An arrest in Texas of a 19-year-old white female for drug possession and manufacture has touched off a national story. The first news reports initiated a slightly viral distribution of the girl’s mugshot nationwide. It shows a teenage girl broadly smiling in a portrayal of self-confidence and even happiness that would be more akin to that of a Miss Teen America winner than a woman posing to face serious felony drug charges.
The initial reports struck on the woman’s adorable and attractive features, enhanced by her seemingly carefree smile in the mugshot taken just minutes after her arrest. That unusual image and its story line took a turn in another direction when reports indicated that her father was a well-known Drug Enforcement Administration manager of the local office of that federal agency. In more sober reflection later in the week, the news reports were more somber, comparing the girl’s relaxed reaction to the likely anguished reaction of a black person that age in that situation.
The story morphed into a discussion of the distinction between how whites and African Americans are treated under similar circumstances. It’s now known that blacks are arrested and prosecuted for drug crimes in far more substantial numbers than whites. Although the girl faces over a hundred years of incarceration, her happy-go-lucky mugshot signifies that she expects no incarceration when all is said and done. In fact, she posted bail and walked out free shortly after posing for her picture. Another statistic indicates that blacks are hit with much higher bail than whites.
It is known in Texas and elsewhere that blacks are arrested for drug charges far in excess of the 13 percent of the population that they represent. Even though blacks are arrested and prosecuted far more often than whites for drug possession and sales, they are not more likely than whites to use or sell drugs. Nevertheless, blacks are more likely to be prosecuted for mandatory minimum sentences than whites. Additionally, some 57 percent of state prison residents and 77 percent of federal inmates are minorities.
Source: thedailybeast.com, “When White Girls Deal Drugs, They Walk“, Abby Haglage, Dec. 1, 2015