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The large, dark, swarthy fellow who insists loudly that he didn't do it. If he's the only non-white about, he usually didn't.

See also Scary Black Man.

Examples of Scary Minority Suspect include:


  • Desolation Williams at the beginning of Ghosts of Mars. It doesn't help that he's a wanted murderer.
  • The defendant in 12 Angry Men.


  • Inverted in the Discworld book Jingo. After an assassination attempt on a major Klatchian official, Commander Vimes of the Watch immediately suspects everybody except the Klatchians, who turn out to be behind the murder attempt after all.
    • Coalface in Men At Arms is the Fantastic Racism counterpart; a dwarf was killed, he's a troll, as far as Mayonnaise Quirke of the Day Watch is concerned, you don't need any more evidence than that.
  • Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird.
    • Although Tom is a very nice man who isn't scary in the least, and of course, is completely innocent. However, most of Maycomb assume he is a scary minority suspect who did rape Mayella because of the prevailing racist attitudes of the time.

Live Action TV

  • Pretty much every episode of Law and Order will have either him or one or more High School Rejects as their first suspect of interest.
  • Mocked on The Wire. When a white man is giving a discription of Omar Little to Bunk, he describes Omar as huge and so is his gun. Bunk and another black detective share a chuckle over their in-joke: BNBG - Big Negro, Big Gun.
  • Subverted in one episode of CSI. While the Scary Black Man the CSIs first suspect didn't actually kill the murder victim (the murder was actually done by the white pedophile who offered his services as a "consultant" to Grissom), he did viciously beat the victim and his friend while he was babysitting them, which made them run out of the house until they were picked up by the real killer. He's arrested on assault and battery charges, and it's noted that, even if he didn't kill the boys himself, he indirectly contributed to their deaths.