An 18-year-old boy was convicted for committing a murder he did not do. The teenager allegedly killed his friend but points to an officer instead.
Lakeith Smith, 18 years of age, was charged and sentenced to 65 years in prison for killing his friend, A’Donte Washington in Alabama. Originally, he was given a plea deal of 26 years, but after received 65 years. To make matters worse, the murder was not committed by the teen, but by an Alabama, police officer.
According to different news channels, Smith was one of some teens who attempted a robbery in houses located at Millbrook. The response of the officers was quick, and one of Smiths apprentice fired the first shot, which escalated to a shootout between the robbers and the policemen.
The incident happened in 2015 but sparked fury on the internet today for being posted on the social media platform Twitter. User @okayplayer tweeted the news and quickly got responses from different people talking about injustice.
Twitter user @SwitchedgearZ shared his thoughts through a response saying “He was 15 years old. He shouldn't have been tried as an adult. He was a minor under the "age of majority." He should have been tried in court as a juvenile, but he's black and the cop killed his friend. So someone had to take the fall. And although I agree that if you broke the law, and you were caught attempting to rob a place you should face the repercussions. However, 65 years for a 15yo juvenile is excessive! And the cop that killed the person walks free?! I don't see the "Justice."
Additionally, some people raised the fact that Smith was a black American teen, which is widely known in America to have a harsher and unjust treatment, especially when violating the law. Jeree Thomas, director of Campaign for Youth Justice, spoke out saying,
“This is certainly an uncommon case. The defendant’s accomplice wasn’t even involved in the killing, it was a third-party, but they prosecuted him anyway.”
As was mentioned by Thomas, cases like these are no longer new in the area. There are seminars that teach young black Americas, as young as the age of 4 or 5, to respond in a certain manner when confronted by a police officer, just because of their skin color. Certainly, there is still a form of discrimination circulating in America.