Even Carlos Moore, the attorney for 25-year-old Joshua Lewis Blunt, appreciates that his client is responsible in some way for the death of his 8-month-old daughter. Moore has even requested that the second-degree murder charge facing Blunt be reduced to culpable negligence.
So far, we are all on the same page. Where I find myself disagreeing with Moore is in his assumption that the charge against Blunt, who is black, arose out of “blatant racism.”
Here’s the tragic back story: Last Thursday, Blunt drove to the restaurant where he works in Grenada, Miss., with his infant daughter in tow in the back seat. He entered the restaurant and remained inside for “some period of time,” leaving the child in the car, where temperatures soared upward of 130 degrees. According to the Clarion-Ledger:
[A] passerby noticed the child in the car and called 911 at 3:50 p.m. It was unclear how long the infant had been in the car, but she was “hyperthermic.”
Once discovered, the infant was taken inside the restaurant and “rushed outside” when paramedics arrived. The child was taken via ambulance to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
CPR was administered for “a couple hours” before her death was pronounced, [Grenada County Deputy Coroner Jo] Morman said.
The child’s body was sent for an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.
According to Blunt’s attorney, his client “thought he had dropped the child off at her grandmother’s house. He had no idea the child was in there.”
Even if that is an accurate accounting of the father’s thought processes and actions, Moore’s characterization of Blunt’s treatment since is preposterous. He told reporters:
It’s a miscarriage of justice for him to be sitting in jail. We still don’t think [Blunt] deserves to do any time in prison….
He went on to play the race card:
The people making the decisions are white. It’s unquestionably related to racism. If this man had been any other color besides black, I believe he would be at home, grieving like a normal father and preparing for a funeral.
Stories of children left to roast to death in oven-hot cars while their parents went off to attend to other matters are nothing new. Neither are charges of murder for this inexcusable behavior. In a story from 2014 that is quite similar in its details to the current story, a Georgia father was charged with murder after his 22-
year-month-old son died of heat exhaustion in the back seat of the family car. Justin Ross Harris, the father, also told authorities that he forgot to drop his toddler son off at daycare before heading to work. The only difference between Harris and Moore is that Harris is white.