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As for a "Trayvon situation," it actually has some disturbing parallels. First, we don't know for certain what the young man was really doing because there was no real investigation to find out. And the Zimmerman defenders swore up and down that Martin was (a) looking to steal something and/or (b) trying to hurt Zimmerman. If you look at it logically, at least Trayvon actually engaged with Zimmerman (I would argue in self-defense, but still). Here we don't have non-conflicting evidence that Thomas did anything to threaten the homeowner -- who came looking for him (as Zimmerman did).
Now, I'm not saying the homeowner is a Zimmerman by any means. But the case needs a real investigation. He went outside looking for him, so he clearly wasn't fearful for his life. Then he riddled the unarmed Thomas with bullets.
So there are suddenly important parallels. Oh, and there is that other little detail that Thomas was guilty of nothing, in the United States, until a jury finds him guilty. He was killed before proved guilty.
It would be different if he was breaking into the home and threatening the family. He wasn't. Call the police. Or shoot him in the leg if you must. But fire six bullets into him? That deserves a real investigation.
It. Must. Happen. The public interest demands it.
Actually, it is not clear whether the homeowner acted within the parameters of the law. He may well have, but there was no real investigation, and there are open questions that need to be answered. The whole point here is that the police and DA should, must pursue a real investigation. All of y'all chiming in that it was the right thing to do actually have no idea what actually happened and whether it was right, and if there was no threat of bodily harm, you're going to have a hard time convincing non-gun-zealots that it was "right."
I don't know anybody who has moved to Gluckstadt. What fun that would be up there.
And the suburbs have problems as well; why are you turning this into an anti-Jackson rant? Oh, right.
These topics really bring the best out of some of y'all. Are you reading before you hit "post comment"? You know that people can actually see you saying that it's a good idea to execute someone who isn't threatening a life because they (might) be trying to steal property, right? And that no real investigation is needed.
Thanks, Tom. I agree that the story had to be told. And cheers to the mother for not letting it die. Some will try to say she's just doing it for her baby, but you know what, the killing of anybody's baby deserves a real investigation, regardless of the challenges they faced. And I've always thought of that as the American way. I get real patriotic over the whole "innocent until proved guilty," and both parties in this case deserve that.
Not to mention, but do you really want to establish a precedent that would allow someone to easily cover up a homicide by claiming that the deceased was trying to break into his car and the police say, "Fine, no need to investigate." Talk about a recipe for lazy policing (and prosecuting).
I'm SO not saying that is the case here. But the problem is that WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE BECAUSE THERE WASN'T A REAL INVESTIGATION.
And the questions the family raises are compelling. They need to be answered, post-haste, and we will not shut up about this case until they are.
Note that the DA isn't even calling them back—and he's family. If that is the reason, then recuse, as we say in our editorial this week. But don't just let this go un-investigated.
The obvious answer, robbier, is that it shouldn't be up to you or me to decide. It should be to a grand jury after a thorough investigation of what happened on both ends: with Thomas and Williams.
What is obvious is when you should not use deadly force: when someone is in your car outside your house, not trying to break into your home. You call the police and stay inside the house. If the dude then tries to come through the door, especially with a gun in his hand, it's obviously a different scenario and much clearer under state law.
You sound like you think we live in Wyatt Earp times -- when people just gunned down people when they tried to take their stuff or wronged them. What's funny about your question is how much legal (and ethical and moral) water has flowed under the bridge since the times of the wild, wild west. It's not like they're aren't standards for when someone has the right to use deadline force on a suspected criminal. And this example -- tracking him down outside inside your vehicle, then riddling him with bullets -- ain't near a gray area. It's silly to suggest it is.
I don't know why, but JPD and the DA dropped the ball on this case. We need to know why and where the influence came from. Compare it to the case of the Indian store owner who went to a grand jury, which was appropriate.
You don't automatically get to kill someone, even under state law, for being inside your car. And the cost issue is absurd; it's not like we have that many cases in Jackson—thankfully—of a man walking outside and unloading a gun into an unarmed person inside his car, and not trying to break in and harm the people inside. This is rather exactly the kind of thing a grand jury should look at -- after a thorough investigation. And if they found it justifiable under state law, then the proper process was followed.
Meantime, Smith doesn't even tell us it was his cousin. Huh.
Understand: No one thinks it was OK for Thomas to actually be breaking into the car, if that was proved true by a proper investigation (even his mother). He should have gone to jail for that, served his time and, with any luck, been rehabilitated.
In America, we don't execute people for breaking into a car, showing no immediate threat of violence (he was even unarmed and awfully skinny to boot). We arrest them and put them on trial and find out what really happened, and then convict him if warranted.
Refusing to do a proper investigation and putting it before a grand jury in this case is a travesty and sets a very difficult standard. Just wait til it happens to some white kid from north Jackson and police say there is no need to investigate it because he was obviously guilty of a crime, so it was OK for someone to walk outside and unload a gun into him ... with no investigation. That'll go over big.
It reminds me how much some north Jacksoners loved the idea of the youth curfew law until it snagged the white girl. Suddenly, it was a travesty. Take your blinders off and look at this straight on, folks. What you see ought to scare you.
So you smash windows, not endangering anyone's life, and you get executed, and that's justified?
Not to mention, without an actual investigation (examined by a grand jury), there is no way to know for sure what he was doing there. And we've seen enough documents and consistency issues to at least wonder if the whole story is told.
So you feel safe just allowing the policy and the DA to say that it was justifiable without actually having to prove it.
You clearly live in a different America than I do. Yours sounds like it has more in common with Afghanistan.
But, js, that also does not mean he should have been executed, and the man who did it not even be thoroughly investigated.
And without that, we cannot know if he was actually breaking into cars; it's circumstantial at best, and that is not justification for an execution, at least in the United States.
Dr. Darryl strikes (out) again!
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