Chris Lane murder: Tweets offer evidence of racist motive

Will the same people who judged Zimmerman a racist without evidence pay attention to a different case which actually has evidence?
Photo: Memorial set up for Chris Lane/AP

SAN DIEGO, August 23, 2013 — James Francis Edwards, one of the teens charged with shooting and killing Australian college student Chris Lane, wrote some very interesting words in his Twitter account.

News commentaries have focused on an early report that Lane was shot while jogging merely because Edwards and his two friends were bored.


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But according to The Daily Caller, there is reason to believe that something else was also going on. Fifteen tweets were uncovered from Edwards’ account. These tweets challenge early suggestions that race was not a factor in the killing.

Edwards wrote in one, “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.”

In another he wrote, “Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:)”

Edwards and his friend Chancey Allen Luna were arrested for first-degree murder. They were charged as adults even though they are 15 and 16 respectively.


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Both are being held without bond.

Bond was set at $1 million for 17-year-old Michael Jones, who allegedly drove his friends to and from the scene of the crime and is being charged as an accessory to murder.

According to prosecutor Jason Hicks, Luna was sitting in the back seat of a car when he shot Lane once in the back with a .22 caliber revolver.

Edwards was in the passenger seat. Police view his involvement as greater than Jones’, which is why he is charged with first-degree murder along with Luna.


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According to authorities, this was not Edwards’ first run-in with the law. He went to court on Friday, the day of the killing, to sign documents regarding his juvenile probation.

Police Chief Dan Ford informed several media outlets that Lane was apparently chosen at random. One suspect had told the police officers that he and his friends followed and shot Lane just for “the fun of it.”

We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody,” the suspect said.

Since that time, the media have been taking this bizarre explanation at face value, bringing on a legion of psychologists to explain how three young teens could be so insensitive and apathetic.

Because of this “boredom” theory, most commentators immediately assumed that race was not a factor in the shooting, even though the victim was white and the two charged killers are black. Additional reasons for doubting a racial component are that their friend and accomplice, Michael Jones, is also white and Luna has a white mother.

Juan Williams of Fox News said, There are two problems with that theory.

“First, the boys who committed this atrocity are black, white and biracial.

“Second, there is no evidence that racism motivated their mindless assault. Apparently these were three bored teenagers with a gun. They wanted to prove their manhood, be initiated into a gang or just stir up life by proving how tough and crazy they can be.

“That is the real tragedy here.” 

Williams wrote those words yesterday, presumably before hearing about the tweets. He said in the same piece, “But that is not enough for some people who are intent on playing racial politics with the story.”

It is good to speak against playing racial politics. Apparently Williams did not feel he was doing that himself during the Zimmerman trial.

While admitting the bias of the mainstream media, Williams still suggested that Zimmerman was profiling Martin. And then it turns out he might have been in fact, a neighborhood watch guy, who was very concerned and profiling. That’s possible.” 

Motive may be irrelevant when it comes to cold blooded murder. Murder is murder and should be met with the same penalty whatever the reason, whether it is hate, racism or boredom.

However, because many outspoken leaders take special interest in hate crime, some consistency is in order. Hence Edwards’ tweets should not be ignored.

This time, nobody has to pretend to read minds. One of the assailants has been crystal clear about his hate for white people. This may not prove a motive; indeed, these teens may very well have committed a heinous act out of simple boredom, just as they claimed.

But there is at least evidence of a racist motive.

Ironically, Prosecutor Jason Hicks disagrees. According to the Oklahoman, Hicks does not view the tweets as evidence of racial motive.

At this time we don’t have any evidence … to suggest that Lane was killed because of his nationality or because of his race. There’s just not anything in there that they targeted him because of one of those two factors.”

That’s an astonishing statement from a prosecutor who has actual words from the suspect at his disposal. Could this be a cautious bow to political correctness in the birth pangs of a high profile case?

Certainly those tweets provide more evidence than we had in the Zimmerman-Martin situation. The facts suggesting a racist motive for George Zimmerman were nonexistent and may never have entered our national conversation had NBC news not edited a 911 tape.

Despite NBC’s apology, the issue of race remained planted in people’s minds and was fanned by the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, and even President Obama.

Obama said, If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

Jackson said Martin’s death shows that “blacks are under attack.” He also said Martin was murdered and martyred.”

Sharpton called Zimmerman a profiler and said regarding the verdict, I think that this is an atrocity. I think that it is–it is probably one of the worst situations that I have seen.”

Powerful words from three powerful men without a shred of powerful evidence. But their outrage toward race-related crime is not as obvious this time around.

Jesse Jackson did tweet, Praying for the family of Chris Lane. This senseless violence is frowned upon and the justice system must prevail.”

Frowned upon? Murder is frowned upon? Jackson has a gift for understatement. Who says he can’t control his rhetoric? 

At least Jackson made some comment. In the wake of updated news regarding Edwards’ tweets, will he now offer more?

Jackson may think it too obvious to point out that racism can come from any person of any color, but it would still be refreshing to hear those words from our self-appointed civil rights figureheads.

Even if the murder took place for a different reason, Edwards’ tweets still exist and there is plenty Jackson can say about them.

Jackson, like Obama, is only an example of a problem pervasive in America today. The unwillingness to call out racism in all of its forms is dishonest at the very least, and evil at the very most.

America talks about the need to end racism louder than any country in history. Not all of the talk is helpful. Some of it makes too much noise.

We have made great strides with the help of courageous people like Martin Luther King. But King dreamed of a colorblind society, not a society where it would be taught or subtly implied that only one color of skin houses a racist soul.

King would have been grieved to see such a poisonous myth perpetuated by those who claim to follow in his footsteps. He would have condemned racist tweets even if they were written by somebody who was not white.

At least former Congressman Allen West, himself an African American, calls out the lack of attention to Lane’s murder by those who spoke plentifully about Trayvon Martin. West specifically referred tothe Hollywood elites, the liberal media and certain people in the civil right industry that are cherry picking these issues for their own political purposes and gains.”

Perhaps there’s some hope after all. Perhaps the true followers of King will help save our country.

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.

Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and columnist. Information about his radio show can be found at bobsiegel.net.


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Bob Siegel

A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations.

In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Park radio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah.

Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Newsroom and San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach.  Bob has also published two books;  A Call To Radical Discipleship, and I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...

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