Scary Minority Suspect
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
Knox's 5th rule of Fair Play Whodunnits
See also Scary Black Man
- 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.
- Subverted in White Man's Burden, since the entire movie is a race flip, the whites are the scary minority suspects, as the protagonist finds himself on the wrong end of.
- 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.
- Pretty much every episode of Law & 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; it's noted that he'd indirectly contributed to the boy's death even if he didn't actually kill the kid himself.
- Seen several times on The Good Wife; season 1's episode "Conjugal" and season 2's "Nine Hours" are good examples. Both are death row cases to boot.
- Castle doesn't typically go for this, but it had a heck of a Lampshade Hanging in one episode. A juror died in the middle of a trial, and another juror immediately skipped town, making himself look guilty. When they bring him in, he explains that he saw a "big, scary black guy" glaring at him as it happened and figured that meant he was next. Said big, scary black guy thus becomes a suspect but is quickly cleared.