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Ricky Alderete, arrested for allegedly stealing Jackie Robinson statue in Wichita, Kansas

Ricky Alderete. | Source: Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office

Last month, we reported that a statue of baseball icon Jackie Robinson was cut off at the ankles and stolen from a park in Wichita, Kansas, only to be found dismantled and burned in a trashcan the same day. Of, course, the assumption was that the thieves were racists who desecrated a monument to a Black historical figure out of hate (and possibly revenge for the removal of the Confederate racists, human traffickers and warmongers we call “American heroes”). Well, it turns out we were all wrong and racism was not the motive behind this heinous crime—if you ask the police.

According to CNN, the Wichita Police Department announced the arrest of 45-year-old Ricky Alderete, who has been charged with felony theft, aggravated criminal damage to property, identity theft and making false information. Alderete will not, however, be charged with a hate crime because, as Wichita Police Lt. Aaron Moses made sure to note during a news conference, “The investigation has not revealed any evidence indicating that this was a hate-motivated crime.”

“Instead, we believe this theft was motivated by the financial gain of scrapping common metal,” Moses continued.

OK, let’s back up a bit. How exactly did the cops determine so quickly that the crime wasn’t racially motivated? Here’s what I imagine:

Investigator: “Did you call Robinson’s statue a n*gger before you lynched it?”

Alderete: “Nope!”

Investigator: “Welp, there it is. It must have been about scrapping metal, not scrapping a negro’s legacy from the park.”

All I’m saying is that it often seems like criminal investigators are invested in dismissing the idea of racism as a motivator out of convenience (for white people).

But, fine, maybe we were all wrong and for the first time in history a white man stole a Black man to sell him and it wasn’t racist. This still brings into question just what the hell is going on in the world of scrap metal thievery. Normally, when you hear about these thefts, it’s people stealing bicycles, car parts, copper wiring or copper pipes, catalytic converters, air conditioner units, beer kegs, decorative ornaments and other items that would be practical to steal because they’re not huge, bulky, insanely heavy and, you know, bolted to the ground. Well, apparently, bronze and brass statues get stolen for scrap too. Still, it just seems weird that the thieves went through all the trouble of giving the Robinson statue the Kunta Kinte treatment just to burn much of it and leave it in the trash.

Anyway, while police declined to provide more details on Alderete’s alleged involvement in the theft until the case is presented in court, they did note that surveillance video showing at least three people present when the statue was stolen on January 25, which means they still have work to do before this case is closed.

“We have every intention of making additional arrests in this,” Sgt. Trevor McDonald said.

As for Aldrete, police said he was already in custody for an unrelated crime. In fact, Aldrete had been charged with kidnapping and aggravated burglary, among other charges, for an incident that occurred on Feb. 1, a week after the Robinson statue was stolen.

Meanwhile, the GoFundMe launched by the nonprofit organization League 42 to replace the statue has reached nearly $200,000. A rep for the organization said previously of Robinson’s statue that the “symbol of hope will only be gone for a short time.”


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The post Sympathetic Kansas Cops Quickly Rule Out Racism In Jackie Robinson Statue Theft After Arresting White Man appeared first on NewsOne.

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