Federal Prosecutor Says the Presence of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Money Must Mean There’s a Drug Deal, Then Claims He “wasn’t trying to…

3d90white house photostream 600x400 Federal Prosecutor Says the Presence of African Americans, Hispanics, and Money Must Mean Theres a Drug Deal, Then Claims He wasnt trying to...

How do you know if there’s a drug deal going on
around you? During court questioning of man charged with
participating in a drug conspiracy, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam L.
Ponder, a federal prosecutor from Texas, strongly suggested that
the presence of African Americans, Hispanics, and a large amount of
money ought to provide a pretty strong signal.
“You’ve got African Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got
a bag full of money. Does that tell you — a light bulb doesn’t go
off in your head and say, ‘This is a drug deal?’ ” ;he
asked Bongani Charles Calhoun, who is African American, during
cross examination. As Reason 24/7
noted yesterday, Calhoun had told authorities that he simply
went on a road trip with friends and did not know they intended to
purchase cocaine. ;
Calhoun’s lawyer didn’t object to Ponder’s remark, and Calhoun
was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison. Yesterday, the
Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal. But Justice Sonia
Sotomayor took the opportunity to issue her own stern objection to
the prosecutor’s remark. Without naming Ponder directly, Sotomayor
released
a statement accusing Calhoun’s prosecution of having “tapped a
deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the
history of criminal justice in our Nation” and declared that the
High Court’s decision not to hear the case should not “be
understood to signal our tolerance of a ;federal prosecutor’s
racially charged remark.” ;
Despite having explicitly connected the presence of African
Americans and Hispanics to drug activity, Ponder
tells The Washington Post that he “wasn’t trying to
interject race” into the case. ;

Credit: 

Federal Prosecutor Says the Presence of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Money Must Mean There’s a Drug Deal, Then Claims He “wasn’t trying to…


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