August 22, 2013
NO ONE HAS TO WONDER IF A WHITE VICTIM WILL GET JUSTICE:Australian's slaying stirs speculation in Oklahoma (Hailey Branson-Potts and Matt Pearce, August 21, 2013, LA Times)
Authorities have not tied race to the killing of Christopher Lane, a strapping young athlete from Melbourne attending East Central University in Ada, Okla., about 80 miles away. Lane was out for a jog Friday when he was shot once in the back by a gunman in a passing car.Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2013 12:21 PM
Authorities say one of the boys said they targeted Lane, who is white, because they were bored and had nothing to do.
Edwards and Chancey Allen Luna, 16, who is also black, were charged with first-degree murder. At the police station, Edwards danced while they were booking him, said Duncan Police Chief Daniel P. Ford. "He thought it was cool," Ford said.
Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, who is white, was charged with lesser counts -- accessory to the murder and use of a vehicle in discharge of weapon. According to court documents, Jones was the driver and told police he knew who shot Lane but was worried he'd "get killed" if he snitched.
With what appears to have been a single pull of the trigger, the southern Oklahoma town of Duncan has been heaved into a cultural and political vortex, one that has Australians making threats about boycotting U.S. tourism while residents loudly defend their gun rights and quietly talk about race and the changing way of life in their state.
Duncan is a town that has seen the ups and downs of oil booms, as well as the prolonged invasion of drug use that has crept through the rest of middle America. "This town is a town where it's drugs or Jesus," said Cole Hamer, 20. "You either got the drugs, or you got the churchgoers, and that's what it is."