Cry, baby, cry

This is 21-year-old Kevin Shdeed as he learned that he will serve three months of a one-year jail sentence with the balance suspended.  Shdeed was convicted for an attack on a black teenager, in which he and at least six others assaulted a black teenager with fists, feet, sticks, knives and beer bottles.  (Witness reports state there were probably 10 to 12 individuals involved.)  They continued to attack him even after he became unconscious.

The recent news reports on the sentencing are light on the details of the assault.  This is from a 2010 article:

Berchtold was one of several people who yelled racial slurs at Robinson and punched him as he tried to flee, prosecutors said. Anderson and Rains then got involved, beating Robinson as he fell to the ground and got in a fetal position. The group proceeded to break a bottle over Robinson’s head, beat him with a stick, stomp on his face, and stab him four times until he lay still.

Witnesses told police that Anderson at one point yelled: “(Expletive), why’d you come to Marshfield! Who do you think you are?”

Shdeed got off easy, in my opinion. In fact, the longest sentence was only two to three years. The assistant district attorney had recommended an eight- to ten-year sentence for at least two of the individuals involved.

I commented to a white friend that although I thought the sentencing was entirely too lenient, having a picture of yourself crying posted on the internet for all eternity seemed like a tiny piece of justice. Said friend found me insensitive and remarked how the situation was sad for everybody involved. I responded that it was worse for the victim than for the assailant.

Indeed, very little has been written about Tizaya Robinson. The specifics of the attack are not listed in recent news stories, but police reports indicate that a pool of blood and a bloody stick (18 inches long, 3 inches thick) were found at the scene.  A witness reported that one of the attackers was using a stick “like a harpoon.”  One of the defendants additionally used racist slurs “at least 25 times” in speaking with police afterwards.

I have written numerous times about the cost of racism and about how white people develop impaired abilities to feel empathy.    And about how repeated racism has an effect on me that colors my interactions.  But am I lacking in empathy as well?

Yes, it is sad that Shdeed grew up in a racist society and felt it was okay to act on his racist thoughts.  But where’s all the talk about personal responsibility?  I don’t know what those three months will mean to him.  But he chose his actions.

Tizaya Robinson was born black.

Edited to add:  Comments wishing violence upon Shdeed will not be tolerated.

Additionally, at least two of the individuals charged in this attack have prior records.  One was in violation of probation at the time of arrest.

39 thoughts on “Cry, baby, cry

  1. It’s terrible, and I have no pity for the man in that photo. But it strikes me as sexist for us to feel joy at having this photo. I do not believe one would feel the same way about a photo of a woman crying…

  2. Three months? That’s not a sentence. That’s a minor inconvenience. And a miscarriage of justice.

    Some news outlets label this picture as being “Christopher Bratlie, 21” and noting Shdeed’s age as 25, but I’ve also seen two different spellings of “Bratlie,” so I’m at a bit of a loss at the moment for which source has the most accurate information.

  3. This image reminds me of “white woman’s tears”, where he is making himself out to be the victim. He wants sympathy. He looks so anguished, like he is a poor innocent going to jail for something he probably thinks shouldn’t be a crime. Sick. And yeah, that sentence is way too short, besides.

  4. JoeyStern: Are you fucking kidding me? The term “White Women’s Tears” exists for a goddamn reason. Intersectionality fail.

    This picture invokes in me feelings of annoyance. Where is my usual compassion? Dead of racism.

  5. I’m sure he is psychologically devastated to be held accountable (if you can even call it that. . .) for his heinous actions. I dont know what circumstances led him to be involved in a brutal act of aggression, and I guess there might be factors involved that would make him deserving of pity too. But for now, I’m going to save my empathy for his victim.

  6. Jesus admonished us to show compassion and love our enemies; I try to be faithful to those teachings, but the idea that this man is shedding tears over receiving justice for his crimes — as pathetic as the sentence might be — is making it very hard for me to muster up any compassion. Those who hate for any reason deserve derision more than compassion. Still, I would hope he learns a lesson from this, though my head tells me he won’t.

  7. STalked this kid on fb. One person commented “Couldn’t they just ask all his black friends to come in and say he is not a bigot?”

  8. I don’t see how his sentence is harsh, Not sure why he’s crying like he’s a 8 year old girl. I don’t care if he was drunk, minimally involved, or it was peer pressure, whatever, what was his reason for doing some sick stuff like that to a kid based on some stupid superficial b.s. I could understand if it were a guy that beat on his sister or even if it were some dude that cut him in line, more than i can beating on someone for ‘territorial racist’ motives. This isn’t the age of pre-history, anyone with an average IQ should be held culpable for treating everyone with equality regardless of superficial physical traits. Moreover he got a year and some change, he obviously isn’t crying because he feels remorse or like the big loser he is,
    hopefully they put him in general population and mete out some prison justice.

  9. I’d say there is some justice in this picture being splashed all over the internet — but I’d prefer it if he had a longer sentence too.

  10. Its a shame that if 10 black guys beat up a white teenagers like that, they would all get more than three months. This countries turning into a joke and all people are doing is laughing

  11. One year is pretty paltry for the crime. Even if he was minimally involved, he was still involved. They could have beat Tizaya Robinson to death and it seems they tried; that is attempted murder if you ask me but hey, I wasn’t asked. I feel no sorrow for this perpetrator who is in my eyes getting a slap on the wrist for a brutal crime.

  12. I don’t feel the Least bit sorry for this jackass, Kevin Shdeed – he should’ve gotten a much harder sentence for what he did and you can dam well bet if the tables had been turned and a group of black kids did that to a white kid they’d be lookin at Serious Time! Makes me sick! His “deeds” got him just what he so minimally deserved!

  13. Quitchyer blood clot cryin…. (male or female) ….black people get 3 mos just for being black (its an automatic minimum)…. he and his cronies attempted to MURDER someone…. a jury of his peers likely helped to set his sentence….

  14. I have been trying to find words to comment. Can’t find any that could express my horror at what these people did to another human being. I would sure like to know how the victim is doing, from the sounds of things he probably won’t even be recovered physically in 3 months. Never mind psychologically, that may never heal. 3 months in return for a life sentence. That is even more tragic.

  15. I’m sorry, but your friend who found you to be “insensitive” sounds like a bit of a dink.

    That young man should be downright relieved he only has to serve 3-months of a much longer (though not long enough, in my opinion) sentence. Beating the cr@p out of someone because of a personal bigotry goes beyond youthful indiscretion or stupidity, it’s sociopathy.

  16. He wouldn’t be crying if he got away scott free. He’d probably be laughing his ass off while Robinson dealt with his injuries, both physical, psychological, and emotional. And that’s why I don’t feel bad. Is he even thinking about WHY he’s going to jail or is he just thinking about GOING to jail.

  17. Crimes of violence are the ONLY reasons prisons should exist, imo. I agree the sentences were too light. I consider crying to be a healthy thing. In this case, I hope it’s the beginning of remorse. And what I want to know most of all: how is the victim doing? Is there anything I can do to aid him? He deserved better.

  18. Three months for hurting someone for being born non-white? That is such an insult! It should have been a minimum of three years. However, perhaps “justice” will find him in three months while he serves his time. He is a disgusting coward and it shows clearly on his photo! Crying for a 3 months sentence? He should be rejoicing for the slap on the wrist. The judge must have been having a good day that day to give such an unfair sentence.

  19. I, for one would be interested in seeing more of his reaction. This is but one moment in time, and does not show me the full breadth of his reaction. Are these tears of joy at getting a light sentence, tears of remorse, or tears for being caught and held accountable at all for his actions? And I am sorry, I know I only recently began readng your blog but I do not belive we live in a “racist” society. Is there racism IN our society? Sadly, yes there is. But not everyone is racist, and I do not like being lumped into one whole along with everyone else out there, racist or not. Personally I could care less what the victim or attackers looked like. They could be green with purple polka dots, and I would still abhor the situation. Violene against another is wrong, period. I do hope the victim in this case decides to pursue a civil case against each and every one of these assailants now that they have been found guilty on criminal charges. I hope they end up penniless and miserable due to their actions.

  20. Twenty-one year olds do stupid things, but by the time they are that age, they need to know that you don’t just go around hurting people, regardless of whatever ignorant views you may hold about them. And that being the case, I find it impossible to sympathize with him. Furthermore, putting aside the racial nature of this crime, if a dozen people assault one man, those people are cowards. From that perspective, I find Shdeed’s reaction entirely in keeping with his character.

  21. I don’t see the offence in mocking him–he got off pretty much scott-free, but is crying like an over entitled sucky baby because of the minor sentence he recieved. I like to think all the decent people in his community who think he is a dick are having a good laugh at this photo as we speak.

    he is not evil–merely stupid, and willing to follow the mob wherever it lead him. He deserves worse just for being stupid.

  22. Man-I’ll tellya justice. i was abot five years old and we lived in a really rough Toronto neighbourhood. For no reason at all except that he was a racist fool this one armed white guy with a switchblade attacks a black guy. The cops show up and grab the white guy and hold him on the back of the car. I couldn’t hear what the cop said, but the black guy hollered, “OK Boss, You holds ‘im and I hits ‘im.’ They let him pound on the punk for about fifteen minutes while everyone cheers and he gets tired and quits. They haul the white guy off to jail. I hear he fell against the radiator in the pokice station and hurt himself. Yay justice.

  23. This is facebook:

    If you read the comments from his last posts, he apparently doesn’t consider himself guilty of anything. His mother first says that ” He was picked out by a witness by his shirt. Wrong person. ” then ” He sould of left when he was going to. Now he knows” and finally “He will only be i jaiil for a month.”

    Doesn’t sound like someone who feels guilty or regrets anything.

  24. “the situation was sad for everybody involved” WHAT?! How is the situation “sad” for the perpetrators? Is it that everyone now knows they’re violent racist bullies? The situation is beyond sad for the victim. Even after his physical wounds heel–if they even can, he’s probably going to have PTSD as a result of this savage attack.

  25. “Joey Stern | December 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    It’s terrible, and I have no pity for the man in that photo. But it strikes me as sexist for us to feel joy at having this photo. I do not believe one would feel the same way about a photo of a woman crying…”

    Mr. Stern, at least for me (and I expect many, if not most, others as well), your comment is untrue. I believe most of us would share equivalent joy if the photo were a female were crying this much and this hard because they got off on an easy sentence despite the blatant hate crime. With either sex, I believe I would feel equally disgusted that the penalty for this crime is only 3 months and it would be just as funny a picture.

  26. @Mr.Stern, it seems to reflect a distorted sexist consciousness if you really believe that people would feel sorry for a racist, violent woman if she cried. I second shinobizumi, as a female I would LMAO (as I’ve done for this photo) if I saw a woman crying like this who had done what he’d done & was getting sent to jail. AND I’d also still be angry she wasn’t sent to prison longer!!

  27. Heike, I think the situation is sad for everybody involved. I acknowledged that it is sad that people grow up with such a fucked-up worldview. But they had a choice.

    I also worry about the victim. Having been physically assaulted, I know the after effects can be long-lasting.

  28. Well considering that black folks are imprisoned at a much higher rate than whites, this guy knows he’s gonna be outnumbered where he’s going.. I’m sure he’s fearful of that, hence the tears. He didn’t get what he deserved in terms of time, but I’m sure his fellow inmates will make it a very long three months.

  29. [This person claims to be Kevin Shdeed.] Guess what i grew up in Holbrook Ma asshole you obviously don’t know where i fuckin grew up. my best friend was black so fuck off. Funny how people who are actually racist judge.

  30. It’s sad because you all that are racist judge people who are not at all but believe all media. That shows u neva chill wit anyone but white people. sad really

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