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A slap in the face of Black community members

On Sept. 29, Judge Brant Parry sentenced Joshua Cochran, a young, white male, to nine years in the Indiana Department of Correction for an incident that occurred Aug. 9, 2018. This incident involved Cochran's car running over 10-year-old Renay Jenkins, a young Black girl, walking in the 800 block of East Alto Road.

Jenkins later died from her injuries. The day of the crash, Cochran was high on a controlled substance. He left the scene of the accident, not even trying to help the little girl and when police found him, he was taken to jail.

Not once did he ask about the child he hit. Police said his only concern was when he would be released from jail. 

Although he receive a nine-year sentence, he will not serve any of that time in jail. He will be on work release or home detention. This is a slap in the face not only for the family of this young girl, but also for the Black community. If the young man had been Black, I feel he would be facing 20 or more years in prison. Justice is still one sided for a Black person; it has been proven once again. We are not seen as equal nor do our lives matter. Black people are in prison for having only a few ounces of marijuana, yet this young man took a life and goes free.

I hope the NAACP, A. Phillip Randolph Institution, Indiana Black Expo, Human Rights Commission and Black churches look into this matter to help rectify an unjust wrong.

Being sorry is no excuse for operating a motor vehicle drunk or under the influence of a controlled substance, and taking a life. Black lives do matter.

McFarren Wright,


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