Henry Ruggs shows it’s wealth privilege, not white privilege, that plagues criminal justice system

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Henry Ruggs was arrested after a tragic Nov. 2 crash in Las Vegas in which a 23-year-old woman and her dog were killed. It was revealed that Ruggs was legally drunk at the time. His blood alcohol level was 0.16%, which is twice the legal limit for drivers in Nevada. Moreover, while intoxicated, he was driving at speeds of 156 mph before the accident. Despite this, Ruggs was released from jail on a $150,000 bail the day after the accident and put on house arrest, a luxury that most people without a six-figure income would not have been granted.

This is important to point out because many leftist pundits, politicians, and talking heads frequently point to an alleged inconsistency in punishment in the country’s criminal justice system when it comes to black men. However, Ruggs, a black man, was granted these benefits that most certainly would not have been viable if he was an ordinary citizen.

Furthermore, Ruggs’s actions after he was granted such leniency should be even more alarming. After the crash, when police were investigating, Ruggs was uncooperative and yelled at hospital staff and police officers, according to reports . Moreover, he outright refused to submit to an evidentiary blood test, according to police reports. Ruggs’s confrontational demeanor resulted in forcing a judge to approve a warrant for a blood draw at University Medical Center, according to reports.

Would normal citizens whose blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, who killed a woman and her dog in a DUI crash, and who refused to submit to a blood test have been given house arrest? Or would they suffer harsher consequences?

Consider another drunken driving accident with an NFL wide receiver in which someone was killed. On March 14, 2009, while drunk, Donte Stallworth struck and killed a man in Miami. His blood alcohol level was 0.12%, over the legal limit of 0.08, various media outlets reported. And what was Stallworth’s punishment for killing a man while drunk? A 30-day jail sentence, 1,000 hours of community service, two years of community control, and eight years of probation. Stallworth was released from jail after 24 days.

Despite claims to the contrary, it is wealth privilege, not white privilege, that runs rampant in our justice system. However, incidents such as Stallworth’s and Ruggs’s never seem to be considered when evaluating the alleged ills of our country’s criminal justice system and black men. Wealthy people, of all races, seem to operate on a different justice scale than the normal, everyday citizens in the country. This doesn’t seem right and should not be permitted.

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