Suspect Blamed Wife's Murder on Black Men

Murder suspects Kashif Parvaiz and Antoinette Stephen
Murder suspects Kashif Parvaiz and Antoinette Stephen

In the latest entry in the "Blame a black man" files, a New Jersey man was charged in the murder of his wife, which he had blamed on three unidentified black men who had shouted slurs about "terrorists." The man is of Pakistani heritage, as was his wife.

The husband of a 27-year-old mother who was ambushed and fatally shot while walking in a New Jersey suburb was charged Friday with her murder, authorities said.

Kashif Parvaiz was charged along with Antoinette Stephen, a 26-year-old Massachusetts woman with whom he had a "relationship," prosecutors said. Neither has entered a plea in the case.

The pair was accused of plotting an attack that has rattled this small town with a well-entrenched Pakistani-American community, an attack that took place in the midst of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Nazish Noorani had just finished celebrating the end of the day's fast with her family Tuesday and was walking with her husband and 3-year-old son to pick up their car when an attacker shot the couple.

Parvaiz's account of the attack kept changing, making authorities immediately suspicious, say prosecutors.

Mr. Parvaiz initially told police that three men — one black, one white and one whose race he couldn't identify — appeared out of the shadows and opened fire. He claimed the attackers shouted slurs about "terrorists," according to court documents. Later, he said the three purported attackers were all African-American.


Source: The Wall Street Journal.

Finally he came clean and admitted to hiring Stephen to kill his wife, according to court papers.

The fact that authorities immediately paid more attention to the consistency of the story than the purported race of the attackers is a step in the right direction. From the manhunt sparked by Charles Smith's 1989 claim that a black man killed his pregnant wife in a robbery (his brother came forward and fingered him) to Ashley Todd's false report in 2008 that a black man mugged her, carving a B in her face for "Barack Obama" (later determined to be a hoax), nonblacks have tried to use society's bias toward viewing blacks as criminals as cover for their own misdeeds.


No doubt, some will respond to this posting by bringing up the 1987 Tawana Brawley case, in which white men were accused, but the larger point is this: If police keep doing their work and don't rush to judgment based on the race of alleged attackers, over time these types of accusations will die down.


In other news: Rebels Overrun Tripoli: End of Days for Qaddafi?

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.

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