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Black victims underrepresented in named violent crime laws

CLEVELAND (AP) — The murders of Reagan Tokes and Alianna (ah-lee-AH’-nuh) DeFreeze had much in common.

Both Ohio residents were abducted, raped and brutally killed in 2017 — Tokes as a 21-year-old college student, DeFreeze as a 14-year-old seventh grader. Both their killers were convicted sex offenders.

Yet only one victim got a law with her name on it — Tokes, who was white.

That racial disparity in so-called namesake laws has played out across America for nearly 30 years.

An Associated Press analysis found that more than eight in 10 stand-alone laws named for victims of violent crime identified since 1990 honored white victims or groups including whites.

That has left blacks victims like DeFreeze underrepresented by such laws.

Travis Sloan

Group Social Media and Digital Content Manager for Quincy Media, Inc.

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