When a reporter asked [Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly] if he was concerned about backlash from the community following the shooting of 25-year-old John Kennedy Fenwick, the sheriff revealed that he was glad to hear he was a white man. Fenwick is reportedly still in critical condition at a hospital in Louisville.“We are glad that he is white, and we shouldn’t have to be worried about that. We do not want any backlash or violence in this community because people have been misinformed,” he said. “I think that the public needs to know how the criminal justice system works and what officers are able to do. And the media has not done a very good job of informing the public.”The sheriff vowed to be transparent about the investigation into the shooting and reiterated that they “don’t want those type of troubles in our community,” referring to recent cases that have sparked violent protests.[Listen to Kentucky Sheriff's Blunt Statement to Media About 'White' Suspect Shot by One of His Deputies, by Jason Howerton, The Blaze, May 13, 2015]
Giving the sheriff's comments the most charitable interpretation possible, he's obviously not happy about the shooting and is more annoyed with the media for creating the atmosphere of permanent crisis every time an African-American is involved in an encounter with law enforcement. Yet it's hard to avoid the conclusion that law enforcement actually feels empowered to aggressively enforce the law against whites in a way they can't against blacks.What will end up happening? The "disparity" between whites and blacks in arrest rates may be resolved by far more aggressiveness by increasingly federalized law enforcement against European-Americans combined with a hands off approach towards African-Americans.