Stereotypes Story Putnam County Fla -- Three Research Paper

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Stereotypes

STORY

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Three days after a woman was shot and killed by an armed robber, deputies released a composite sketch of a possible suspect.

On Friday afternoon, Summer Smith was shot and killed during a robbery.

"She's gone now from us," said Smith's fiance, Clint Horvatt, who was in the car with the victim when she was shot.

Standing in front of the sheriff's office, Horvatt held a flier with his fiancee's photo, and told Channel 4 he didn't know what else to do help catch the man who killed the he was going to marry.

He said he and Smith were en route to Gainesville to do some Christmas shopping but they stopped near Swan Lake Camp on state Road 26 just north of Melrose. Horvatt said Smith recognized what she thought was a friend's pickup truck and they pulled over to help.

"I trusted her and that everything was going to be OK -- maybe he ran out of gas or something like that," Horvatt said.

However, he said the man in the pickup truck pulled out a gun and robbed them.

"I pulled out my wallet and handed it to him. She resisted him, and she put her hand on his arm, and then he pulled the gun with his right hand and shot her," Horvatt said.

An artist rendering of the man believed to have shot Summer Smith in Putnam County on Friday afternoon.

Detectives said Smith was shot once in the head. Horvatt was not hurt.

"The only thing I knew to do was tell her that I love her, of course, and talk to the 911 operator and try to get her some help," Horvatt said.

On Monday, investigators released a composite sketch of a possible suspect. They have also put up signs around town in hopes someone will help catch the gunman.

"I'm Summer's voice. I'm the only one that can speak out and bring justice to this, and that's exactly what I'm doing because this is my responsibility," Horvatt said.

The gunman was described as a BLACK MALE in his late 20s, 6 feet tall and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. He was driving a late '80s or early '90s dark red Ford Ranger that has a bent rear bumper.

Anyone with information that could help police is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at [HIDDEN] or WeStopCrime.com. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000 (News4JAX.com 2008).

STORY 2

No knives and no guns were used. Just fists, feet and 2-by-4s. Thursday's fight turned deadly. Three students were badly beaten, one of whom died. Derrion Albert, 16, was struck in the head by one of those boards.

This is the hard lesson some students at Fenger High School have to deal with after a day of learning. For them it's a hard lesson of reality on the streets.

Thursday (Sept. 24, 2009) after school, two rival gangs got into a fight three blocks from the high school.

In all, four students were beaten in that melee -- one was released from the hospital Friday morning.

While police continue their investigation, some students say they don't want to go back to Fenger next week.

Rival gang members have been fighting for a month -- and each time one of their fellow classmates is injured.

Seconds after being struck in the head with a board Thursday, honor student Albert hit the pavement. That's when witnesses, who are other high school students, say gangbangers began stomping on and punching Albert.

Derrion Albert's mom said witnesses told her he was "trying to help another student and kind of got mixed in with the crowd of the fight and he was hit."

A senior who witnessed the whole thing says the melee lasted less than five minutes.

The video shows students and workers from a nearby community center rescue the boy -- but many out there knew it was too late.

Surveillance videos are mounted on businesses in the Roseland area, but Chicago Police say those don't show faces.

Police have a copy of this footage and it may help identify Albert's killers.

But while that investigation goes on, students say they will remember Derrion Albert as a good kid. A quiet, smart kid with no gang affiliation. But just a kid who may not have had enough street smarts to go another way.

If you can identify any of the people allegedly involved in the death of Derrion Albert, please call Area Two of the Chicago Police Dept. That number is [HIDDEN] .

STORY 3

Update at 7:10 P.M. ET: Former BART officer Johannes Mehserle has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Oscar Grant.

The verdict was announced moments ago in a Los Angeles court, where the trial was moved from Oakland.

Update at 7:21 P.M. ET: Mehserle faces a possible sentence of two to four years in prison. Sentencing is set for Aug. 6.

The Alameda County district attorney argued that Mehserle, 28, became angry after Grant, 22, resisted arrest and that he intended to shoot him with his gun, not his Taser as Mehserle testified. Grant, who was black, was unarmed and face down on a train platform in Oakland when Mehserle, who is white, shot him once in the back. Several passengers captured the shooting on cellphone cameras.

The eight-woman, four-man jury consisted of seven whites, three Latinos, one Asian-Pacific islander and one person who declined to state a race.

Here's what the Los Angeles Times is writing.

Update at 7:33 P.M. ET: In Oakland, "lots of anger, tears and sadness," a KQED-FM reporter says from outside City Hall, where a large crowd has gathered. One woman broke into tears when the verdict was announced, saying, "There is no justice."

Community activists were working to maintain the peace, the reporter said.

CBS5 has live coverage.

Update at 8 p.m. ET: Grant's family is "extremely disappointed" by the verdict, says their lawyer, John Burris, adding that it is "not a true representation of what happened." (USA Today 2010).

NOTE: In all three of these news stories, the names and races of victims and criminals (in italics) can be changed to white, black or Hispanic depending on the need.

All three of the news stories above are true, and the feature real-life urban situations in which racial stereotypes are obvious. In the first one, a white man killed a white woman, and then tried to black the crime on a black perpetrator. In the second, a black teenager was beaten to death by a group of black students at an inner-city high school, while in the third a white police officer killed a black train passenger and was then given a relatively lenient sentence. Events like these happen all the time in the United States, and it would be interesting to find out how readers might react if the names and racial identities of the persons involved were changed. How would white readers react if the victims (or perpetrators) were identified as white, black or Hispanic? Would to memories and reactions of black and Hispanic readers be different?

Most previous studies indicate that stereotypes are deeply engrained and often operate on an unconscious level. Whites are often inclined to regard black and Hispanic males as lazy, violent, criminal and aggressive. Racial stereotypes "involve attributing a fixed and usually inaccurate or unfavorable conception of a racial or ethnic group." Although categorization and generalization are a normal function of the human mind and a way of making sense of patterns in the world, when applied to all members of racial and ethnic groups they are "apt to have some characteristics that run counter to some of the stereotypes." For example, one common stereotype holds that Native Americans "become easily intoxicated and irrational when using alcohol" (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman 2010, p. 220). In U.S. history, no other group has had more negative stereotypes applied to it except blacks, and even seemingly positive ones such as they "have a natural ability to play basketball and certain other sports" also opens the door to negative stereotypes such as the view that they are lazy, immoral and unintelligent (Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman, p. 221).

Stereotypes are inevitably used to discriminate against minority groups, and are learned in childhood. In the days of slavery and segregation, the were openly expressed and went mostly unquestioned, although today "overtly racist behavior is no longer socially or politically sanctioned" (Mindiola et al., 2002, p. 20). Even so, one common stereotype about Hispanics "is that they are uneducated" and employed in menial occupations such as migrant workers (Mindiola et al., p. 19). Black women are often stereotypes as 'welfare queens', young black and Hispanic males as criminals, gang members and drug dealers, who lack the intelligence and ability to hold down "regular jobs" (Mindiola et al., p. 23). Indeed, the education system often tracks young blacks and Hispanics into vocational programs because they…[continue]

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