A Black family in the U.K. is calling out the lack of “justice” they received after their 14-year-old was “hunted down” and stabbed to death by a white 15-year-old who was sentenced to just six and half years in prison.
Last month, a 15-year-old was cleared of murder charges but convicted of manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of Dea-John Reid, 14 in May 2021, BBC reports. The teen, whose identity is being protected because of his age, is expected to spend less than three years in custody despite the gruesome details in Reid’s murder.
“If an adult did what you did it would almost certainly be murder and they would be sentenced to life imprisonment,” Birmingham Crown Court, Justice Johnson told the teen.
Surveillance footage captured the moments the teen wore a ski mask and gloves while chasing Reid down with a group of four other white teens. The group donned masks and were armed with a wrench and kitchen knife while “hunting down” Reid in what his mother, Joan Morris, likened to a “lynch mob reminiscent of a scene from Mississippi Burning”.
Now Morris is speaking out after the teen had his murder charge tossed and lessened to manslaughter while the other defendants had their charges dismissed.
“This verdict of manslaughter, whilst the others are all found not guilty, just goes to prove to me that the life of Dea-John Reid, my son, a young black man, didn’t matter,” Morris said.
“I do believe that a system that I decided to trust has completely let me, my family, my community, including the friends of Dea-John, down.”
“I do wonder, if the roles were reversed, what the verdict may well have been?” she added.
Community activist Bishop Desmond Jaddoo released a statement on Morris’ behalf following the verdict, as noted by ITV.
“The life of Dea-John Read, my son, a young black man, did not matter,” she said, adding that the defendant’s family would be able to visit him in prison.
“My only visit to Dea-John is a grave in a cemetery. My only reunion with Dea John will be to join him in his grave.”