A 23-year-old black Ohio man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after exchanging gunfire with Canton police in January. This week, a judge sentenced Kelontre Barefield to be incarcerated for 11 years on multiple burglary charges and 34 years for the death of Jethro, a three-year-old German Shepherd who served as a member of the department’s K-9 unit. Both sentences are to be served consecutively.
Barefield, who was shot in the ankle by the police, was found guilty of the charges leveled against him; for killing Jethro, the 3-year-old German shepherd dog, and other unrelated robbery charges. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment on burglary charges and 34 years for the death of the dog who happened to be a K-9 unit member.
Furthermore, Jethro’s death rather necessitated an introduction of a bill which further intensified the punishment given to people who kill police dogs. On the other hand, the police are also noted for killing other people’s dogs especially during home raids but that goes unpunished as usual.
The system of justice in America never ceases to amaze me. The swift manner in which the Black man was prosecuted for killing a police dog is overwhelming. Meanwhile, police kill Black people frequently and yet they walk away free. If they could sentence a man to 34 years imprisonment for killing a dog, how long should an officer spend behind bars for killing an innocent Black man? This is a clear case of double standards. Does the American justice system now rate the life of a dog more precious than that of a Black person?