Levar Allen is a 17-year-old standout three-sport student athlete at Parkway High School in south Bossier City, La. An award-winning wrestler, football and basketball player, Levar is beloved at school and in the community.
He’s never been in trouble with the law a day in his life — until now. Levar did what millions of kids in America are doing — he exchanged naked text messages with a 16-year-old classmate.
First, she sent Levar a nude video and then he sent her one in return. Call it gross, but a recent study found that 54% of kids under the age of 18 have done so before.
Parents may hate it, but when it’s consensual, it’s definitely safer than in-person intercourse.
But Levar lives in the deep South. He’s black. And it appears his biggest mistake wasn’t doing what the majority of American teens have done. His biggest mistake was doing so with a white girl.
Her parents called the police when they discovered what was happening. Of course, they arrested Levar and he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and possession of child pornography for the video he still had of her on his phone.
- Yes, she’s 16 and he’s 17.
- Yes, she sent him a video first.
- Yes, this was consensual.
- Yes they attend the same high school together.
- Yes, this is a bogus symptom of the mass criminalization of black folk in the New Jim Crow.
When pressed on whether or not race played a role, Lt. Bill Davis, who is also white, seemed offended and told KSLA-TV, “I have nothing to say about that. It doesn’t matter what your race, what your religion, what your ethnicity, don’t do child pornography! Plain and simple.”
Except a 16-year-old and 17-year-old in the same school consensually sending each other sexual videos of themselves isn’t child pornography.
In Louisiana, the law states that anyone under the age of 17 found to be sexting any person of any age can be charged with a misdemeanor. It’s not widely prosecuted. If a 17 year old, even if they are in high school together, does the very same thing, with a 16 year old, they can be charged with with child pornography. The law lacks the nuance it deserves and ultimately criminalizes common youth misbehavior between peers.
Now, this young man faces the prospect of having a criminal record and his mother is having to scrape together every single dime she can find, $4,000 already, just to defend him from these outrageous charges.
Ofcourse race has everything to do with Levar Allen being charged with these trumped-up crimes. Millions upon millions of teenagers are doing this very thing and he was selectively targeted among them, and made an example of, because he crossed a line that clearly irritated not only her white parents but white law enforcement officers as well.
Charges should be dropped against this young man and his mother, a single mom of three, should be reimbursed for all of the needless expenses of this charade.
Beyond that, these laws must be adjusted to have nuance for normal sexual behaviors between two consenting 16 and 17-year-old kids.