If Black lives matter, why do Black men keep shooting Black men?
Those are the sentiments Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin expressed when sentencing Tareek Arnold, a young Black man. Arnold was charged with attempted murder after shooting another Black man, Jamal McCaskill, four times at close range last summer.
“Black lives matter,” McLaughlin told the 24-year-old alleged gang member in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday.
“I have heard it, I know it, but the sad fact is, in this courtroom, so often what happens is manifestations of the fact that Black lives don’t matter to Black people with guns,” the judge continued.
McCaskill, who survived the shooting, was also in court Tuesday defending the man who nearly ended his life. The 39-year-old testified that Arnold wasn’t the culprit who shot him in Harlem, although there’s surveillance video proving he was the gunman.
“The video shows that Mr. McCaskill is an abject liar,” Justice McLaughlin said in court.
Arnold, who has prior gun charges, was also convicted of gun possession, assault and escape after he shoved an officer and was able to get away while being transferred from the 32nd Precinct station to Manhattan Central Booking on June 23.
He fled on foot with his hands cuffed behind his back and was on the run for almost a month before authorities tracked him down at a friend’s apartment four blocks from the station.
When Arnold’s lawyer, Mark Jankowitz, requested the minimum sentence of 10 years because the accused has a one-year-old son, McLaughlin wasn’t the least bit sympathetic.
“Do not ask a judge in this room, in this building, or in this system to somehow make amends for the people who commit violent acts and who, by their violent acts, wind up leaving people orphaned, abandoned, fatherless, etc.,” McLaughlin stated.
Arnold was found guilty and sentenced to 24 to 26 years in prison.
(Photo: 145/Tom Grill/Ocean/Corbis)