Aaron White, who is African-American, warned his father that a group of teenagers was on its way to their home to “kill” him and attack his family after believing Aaron had threatened their friend with rape in an Internet chat room. When the teenagers arrived, Aaron’s father, John, confronted them in his driveway carrying a handgun for protection. The teenagers yelled racial slurs and one of them lunged for John’s gun, which went off, killing 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro Jr., who was White.
At his trial, John testified that he grew up in Brooklyn hearing stories about how the Ku Klux Klan burned down his grandfather’s store in Alabama in the 1920s. He said he feared a similar attack was about to take place.
The courts convicted John of manslaughter following the August 9, 2006 racially-charged confrontation and sentenced him for five to 15 years. Based on John’s lack of prior arrests and his record of honesty, the courts reduced his sentence to two to four years in prison. John recently lost an appeal bid to the New York State Supreme Court, then outgoing New York Governor David Paterson granted clemency to John.
“Our hearts go out to the Cicciaro family for the loss of their loved one. The events of August 9, 2006 can only be described as tragic. That tragedy has been compounded by the decision to imprison a dedicated father for defending his family and home from attack by an angry group of people that intended to do them harm,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, who along with Al Sharpton praised Patterson for his decision.
Black Youth Found Hanging in MS
The NAACP today urged the United States Department of Justice to engage in an immediate federal investigation into the hanging death of 26-year-old Frederick James Carter on December 3, 2010. Carter, an African American, was found hanging from a tree in the predominantly
White neighborhood of North Greenwood, MS. While officials have ruled the death a suicide, the NAACP remains deeply concerned and is calling for an investigation under the newly passed, Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, which offers protections from crimes motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
Pictured: Unidentified youth lynched. Time unknown.