Sentencing the attacker, Judge Johnson said: “If an adult did what you did then it would almost certainly be murder and he would be sentenced to life imprisonment. »
The boy, who wore gloves and a balaclava to carry out the murder, was told he would serve half his sentence in custody and that time spent in pre-trial detention would be taken off his sentence, meaning he could be released within three years.
Joan Morris, Dea-John’s mother, said she felt ‘completely’ abandoned by the system following the attack on her son, which saw him ‘chased by a lynching mob reminiscent of a scene Mississippi Burning,” the film based on the 1964 murders of three men that sparked outrage in the United States and helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In her victim impact statement, read in court by Desmond Jaddoo, a community activist and family friend, Ms Morris said the killer deliberately picked up a kitchen knife, placed it in his sweatpants , then chased Dea-John with a knife. high in the air.
After attending the trial and watching the final moments of her son’s life on CCTV footage, Ms Morris said the manslaughter verdict and acquittal of four other defendants added insult to injury .
She said: “This verdict of manslaughter, while the others are all found not guilty, proves to me that the life of Dea-John Reid – my son, a young black man – did not matter. This only underscores the ongoing question: “Do black lives matter? »
“As far as I’m concerned, many will say that this young man was held responsible for the murder of my son. However, I wonder, if the roles had been reversed, what might have been the verdict.
“I believe that a system I decided to trust completely failed me, my family, my community, including Dea-John’s friends. »