Download High-Profile Crimes: When Legal Cases Become Social Causes by Lynn S. Chancer PDF

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By Lynn S. Chancer

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Extra info for High-Profile Crimes: When Legal Cases Become Social Causes

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Here, it was contended that King, Louima, and Diallo were attacked not as individuals but because they were members of minority groups; the crime would not have occurred, asserted the prosecution’s side, if not for the police officers’ racist views. Even more familiar may be the “victim blaming” in gender-based incidents. Rape cases have long been notorious for subjecting women to questions about their past sexual histories, whether or not relevant to the case at hand. Although many feminists had already started to protest this practice, defense attorneys and parties sympathetic to defendants in highly profiled rape cases during the late 1980s and early 1990s managed sometimes to insinuate that the women had “provoked” their own victimization.

For example, common to the “Rodney King,” the “Louima,” and the “Diallo” cases, symbolizing police brutality in Los Angeles and New York City, was that some parties on the “side” of the police officers questioned whether apparent victims might have brought about their own victimization. Perhaps it wasn’t the officers’ fault but Rodney King himself who menaced the police and brought about his brutal beating, captured on videotape? Perhaps years later it was Abner Louima who picked a fight with officer Justin Volpe one evening, resulting in his serious abuse in a WHEN CASES BECOME CAUSES 15 Brooklyn police station?

Linda Fairstein suggested much the same, adding that images of “wilding” had piqued journalists’ interest: LF : Murray Kempton, the great columnist, was the first to say, never attack anybody in a landmark location. That’s one element of it. The fact that it occurred in Central Park, like the Chambers case before it, is one feature that attracted attention. . There had been many gang attacks and pack attacks, but it was the first time that the phenomenon of wilding was reported in a criminal case, that a group of young men, in this case thirty-nine by their own count banded together and considered it sport to go into the park to assault people.

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