What’s Up with New York? Another Black Killed an Unarmed White Kid and Out of Jail After 5 Months

Ever heard of John Harris White? I hadn’t either until recently. White is a black man who ended up killing a white unarmed teenager at the foot of his driveway because he said he feared for his son’s life. He felt the group of white teenagers was nothing more than a lynch mob.

Like many situations of this type, it is difficult to know the truth. One article notes, “It was August 9, 2006, when Mr. White’s world caved in. Five drunken White males, ages 17 to 19, converged on his dream house, aching for a fight with his then 19-year-old son. The pretext for the fight was a nine-month-old e-mail that said Aaron wanted to rape a 15-year-old White girl. The email was false, sent by a White so-called friend of the son Aaron. The son was forced to leave a party that evening after threats from the same young men. He went home. After several threatening calls on his cell phone, Aaron awakened his father.”

Up to this point, White was a good father and husband and attended church every Sunday. After arriving home from the party, White’s son Aaron woke his father up with the words, “These guys are coming to kill me.”

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Mr. White first grabbed a shotgun, then instead took a Beretta handgun and asked his wife to call 911. “With the young drunken White mob at his driveway, Mr. White walked the short distance, believing the gun would scare them off. The mob hurled racial epithets and threats at the family, saying they would “f—k” the mother. Mr. White told them to leave, but the threats increased.”

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There was one kid in the crowd – Daniel Cicciaro, 17 – whom Mr. White attempted to keep an eye on because he appeared to be “creeping towards” him. At one point, Cicciaro allegedly made a grab for the gun and White says the gun accidentally went off. He was shot in the face from a distance of about three inches. Whether he meant for the gun to go off or not, when Cicciaro grabbed for it, either his hand touched the trigger or Mr. White’s finger was already on the trigger. It sounds like White was holding the gun outward, toward the group of youths. It does not sound as though he had the gun by his side, but at the ready.

Mr. White argued later that (though prosecutors said he should have stayed in his home and waited for police to arrive), that he had heard stories from his grandfather about how the KKK had operated in Alabama in the 1940s. They often burned businesses to the ground even with people inside those businesses. This is what prompted him to go outside and deal with the group. Mr. White believed if he did not go out and try to scatter the crowd, something terrible would have happened. As it was, something terrible did happen.

johnharriswhiteWhite was charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter and convicted. He was sentenced to 2 – 4 years in prison. “Two years for an illegal gun charge, and 1 1/3 to 4 years for manslaughter. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Mr. White, who reacted to a mob of Whites that descended on his home and threatened his son Aaron and his wife in August 2006, faced 5 to 15 years with the convictions. He could spend more time in jail for having an illegal gun than for the manslaughter conviction.”

An article pointed to the source of what led to the incident in which Daniel Cicciaro was killed. “The incident that led to the death of young Cicciaro was fueled by a bogus internet message that said Aaron White, who was 19 at the time, wanted to rape a 15-year-old White girl. The quiet, somewhat studious looking young man, attended a party on the night of Aug. 9, 2006, when Daniel Cicciaro and some friends demanded that Aaron leave the party. He did. According to reports, the young lady was also at the party. During the three-week racially charged trial, it was learned that Aaron never sent the e-mail.”

There were complaints from some in the local Islamic community that the case never should have gone to trial at all. These same individuals also pointed out that the Cicciaro’s family, also shared some of the responsibility.

After five months, Former Governor David Paterson of New York commuted White’s sentence and released him from prison after five months. Al Sharpton noted upon White’s release in December of 2010, “We salute Gov. Paterson’s decision and hope that all families involved will move towards healing…There are no winners in this situation.”

The more we look at situations like these, the more we realize where individuals like Al Sharpton are coming from and how much discontent they create within society. In truth, it appears as though – once again – Sharpton is only concerned for those individuals who are black. Had the situation been reversed with a white person being released from prison after five months, Sharpton would likely be doing what he is doing now where Zimmerman is concerned.

The young white men who came to John Harris White’s house that evening really had no business being there. White felt he had reason to fear for his son’s life and after hearing their threats, feared for his own life as well. From the accounts I’ve read, it does not appear as though White intended to harm anyone.

Unfortunately, things happen and sometimes, those things are not good at all.

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