Man Charged with Robbing Vegas Strip Casino While in Blackface
Cameron James Kennedy faced a court appearance for robbing a Las Vegas Strip casino back in January. Back in January, Kennedy was arrested by Metro City Police for robbing the New York New York casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The case is notable, because Kennedy is a white man who decided to rob the casino while pretending to be African-American.
The man was approached the casino cashier while wearing “blackface”. Though the cashier told police she saw through his face paint, because his skin coloring was “off” and “blotchy”, Las Vegas police initially reported him as a black man.
After Cameron Kennedy escaped in a taxi cab, he actually got away from the scene of the crime. 15 days later, the police caught up to him. He now faces 20 years in prison for robbery. He’ll spend that time in prison with a reputation for trying to lay off a felony crime on Las Vegas’s black community.
Cameron Kennedy’s Robbery Plan
The plan was certain to fail from the beginning, because Kennedy had escaped federal supervision before his crime spree began. He was in an ankle bracetet, which he cut off his ankle before escaping home confinement. The police were bound to find the runaway criminal in the first place.
To make matters worse, he went to the Las Vegas Strip. Donning face makeup to appear black, he robbed a cash cage at the New York New York casino early in the morning on January 10.
When he approached the cash cage, Kennedy told the cashier he wanted “hundreds, and don’t mess around.“
Stole $23k from New York, New York
He collected $23,000, then left in a taxicab. It is something of a minor miracle he escaped the Vegas Strip, since the Las Vegas Metro patrols the area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Despite getting away from the original scene of the crime, Cameron Kennedy was arrested 15 days later. Authorities ID’ed the man after an anonymous friend turned him in to police.
2018 Casino Robbery Spree
Las Vegas has its share of robberies over the months and years. January 2018 appeared to be time for a crime spree in Las Vegas, as 4 different robberies took place. Because so much cash changes hands, it is a natural target for robbers.
The problem is, casino robberies seem to never work. Few other places have the kind of surveillance video coverage that Vegas Strip casinos do. While there are dozens of taxi cabs near any given resort at any given time, those taxis are easily identified on video and their drivers report where they take people. Few are bold enough to drive away from a robbery in a taxi cab.
Anonymous Tip to Police
Despite the daunting odds, the blackface routine might have helped Cameron Kennedy for a time. He got away with the crime in the immediate aftermath. Despite that, his odds of getting away scot free were small.
Either a friend knew he was donning blackface to rob a casino and told authorities, or Kennedy told friends afterward of his crime. In either case, it was inadvisable to allow anyone else know of his plans. Since he cut off his GPS ankle bracelet to escape in the first place, Kennedy was almost certain to be recaptured and charged with a more serious crime than his original charges.
The Jazz Singer
Blackface was a staple of Vaudeville shows and even Broadway plays, which involved white performers painting their faces black and portraying racist stereotypes. Some Vaudeville performers became involved in early Hollywood cinema, so blackface made it onto the silver screen in the 1910s and 1920s. Al Jolson is most infamous for performing in blackface in the 1927 film, The Jazz Singer, which introduced the spoken word to Hollywood movies.
Certain film critics would argue that Al Jolson’s portrayal of Jack Robin contained a message about his Jewish identity. Even if The Jazz Singer was using a device to illuminate the difficulties of being a minority in 1920s United States, dozens of other Hollywood movies over the decades portrayed blackface characters with no point but to demean a race. For that and other reasons, blackface in any circumstance in contemporary America is considered racist and offensive. To don blackjack for the sake of committing a robbery is not a good idea.