A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

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July 14, 2012

'The First 48'


            The First 48 is a documentary television series.  It is produced and aired by Arts & Entertainment Television.  It is a reality crime series that only deals with homicides.  The premise behind the series is that if a substantial clue to the murder is not received within the first 48 hours of the homicide, the murder will likely go unsolved.  The First 48 is also a testament to the depravity that young Black men inflict upon each other and, ultimately, upon themselves.


In one episode a middle aged Black man was shot and killed in the hallway of an apartment complex.  When the police officers arrived they noted that the victim died while holding ten dollars in his hand.  They decided that this was not a robbery as the ten dollars was not taken.  Due to surveillance cameras and witness interrogation , they quickly apprehended a suspect.  Like so many of these numbskulls, he readily confessed.  He explained that the gun went off during a botched robbery.  He was asked why he had not taken the ten dollars, if this was a robbery.  He explained that he had simply forgotten to take the money.

In another episode a volunteer coach, middle aged Black man, was shot and killed a the recreational park that he worked.  Again, the assailant was quickly apprehended and just as quickly confessed.  This 19 year old murderer explained that, "his baby needed diapers".

In a third episode, a young Black man was found shot and killed in an alley.  The police investigated and found that he had been out that night with two of his friends.  The three of them had grown up together and had been friends for their entire lives.  One had been the driver and his car had broken down.  As they were walking to their destination, the driver got into an argument with one of the other two.  The one friend was ragging on the driver about the car breaking down, so he shot and killed him.    


Recognition that Black life, in the Black community, is so cheap brings forth many emotional terms.  Among these are lack of self esteem, suicidal and genocidal tendencies, endangered species.  Perhaps the most devastating emotion produced is an overwhelming sadness that, so many of a People can be manipulated into believing that their lives have no value. 

The Detectives

            The First 48 does not show the suspects being given their Miranda rights.  That is, they are not told that they have a right to remain silent, that anything they say will be held against them and that they have a right to have an attorney present during interrogation.  This is an entertainment documentary and time restraints must be considered.  This article does not intend to imply that these suspects are being denied any of their rights.  That being said, the detectives featured on the show try very hard to get confessions from the suspects.

The detectives in the various cities have become proficient in obtaining confessions from these murderers.  They cajole, threaten and commiserate with the suspects.  Often, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.  These miscreants break down in tears as they strive to convince the detectives that, they are good people who, for one reason or another, just got caught up in the circumstances of the moment.  Not only do they confess they also readily implicate their accomplices.  Honor amongst thieves evidently does not extend to murderers.

The detectives are as heavy handed with the witnesses as they are with the suspects.  They have no qualms about threatening witnesses with jail if they are reluctant to give any information about a case.  One of the criticisms about The First 48 was that it revealed the identities of witnesses.  The show was completely unconcerned about the adage of the hood that, "snitches get stitches".  The detectives were quick to promise protection for the witnesses, but their promises seem as empty of substance as the rest of their conversation.

            The First 48 is a sobering documentary.  It does not strictly deal with young Black men.  Depravity in America is perpetrated by all races and social classes.  However, a disproportionate percentage of these cases involve young Black men brutalizing other Blacks.  America creates cesspools of urban decay and then acts surprised when it feeds upon itself.  As a society, we can continue to blame the victim.   When it all collapses, we'll be the ones asking, "what happened?" 

Random Thoughts

            It is important that the Black community keeps abreast of the prosecution of George Zimmerman, the slayer of the child, Trayvon Martin.  Originally he was released on $150,000 bail.  This bail was revoked when it was revealed that Zimmerman and his wife had lied about their financial status.  Florida judge, Kenneth Lester granted Zimmerman a second bail at one million dollars.  Zimmerman's defense fund had no trouble raising the necessary funds for the bond.  The defense fund asked Americans nationwide to send money to free George Zimmerman.  One appeal asked that those who would have shot the child, Martin, to send money to support Zimmerman.  For far too many Americans, George Zimmerman is considered a hero for the slaying of a Black.  It does not seem to matter that the Black was an unarmed child.


Just Asking.....
How can inner city youth exercise personal responsibility without the proper tools ? 

  A Black Perspective  

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