This Crime Was Committed 81 Times, But Only 1 Went To Trial. Here's What The Suspects Had In Common.

They were cops.

When you think of crime and punishment, you might think of two things:


"Law and Order"


and "12 Angry Men"

But there's an important step between the two that we're missing here: grand juries.

Normally, the police will work with the local prosecutor (or district attorney) to make sure the appropriate charges are brought against a suspect.

Those charges, along with the evidence, are brought to a grand jury, which weighs the evidence and decides whether it is sufficient to warrant a full trial (an indictment). But grand jury proceedings are totally different from a trial.

What makes a grand jury different?

So it's no surprise that most grand juries choose to indict. The prosecutor wants the grand jury to indict, so the prosecutor provides a narrative that seems ... indict-y.

Then why don't cops get indicted and sent to trial?

The Houston Chronicle examined the issue and found that officers are almost never indicted after killing unarmed civilians.

When interviewed, Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union, told the Chronicle that the discrepancy is because jurors tend to empathize with the police:

Legal experts say it's all about the prosecutor.

James Cohen, a law professor at Fordham University who specializes in criminal procedure, tells Gothamist:

Collette Flanagan, founder of the organization Mothers Against Police Brutality, told U.S. News and World Report:

Jason Leventhal, a former Staten Island assistant district attorney, told The Christian Science Monitor:

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's