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.