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TX: Man sentenced to 70 years for spitting at police officers

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - April 15, 2023

The justice system in Texas is particularly strict and maybe a bit biased. Earlier this week, a Black man was sentenced to spend 70 years in prison for spitting at police officers while getting arrested.

On Wednesday, a jury in Lubbock, TX convicted 36-year-old Larry Pearson of two counts of public servant harassment.

The prosecutors state that Pearson, in 2022, spat on two Lubbock, TX police officers while they were arresting him for allegedly punching a woman in the face.

Prosecutors say Pearson was so enraged that the alleged perpetrator was not arrested instead that he began kicking at the doors of the police cruiser in which he was being detained. He then spat at law enforcement officers when they eventually opened the car door.

But prosecutors say the spitting didn’t end there, insisting Pearson continued to hock up large spit globs upon his arrival at the Lubbock County Detention Center.

During the hearing’s closing statements, prosecutor Jessica Gorman asked jurors to pass the maximum sentence of 70 years of imprisonment in order to make Pearson an example to the public at large.

The minimum sentence that could have been imposed was 25 years because Pearson had already been convicted of family violence and aggravated robbery.

Was race also a factor in his sentencing?

Answer: Probably

What Pearson did was absolutely vile but the 25-year minimum sentence would have been enough. It’s not as if he was ever convicted of murder, attempted murder, rape, shooting, stabbing, or dealing drugs.

Moreover, we’re not sure he was charged for the apparent altercation he had with the female. Perhaps his spitting on police served as the difference between him being a free man today and being locked up for 70 years.

With the minimum sentence, he would have been released at 61; but at this moment he’s looking to get out at 106.

This situation highlights how having a prior record in some states can result in extreme sentences for subsequent, non-serious crimes. It also highlights racial inequities in our justice system.

My advice: If you’re confronted by cops, don’t give them a hard time because they have a lot of discretion and tremendous leverage over civilians in court. The vast majority of the time, it won’t work out well for you.

Second, if you have a prior criminal record, don’t do anything that’ll remotely get you in trouble.

Main image courtesy of everythinglubbock.com