth floor of a building on the North Side. She was unmarried and her parents didn't know she was pregnant. At least that is what is alleged. Anyway, after giving birth and upon hearing her mother approaching the bedroom, Uddin proceeded to throw the baby out the window. The little girl was still alive when a passerby found the naked child in the grass.

According to the reports given in the Chicago Tribune's article at the time, "The girl suffered complex skull fractures, a fractured spine, a broken left shoulder, fractured left and right ribs and a lacerated aorta, as well as damage to other internal organs, prosecutors have said."

The baby also died.

That innocent child never had a chance at life. It wasn't a victim of a Facebook Live torture, but it did suffer from the complete disregard for life by a "mother" who cared so little that rather than abort the child when she first learned she was pregnant, she instead allowed it to go full term before tossing it out the window like garbage. When initially confronted by the police, Uddin at first denied everything. Eventually she admitted her crime and was charged and held at Cook County Jail without bail.

But guess what? The cold-blooded killer did get bail. Her bond was eventually set at $275,000. She got released and went home on electronic monitoring. And when she was brought before the judge to be sentenced for her crime, she got … probation … and a lousy fine of $579!

That's right, folks — as the Facebook Four sit in Cook County Jail for the crime of torturing but not killing or even coming close to killing their victim, a female who dropped a newborn head first out of a window got both bail before trial and probation as the sentencing. Her "immigrant" status had everyone understanding and feeling sorry for her. Yet no one is being understanding or feeling sorry for the four descendants of enslaved Africans for their crime.

There is something very wrong when murder equals probation but silly drug-induced threats equals long-term imprisonment. A black state's attorney will mean nothing if business as usual is the standard by which she runs that office. Black folks will continue to pay for the color of the skin they're in and the price right now doesn't seem to include probation and a fine!

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