PAUL MIRENGOFF: Our Under-Incarceration Problem, Charlotte Edition:
Nearly lost in the controversy over the events leading to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a black police officer in Charlotte is the killing of another black man during the ensuing protests. The victim was Justin Carr. Mr. Carr had wanted to tell his grandmother, who marched with Martin Luther King, that he took part in the protest.
Who shot Carr? Relying on video evidence, the police have arrested Rayquan Borum,
Who is Rayquan Borum? According to the Charlotte Observer, he’s a 21 year-old Charlotte resident with a criminal past. . . .
Finally, why did Borum shoot Carr? We don’t know. However, there is speculation that the intended target (or targets) was a rival gang member in the crowd of protesters.
As I argued here, the Charlotte protests/riots provide a revealing glimpse into the challenges of patrolling crime-ridden neighborhoods. Officers who patrol them must deal regularly with the people who, among other acts of vicious lawlessness, hurled stones at cars driving along the interstate; tried to throw a reporter into a fire they had set; and assaulted en masse a bystander in a parking garage.
They must also deal with the likes of Rayquan Borum and the gang members whom, if the speculation is correct, he wanted to kill.
I think we have both an under- and an over-incarceration problem. We’re imprisoning too many people for the wrong things, and not locking really dangerous people up enough.