Black victims underrepresented in named violent crime laws

CLEVELAND (AP) — The murders of Reagan Tokes and Alianna (ah-lee-AH’-nuh) DeFreeze had much in common.

Both Ohio residents were abducted, raped and brutally killed in 2017 — Tokes as a 21-year-old college student, DeFreeze as a 14-year-old seventh grader. Both their killers were convicted sex offenders.

Yet only one victim got a law with her name on it — Tokes, who was white.

That racial disparity in so-called namesake laws has played out across America for nearly 30 years.

An Associated Press analysis found that more than eight in 10 stand-alone laws named for victims of violent crime identified since 1990 honored white victims or groups including whites.

That has left blacks victims like DeFreeze underrepresented by such laws.

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