JUNE 12, 2008
Volume 2 - No.2
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
DFW: The Scarecrow Tragedy
There are some real questions being ignored about the six men and a woman accused of a string of North Texas bank robberies.
While some media groups have chosen to pull out life histories on each of the accused and try them in the court of public opinion, LSPP chooses to examine the real problem at the heart of the issue.
A stale economy and its failure to produce decent paying jobs and wages for African-Americans.
Making matters worse is an ever increasing unemployment rate that totally ignores opportunities for felons and those with criminal records and troubled pasts.
The failure of corporate America to provide viable alternatives and opportunities for employment and education often create environments for "scarecrow" tragedies to unfold.
It is easy to paint suspects, Corey Deyon Duffey, age 27; Tony R. Hewitt, 42; Jarvis Dupree Ross, 29; Darobie Kentay Stenline, 30; Charles Runnels, 42; Antonyo Reece, 31; and Yolanda McDow, 41 as monsters and menaces to society.They now face charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in commission of crimes.
The indictment alleges that on or about June 2, the defendants conspired to commit the robbery of a Regions Bank in Garland. The indictment also alleges that the group's conspiracy included using firearms to intimidate bank employees and customers into giving them cash, the roles each of them would play in the heist and the means of avoiding capture. Charges also allege that the group planned to car pool to the Regions Bank in a stolen vehicle.
The conspiracy accusation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the firearm charge carries a maximum life sentence without parole and a $250,000 crime.
However, do you know the facts and situations in their lives that could have led them to make some bad decisions?
If you have children, bills, rent, food and other financial pressures and cannot find work because of a checkered past, what would you do if your back was pressed against the wall?
No one mentioned that in each alleged robbery, no one was killed even though weapons were present. No one was taken hostage or kidnapped and in no instance were police shot at.
This does not sound like the "blood thirsty" types of the wild west or roaring 1920's.
It appears that it was about survival. Survival in a society that continues to fail to give felons and past offenders a second lease on life.
A number of programs claim to help the former offenders, but not many come through in time to prevent the temptation of returning to a life of crime.
When will corporate America get it and relax its prejudices against former offenders.
None of these men and women should have to take a truck driver hostage and drive down the freeway or don floppy hats and loose-fitting shirts to make a point about needing gainful employment or money for survival.
The scarecrow tragedy is just one more situation that points to American society's failure to truly give African-Americans a fair shake and equal opportunity in this country.