March 17, 2016

"Gwendolyn Jenrette can be forgiven for putting security cameras around her modest Miami home."

"She lives in Liberty City, a high-crime neighborhood in a high-crime town. Her low-slung duplex backs onto the railroad tracks and has been targeted in the past. She can also be forgiven for racing home when, on Thursday afternoon, her security system alerted her to another break-in at the property. But can she be forgiven for, according to police, fatally shooting a teenager as he fled her house, even as officers were on their way to help?"

Begins a WaPo article titled "A Miami woman killed a teen burglar as he fled her home, police say. Should she be charged?" Read the whole thing. Details about Florida statutory law, which includes Stand Your Ground, come at the end.

There are a lot of comments from the family of the dead 17-year-old, Trevon Johnson. ("He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals. He was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning... You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood... You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view."/"What’s wrong with her? She did not have to shoot him.")

There's a photograph of Johnson but not one of Jenrette. There are no references to race in the article.

127 comments:

Drago said...

No references to race in article tells us precisely what races were involved.

If it were possible to turn Jenrette into a "white-black" then that would have been the "journalistic" tactic employed. The narrative needs to be fed.

There is still time to do just that of course. We shall have to wait and see.

God help this woman if she ever voted republican or spoke well of Trump.

Jake said...

So the, "You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school?" comment was sarcastic, right?

Gov98 said...

The ancients were far wiser than us. Exodus 22:2

Ann Althouse said...

WaPo tried very hard, I think, to structure the article to create outrage over the shooting and empathy for the male intruder into the woman's home.

The effort fails, ludicrously so, in my view. That's the point of this post.

Look at those 2 "forgiven" sentences that begin the article. Why should she be forgiven for doing something that's not the slightest bit wrong.

This article is an embarrassment. Just tell the story straight and let us decide. Maybe the woman should be charged, but present it straightforwardly and let us decide.

And give us a picture of her, not just a picture of the young man.

gspencer said...

"He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals. He was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning..."

Yep, on his way to winning a Fields Medal.

And then, shot down like a dog with rabies.

A tragedy I tell ya, a real tragedy.

Michael K said...

Someday, maybe, black teenagers will be expected to have jobs and save their money instead of stealing it.

The parents, is there a father around ?, always claim the boy was on his way to a bright future.

Sebastian said...

"This article is an embarrassment" Faux indignation, right? Why expect anything else when they have the chance? "Just tell the story straight": charmingly quaint notion (but watch your heteronormative language there).

Oso Negro said...

I cannot speak for Florida, but as for Texas she would get a no-bill from a grand jury, for sure.

Curious George said...

No photo of Jenrette? The odds that she too is black are "yes."

jaydub said...

The caption under his photo in the Wapo article says a lot: "Trevon Johnson in a juvenile mugshot from earlier this year."

Dad29 said...

The Post story is missing some critical facts.

Laws notwithstanding, one is never MORALLY allowed to shoot a goblin who is 'running away' for the simple reason that one cannot be a threat when one is 'running away.'

This is where the Post story is (deliberately??) vague. Did the goblin come face-to-face with the homeowner as he was leaving? Was he armed? Did he present a threat to the homeowner (even if he was NOT armed)? Or was he beating feet out the door as fast as possible?

rhhardin said...

Stealing counts as a transfer payment as far as GDP is concerned.

Ann Althouse said...

@Curious George

That's why this post ends where it does and doesn't have another sentence stating what is obvious.

As noted, race is never mentioned, and the article uses phrases like "a high-crime neighborhood in a high-crime town."

Ann Althouse said...

Why are we deprived of the most important fact: Was he shot in the back?

rhhardin said...

If Obama had a son he would look like Trevon.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
@Curious George

That's why this post ends where it does and doesn't have another sentence stating what is obvious.

As noted, race is never mentioned, and the article uses phrases like "a high-crime neighborhood in a high-crime town."

Yes. I was stating the unstated.

Triangle Man said...

Has WaPo libeled her? The WaPo article states twice that she shot him as he fled her home, but the Miami Herald article states that she shot him inside the home. The WaPo article gives the impression that he was outside the home and running away from her.

Jake said...

The video here sheds some additional light on the story: Daily Wire

rhhardin said...

So many narratives in the wings waiting to fit.

Oso Negro said...

Makes no difference to me that he was shot in the back. Life isn't a Gary Cooper movie. The dead thief is just a varmint who is robbing the woman's possessions that she worked to get. He was stealing her life, and his was forfeit when he entered her home to do so. GOOD RIDDANCE!

PB said...

I guess we're to acknowledge burglary as an accepted form of young black men earning money and you, the victim, are told to just stand back and watch? Now that will start a new positive trend.

rhhardin said...

The story itself is entertainment.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's a black lives matter story.

No movement left out.

Birkel said...

I read a story yesterday that said he was not shot in the back.

Oddly, it could have said "was shot in the (body part)" but used the negative "was not" instead.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
@Curious George

That's why this post ends where it does and doesn't have another sentence stating what is obvious."

I had considered saying "If Obama had a sister she would look like Gwendolyn Jenrette"

"Ann Althouse said...
Why are we deprived of the most important fact: Was he shot in the back?"

No, the article says “She observed a subject exiting the home through the rear,” Miami-Dade police spokesman Daniel Ferrin told the television station. “At that point there was some type of a quick confrontation.”

“The police told her don’t go in the house,” Vaughan Johnson, Trevon’s brother, told WPLG. “She’s still going in the house searching for something. Then she says this lady came out and shot one time and shot him in the chest.”

So this idea that the little fucker "fled the house" seems like bullshit.

Bill R said...

Thanks for the link Jake. The story has a mugshot of the kid taken earlier this year.

exhelodrvr1 said...

No doubt Black Lives Matters will soon be calling for her head.

rhhardin said...

When I was a kid I worked for eighty cents an hour to pay for flying lessons, which were $14 an hour ($10 solo), and counted in the GDP twice.

Laura said...

"As violent crime edged up last year for the first time in decades, America appears divided over whether increased gun ownership is part of the problem or the solution."

But, but why? There is no blue America or red America, right? Why now when we have had such good leadership and a president who "could be" the perpetrator's father?

Time to ramp up for election season, right journalists? Time to vote for the grandma who will provide the right gun control, "better" health care, and nannies provided by the governor's office...

Jim said...

This isn't interesting. It happens hundreds of times a day, in newscasts, articles, talking heads etc. The Narrative is more important than the facts. The Party sets the Narrative, and good Party apparatchiks like the Post or the NYT simply fill in the blanks.
The details, the facts, are left out or ignored. What the Party wants, it gets.
If facts do get in the way, then just dangle some shiny objects, and put another story out there.
Trying to read any of these organs of the State is agony if your brain is still functioning.
Just relax, suspend any critical thinking or desire for the truth.

ddh said...

The article seems to assume that obeying the law is too much to expect of black youth. How is that not racist?

Xmas said...

One other set of commentary I read said he was killed by a single shot to the chest. So, not fleeing. I'm not seeing that anywhere else though.

The news article says, "Miami-Dade police said there was a confrontation and shots were fired."

TheThinMan said...

This reminds me of the Bernie Getz story from the 80s. The guy had the nerve not to let himself be mugged on a subway by four hoodlums. (I deliberately used that old fashioned word instead of "youths.")

Oso Negro said...

If you want a recent shooting to feel outrage about, I suggest that you read up on the shooting of 17-year-old David Joseph in Austin. Unfortunately for the narrative, he lacked an authentic name, such as Lajarametrious Duquan. Austin was spared a #blacklivesmatter because the shooting officer, unfortunately, was also black. There was no real explanation of why the responding officer felt threatened. It


http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/crime-law/sources-man-killed-by-austin-police-monday-was-una/nqMLz/

TreeJoe said...

No picture of her may be for her own safety or because they can't find one online or anywhere else.

Certain crimes need to have the expectation that ramifications will be severe. That is where our criminal justice system has gotten screwed up. Trayvon Martin, for example, was (per physical evidence and one biased testimony) beating the head of George Zimmerman into the ground. That sort of thing has ramifications.

But the communities involved and of course the media involved often treat it as if burglary and assault are just minor crimes.

Xmas said...

"You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood," Harris said. "You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view."

Thus the true horror of a high minimum wage and complicated employment law is revealed.

Todd said...

Ann Althouse said...
WaPo tried very hard, I think, to structure the article to create outrage over the shooting and empathy for the male intruder into the woman's home.

The effort fails, ludicrously so, in my view. That's the point of this post.

Look at those 2 "forgiven" sentences that begin the article. Why should she be forgiven for doing something that's not the slightest bit wrong.

This article is an embarrassment. Just tell the story straight and let us decide. Maybe the woman should be charged, but present it straightforwardly and let us decide.

And give us a picture of her, not just a picture of the young man.

3/17/16, 7:10 AM


Well this "story" was written by a "journalist" and not by a "reporter". Reporters report and journalists tell stories. Apparently those [dwindling] subscribers of news papers and broadcasts prefer stories to news.

Oh, and if they "told the story straight" you might not come to the "proper" conclusion...

Xmas said...

Thin Man,

Goetz went out looking for a confrontation. Not really the same situation.

David Begley said...

Ann Althouse wrote "This article is an embarrassment. Just tell the story straight and let us decide. Maybe the woman should be charged, but present it straightforwardly and let us decide.

And give us a picture of her, not just a picture of the young man."

We are way past that time. The goal is to create controversy and feed the liberal narrative.

Brando said...

"If it were possible to turn Jenrette into a "white-black" then that would have been the "journalistic" tactic employed. The narrative needs to be fed."

Ok, from now on I'm going to try to make "white black" a thing. The New York Times needs to be forever mocked for their "white Hispanic" nonsense.

Legally, I'd say this woman is probably in serious trouble if she shot someone who was retreating. She'd have to convince a jury she thought her life was in danger.

That said, screw these douchebag parents going on about what a great future their kid had and how this woman shouldn't have shot him. Did they have anything to say about how he ruined his own future by trying to commit a serious crime? If he was shot by a jumpy homeowner while trying to sell magazines or something, that would be a tragedy. If you're shot while committing a serious crime, you assume the risk. Maybe these parents should show some understanding that their kid messed up big time. The tragedy is that he made a terrible life choice and snuffed out his own future.

Chuck said...

Professor did writing this post make you think of the "spring gun" case(s) from law school?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

2013 Google image and Dade County records show the property as a 1200+ square foot duplex, built 1949, burglar bars on doors and windows, in a row of old duplexes backed up against double railroad tracks.

J. Farmer said...

Boy have we heard this script before. My favorite: "“He was not supposed to die like this,” Harris, his cousin, told CBS. “He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals. He was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning.”

I deal with these people on a daily basis. Nothing is every their "baby's" fault. Treyvon Martin and Michael Brown were also gentle souls who would not harm a fly. Until the deluge of evidence came pouring out proving exactly the opposite: both were socially maladjusted, violent people.

Liberty City is about 95% black, so I'm going to guess the homeowner herself was black. And thank goodness for that. If she had been white or a white-hispanic, Ta-Nehisi Coates would already be firing up his word processor to write about how white America loves destroying beautiful black bodies.

MaxedOutMama said...

Ann - I agree. Was he shot in the back or the front? If he was shot in the chest, it's going to be very hard to charge her. That's not fleeing. And printing comments from the family about what the homeowner did is beyond ridiculous - unless the family member was there, and thus a participant, the family member cannot possibly know.

I presume there will be an autopsy and a coroner's report, after which we will know more. As it is, this article serves no purpose but to gin up hostility toward's Florida's use-of-force laws. It's all implication and no fact.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

He ... loved learning.

Sounds like the homeowner taught him a lesson. So at least he died doing something he loved.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I love the bit about being forgiven for putting up security cameras. I wonder how much security the reporter has wherever he lives. I'm betting he hasn't been burglarized multiple times. And if he was, he would move to a better neighborhood. Clearly Gwendolyn Jenrette did not have that option.

So, we have a woman of modest means being targeted (why else the cameras, an expense she probably would have avoided if she could) and most likely robbed multiple times. Her substance being stolen away by thieves. One wonders how often Trevon had been in her home? This woman had every reason to be angry, but the Washington Post, secure in their privileged positions and well protected neighborhood has the temerity to judge her for trying to hang on to what little she has?

They are lower than whale shit.

Michael McClain said...

Looks like Trevon discovered one of the hazards of his chosen occupation.

MikeR said...

If she's black, she's fortunate.
But anyone who would have Black-Lives-Mattered this story, and demanded Justice - but doesn't because she's black, you should be ashamed of yourself. It's because of people like you that no one with a brain can listen to talk about systemic racism in America.

The dead young man will still go on the list of young black men killed in this country, where the higher percentage than whites proves systemic racism.

Fabi said...

The Washington Post article included this: "...the shooting comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control in this country."

An oblique reference to the Supreme Court nomination?

sydney said...

This article is an embarrassment.

Yep. As is 99% of news reporting in this country.

Clyde said...

Another promising criminal career tragically cut short.

Anglelyne said...

AA: WaPo tried very hard, I think, to structure the article to create outrage over the shooting and empathy for the male intruder into the woman's home.

The effort fails, ludicrously so, in my view. That's the point of this post.


But this is typical. What about this particular article strikes you as ludicrous relative to other reporting in the "youth killed committing crime" genre?

"...You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view."

Though here we may see "subtly undermining the narrative" peeping out in an otherwise typical sample of reportage.

Wilbur said...

Chapter 776 of the Florida Statutes is easily accessible online. It is a good starting point for determining whether she could/should be charged for this killing.

Sal said...

The article seems to assume that obeying the law is too much to expect of black youth. How is that not racist?

Yes, we have different standards for whites and blacks. In Madison, the police are easing the enforcement of laws around schools in order to 'reduce the number of minorities in the criminal justice system.'

Ron Winkleheimer said...

how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school?

By the way, the colloquial expression concerning the above statement is "Bullshit!"

I think Ms Jenrette is going to have to move whether she can afford it or not, because she is now in danger from retaliating relatives. She refused to fulfill her duties as the designated victim, and thus will be punished for it.

John Tuffnell said...

She was mad as hell and wasn't going to take it anymore.

There's a few other people shouting that out of their open windows.

SGT Ted said...

Yes, a bright future robbing houses.

Brando said...

"Liberty City is about 95% black, so I'm going to guess the homeowner herself was black. And thank goodness for that. If she had been white or a white-hispanic, Ta-Nehisi Coates would already be firing up his word processor to write about how white America loves destroying beautiful black bodies."

Blacktivists don't want to face the hard truth, which is that just based on violent crime numbers blacks are far safer living among whites than among other blacks. Until they address the violence problem in those communities, that will always be the case and no blaming of "systemic racism" will hide that fact. Black America is doing a far better job destroying beautiful black bodies than White America is.

"Sounds like the homeowner taught him a lesson. So at least he died doing something he loved."

I had to laugh out loud at that one.

The parents should be thinking about how awful it is that their kid did something like this that wasted his life. I understand their being upset, but let's focus on how their kid got from "loved to learn" to "committing the sort of crime that gets you killed".

Rick said...

You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood,” Harris said. “You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.”

When I saw this upthread I thought it was a joke. What planet are these people on?

But Florida law goes far beyond this “Stand Your Ground” law, which became the focal point in the 2012 shooting of another 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Fla.

As usual journalists are ignorant even on the topics they follow. Stand Your Ground may have been the political and media misinformation "focal point", but Stand Your Ground was not part of the legal defense. Zimmerman asserted the general right of self-defense which is not dependent on SYG.

J. Farmer said...

@Bradon:

"Black America is doing a far better job destroying beautiful black bodies than White America is."

This is the underlying irony (and tragedy) of the Black Lives Matter campaign. If anybody needed to get that message, it was black people.

Alexander said...

Laws notwithstanding, one is never MORALLY allowed to shoot a goblin who is 'running away' for the simple reason that one cannot be a threat when one is 'running away.'

False. One cannot LEGALLY do it, but there is no moral requirement that a dangerous criminal be allowed to flee because he is not currently performing the dangerous act.

Most people in history would consider it absurd to not sink a pirate on sight, even if the pirate was not currently raiding a vessel. Most people in history would not believe the guerrilla was entitled to civility on the basis that he was currently attempting to blend with the populace. Most people in history would find it morally bankrupt to allow a criminal the right to flee.

Seriously, that we live in a time where one should allow violent criminals to go back into the night, because you proved yourself a hard target, is insane.

By all means - a death involved, and should be investigated. But if he was a criminal and not some fellow she invited inside for juice just so she could shoot him, I don't particularly care where the entry wound was.

SGT Ted said...

"...the shooting comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control in this country."


What bullshit.

navillus said...

Apparently, the youth was emerging from a rear window when he was confronted by the homeowner. IANAL, but if the homeowner/shooter confronted the youth while she was also outside in her back yard, she could make a good case that he was a threat to her (& not just to her property) & she shot the bad guy in legitimate self-defense. If she fired from inside the house as he was leaving the house, then that's a harder case to make (except in Texas, where it's always open season on burglars, thank god).
BTW, according to Wikipedia, Liberty City population is 95% black, 3% hispanic, 1.5% 'other' & 0.5% white. I guess the MS won't find a "white hispanic" shooter this time around.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The Post journalist has clearly never lived in a poor, crime ridden neighborhood. Where I grew up was not as bad as Liberty City, but we did have a fire bombing on the next street over (Outlaw Biker Clubhouse, the Hells Angels wanted them out of their territory.) And we had to board up the windows on our detached garage because otherwise people would break the windows for the hell of it. And we gave up painting over the graffiti. Only had a bullet come into the house through a window once though. However, a neighbor did pull a gun on my dad one time. And he used to complain about people purposely breaking beer bottles in the street.

There is a constant tension in the air. And you know that no matter how little you have, and sometimes it is very little indeed, somebody is looking to take it from you, often for no other reason than to destroy it so you don't have it.

But hey Washington Post, tell us about how we need to forgive Ms Jenrette.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Great opportunity for the President to promote racial healing, by pointing out the lack of concern within the black community, as well as the nation as a whole, for black-on-black crime.

Yeah, right.

Curious George said...

Liberty City, burn that bitch down!

Fritz said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
Why are we deprived of the most important fact: Was he shot in the back?

Like Finicum?

damikesc said...

If her son had "plans for the future", they apparently included thievery and looting.

This will now be part of the BLM pantheon of "wrongs" against the black community.

mikee said...

The laws of the state will determine if the shooter is charged and if charged, convicted.

The laws were of no use to the young man now dead, while he was alive.

pst314 said...

"Goetz went out looking for a confrontation. Not really the same situation."
And yet he did not hunt anybody down. He waited until he was assaulted, and then shot the robbers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Shot in the chest while running away? Sure, of course.

I blame the NRA and that terrorist Wayne LaPierre.

No focus on gender, by the way? Isn't that odd? I mean, this MALE (alleged) criminal was victimizing this FEMALE law-abiding citizen. Was he larger, stronger, more physically fit and/or able to do physical violence/harm that she is? Does that make any difference in this case, or are those kinds of things only important to the Media when they tend to prejudice the story against people the Media doesn't like.

pst314 said...

"Trevon had goals.
He aspired to be an thief and a thug.
He was a funny guy
He joked about his victims.
very big on education
Educating his victims to know that their property rightfully belongs to him.
loved learning
Learning how to be a more skillful thief.

EDH said...

Shouldn't there be a "Girl Power" angle to this story?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The lack of sympathy/empathy for the crime victim is typical, and only unusual in this case only because the victim happens to be a black woman.

Have you checked out the comment section of that WaPo article, Professor? I glanced through it yesterday and it was pretty strongly against the author/their biased presentation.

Fernandinande said...

Gwendolyn Jenrette can be forgiven for putting security cameras around her modest Miami home.

"Forgiven" meaning "congratulated".

Over the past two years, a handful of U.S. homeowners have been charged for fatally shooting intruders.

That's horrible. Burglars should be shot and killed regardless of which direction they happen to be facing.

“You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.”

That idiot should probably be shot too, just on principle.

But Florida law goes far beyond this “Stand Your Ground” law, which became the focal point in the 2012 shooting of another 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Fla.

That's incorrect. SYG had nothing to do with Zimmerman's self-defense case.

Rick said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
No focus on gender, by the way? Isn't that odd?


Consult your victim hierarchy chart, race trumps gender.

Todd said...

"...the shooting comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control in this country."

For the media, any time the "wrong" people are involved with a gun, it comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control.

Notice how "76 year old man fends off 4 attackers with a gun" never includes that it also comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control?

Notice how "woman protects herself from 4 rapists" never includes that it also comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control?

Dear Lord how I despise the media and all those in that business...

Mom 'n' Dad said...

Ignorance is Bliss, I owe you a beer.

Char Char Binks said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Why are we deprived of the most important fact: Was he shot in the back?"

Because he wasn't.

Michael said...

Hypothesis: if people in general knew that burglarizing a house carried a high percentage risk of being shot, there would be far fewer burglaries and also far fewer shootings.

Discuss.

Chris N said...

-Be a lifelong lover of learning!

-IgNoRe BaSIc FaCtS

-Questions of Law?

-The narrative speaks truth to the power of the powerfully truthful narrative

From WaPo's 'Wall Of Achievement' (Digital!)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Most crime is intraracial--the offender and the victim are usually the same race.
The Left sometimes complains that minorities are policed too intensively. If intensive policing actually prevents crimes (I know--a big if) then the main beneficiary of that policy would be minorities.
Does the Left want minorities to be victims of crime?! That seems racist.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Washington Post article included this: "...the shooting comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control in this country."

Not really. There really isn't much of a debate. Rather, as is so typical in cases like this, the left wants to start a discussion, and most of us don't want to listen, because they never "discuss" in good faith. They are set in their opposition to the 2nd Amdt. right to keep and bear arms. They just can't accept that the rest of us support it. And, that history and the feelings and beliefs of the citizenry are running against them.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Does the Left want minorities to be victims of crime?!

I can only conclude, from their words and actions, that the answer to that is yes. From personal experience I can assure you that law abiding people living in a high crime area want more police presence and often agitate for it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Todd said...For the media, any time the "wrong" people are involved with a gun, it comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control.

Well spotted, Todd. "Comes at a time" is a tell. Mickey Kaus (I think) pointed it out in an old blog post and made me notice it every time--it's a sign the "reporter" wants to make a point. Everything comes at some time! Everything after "comes at a time" is the opinion/biased point the reporter wants to find a way to make. The actual news story is just a means to make that point.

The other big one, of course, is "some say." XYZ seems good, but SOME SAY it's terrible. In a nation the size of ours you'll find some people who'll say anything on any issue, so it's not necessarily false...but it's a sign of bias/the reporter shoehorning in the point they want to make.

I also like when they describe some things as controversial. I mean, any topic you can think of is controversial to someone, and any political position by anyone is controversial (almost by definition). Strangely only SOME positions are described as controversial--take a guess at which ones!

YoungHegelian said...

One of my favorite crime-in-the-'hood stories from the WaPo of years ago involved a young man who had been shot during a crime.

His family was being interviewed by the WaPo reporter & was giving out the same "our baby didn't do nothing" & "he was so sweet" lines. Also present in the room was the dead perp's cousin, who, when he heard what was being said, piped up with "Wait! Is this my cousin we're talking about here?"

He was politely shushed, needless to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Ann that probably the most critical piece of information is where the guy was shot. It will be quite hard in most of the states in the Union to effectively claim self defense if the gun shot was to his back (I am currently living in one of the states (Colorado) where you can, in many cases, shoot someone in the back if they are committing a crime in the interior of your house, as long as they haven't physically left it at the time you shoot them). For the most part, in most of the country, protecting property, and, in particular, mobile personal property, is not sufficient to justify using deadly force. And, it is typically very hard to prove self-defense if you shoot someone in the back - the danger is likely no longer imminent in such a case.

Brando said...

"Hypothesis: if people in general knew that burglarizing a house carried a high percentage risk of being shot, there would be far fewer burglaries and also far fewer shootings."

I think everyone knows this, even in cities with restrictive gun laws breaking into a home runs a serious risk of getting killed by the homeowner or even a cop. The difference here is some people are too stupid to understand those risks, or don't value their own life enough to decide "hey maybe I should get a job instead".

The community needs to condemn the lawbreaker, not the homeowner. There needs to be enough public shaming of dumbasses who burglarize and get themselves shot that people start to consider more lawful alternatives, like delivering newspapers or bagging groceries.

Brando said...

"His family was being interviewed by the WaPo reporter & was giving out the same "our baby didn't do nothing" & "he was so sweet" lines. Also present in the room was the dead perp's cousin, who, when he heard what was being said, piped up with "Wait! Is this my cousin we're talking about here?""

I sympathize with families of bad seeds, like the mothers who turned in their sons who were wanted for the alleged rape in Brooklyn (though it turned out they hadn't raped the girl but engaged in a consensual orgy). You can't always keep your kid from going bad, as they get more influences from others as they get older. But you do have to recognize when they do go bad, and shame them rather than insist they're good and someone else is always to blame.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

By the way, the "can be forgiven" formulation is a real problem. If I were feeling generous I'd say it's just a hack cliche a crappy writer turned to and shouldn't be read to have any actual meaning, but I'm not feeling generous towards this particular writer.

Why would this law-abiding homeowner need forgiveness for purchasing security equipment? Why would trying to secure her property and safety be some offense that would need to be forgiven? Who the hell is the writer to decide that given her circumstances it's ok, implying that in some other circumstances buying security equipment would be in some way morally wrong?

You could be forgiven for concluding that the author is a poor writer and a jackass sneering at a law-abiding citizen who, it seems, did nothing wrong.

[She] don't need to be for-given.

Brando said...

"Goetz went out looking for a confrontation. Not really the same situation."

Whatever Goetz was "looking for" he did not initiate any confrontation, even by his "victims'" account. He was minding his own business when they confronted him, and according to his (more credible) version of the events, they tried to mug him and didn't count on him being armed.

The cities need more Bernie Goetz's. A few more muggers shot might convince urban yoots to go apply for a job at the nearest CVS, or volunteer at a church.

Lauderdale Vet said...

The 2015 Florida Statutes, Chapter 776, Justifiable Use of Force

Lauderdale Vet said...

As I understand it, from the perspective of a CCW license holder here in Florida, she would have had good cause to shoot him had she been in the house and he was breaking in, but not as he was exiting the house and fleeing.

I'm not a lawyer though, and I don't have all the facts, so I can't really properly apply my understanding to this scenario with confidence.

Char Char Binks said...

@Ignorance is Bliss

Thanks for the funniest comment of the day so far. It'll be tough to top!

Simon Kenton said...

Well, it was a question back when I was being trained. Same jurisdiction - LA, as I recall. Gunfight, and in the process the shooter turns to flee, is exposed for a moment and shot in the back by the officer. Lawsuit lost - he was not a threat when his back was turned, even though he was still holding a loaded gun. They teach the new rule to the incoming young officers. Gunfight: the perp turns his back to run, the young officer holsters his pistol because the guy is no longer a threat, so he gets away, and kills 2 or 3 more citizens. Lawsuit lost - the officer who had just been shot at by the scrote should have known he was a danger to others and taken him out.

That was where they had left it when teaching us. If you (with the tacit support of the reasonable man) thought the person a danger to self and others you could continue to shoot until the threat was neutralized, preferably by surrender to arrest, but also by bullet, and it didn't matter if the final shot was in the back of an armed, fleeing violent felon. (The days of gunning down a fleeing shoplifter who had nicked $501 or whatever dollar value was over the misdemeanor/felony line were long gone, even in those days.)

I'm not precisely sure where it stands with civilians; it certainly varies by state. In our jurisdiction, at least, if you observe someone actively shooting at another you can put them down, even from the back. But on the issue of probable, even extremely probable future violence, I urge my students to refrain if there is no obvious immediate threat. It's a spectrum of course, from therapeutically executing a child with conduct disorder because he is very likely to become a violent social problem later, to encountering an active mall or school shooter in an instant where they are for the moment not a direct threat. Refrain if you possibly can. It's always tempting (O les beaux jours que ce siecle de fer...) to postulate a time when there existed a standard American conscience to provide guidance to a rifleman. If yours too was standard, your jury was likely to match your assessment of the situation. "Nobody" was going to allow shooting an 80-lb 12-year-old kid in the back yard who was tp-ing your apple tree because he was sweet on your daughter from the 6th grade class, and "Nobody" was going to object when a 100-lb woman in the late stages of being beaten by a drunk 200-lb ex-boxer "who was unarmed" blew him away. But if there ever was such a thing as the standard American conscience, there isn't much left of it: "how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school?" The "his money" is perfect. To each according to his need. From my perspective - and doubtless from the female cousin's perspective when she said it - you could not have a better indication that it's a mistake to rely on the existence of a common conscience.

Gabriel said...

@Lauderdale Vet:he was exiting the house and fleeing.

Is someone coming toward you "fleeing"?

Because it sounds as though she came to the back of the house, from the outside, while he was coming out of the back of the house, toward her.

He may have been "fleeing" the scene, but he was approaching her. And she has, what, a quarter second to decide what to do?

Law-abiding citizens seem always obligated to do moral calculus in their heads; I fail to see why criminals are expected to do none.

William said...

I don't think much of this family's parenting skills. The hood was his family. The mother will never ask herself if she failed her son in any way. No criticism of her will ever be printed.......By my count, Treyvon Martin had three mothers and a father with gang tattoos on his neck. There was endless examination and criticism of a George Zimmerman's domestic life, but the Martin family was presented as benign and beatific.

Lauderdale Vet said...

@Gabriel, I'm with you on this.

Any human being in mortal peril has a natural right to defend themselves with lethal force and be judged by their peers.

I was just remembering out loud the warnings I was given not to defend property with lethal force.

I also remember that I was told that an intruder in my house may immediately be considered an imminent mortal threat.

I think that the discussion on "what are the boundaries of my house" was kind of fuzzy, to include patios but not yards.

Anyway. Just chatting about it. Since my wife and I both carry, I'm always interested in the topic.

Terry said...

The reason liberals are against private ownership of guns is because they see gun ownership as racist. Blacks assault and rob whites at a far greater rate than whites assault and rob Blacks. Whites will, legally, use guns to kill Blacks.
But they can't admit what is true, so they make specious arguments that gun owners can't be trusted, that the gun will be used to kill a friend or family member, or for a suicide.

Rusty said...

Gabriel said...
@Lauderdale Vet:he was exiting the house and fleeing.

Is someone coming toward you "fleeing"?

Because it sounds as though she came to the back of the house, from the outside, while he was coming out of the back of the house, toward her.

He may have been "fleeing" the scene, but he was approaching her. And she has, what, a quarter second to decide what to do?

Law-abiding citizens seem always obligated to do moral calculus in their heads; I fail to see why criminals are expected to do none.


I'll tell you what the coppers told me.
"It don't matter where you off the SOB. Just drag his dead ass into the house. Hose off the blood outside and then call us."
Rockford cops were pretty cool.

rcocean said...

No references of race = shooter was black or Hispanic. Because otherwise, the WaPo would've stirred up race relations by charging "racism".

She should be charged if the teen was shot in the back, while running away.

rcocean said...

Is someone coming toward you "fleeing"?

No, I think that's called "running toward you".

rcocean said...

If someone has broken into your house at night and rummaging around, probably the best place to shoot him would be in the back.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Lauderdale Vet said...Anyway. Just chatting about it. Since my wife and I both carry, I'm always interested in the topic.

Wait, you mean you carry a weapon and doing so makes you think deeply and frequently about things such as what situations might legally and morally make it permissible to use a weapon to defend yourself or your family? Like, that's something you put thought into? From what I read in the Media I just assumed people clung to their guns out of a reflexive fear (of minorities, mostly) and just toted guns around without giving things like safety or acceptable use any thought at all.

You must be some kind of weirdo, Lauderdale Vet.

Jason said...

Florida's a Castle Doctrine state.

Lauderdale Vet said...

@HoodlumDoodlum said “…think deeply and frequently about things such as what situations might legally and morally make it permissible to use a weapon to defend yourself or your family?”

Absolutely. We are also both covered by US Law Shield, a legal defense program, in case we ever find ourselves in the regrettable position of having to defend ourselves or others. Priority one is to avoid conflict. Priority two would be egress. If neither are possible, then you won’t have any options left if you don’t carry.

It doesn’t matter how much thought you put into it though, your life is pretty much changed forever if you have to draw your weapon. Here’s wishing the best outcome for the woman in Liberty City.

May you never have to draw a weapon, but may you also never find yourself in mortal peril wishing you had one with you.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well in the comments on the original article, a Miami resident said that if the homeowner lived in Liberty City, there was a 100% probability that she was black herself. So this is a black on black homicide (n.b. homicide is not necessarily "murder"--it is the generic description of someone taking another person's life. It can be a justifiable homicide", with no criminal penalty attendant thereon.)

Who knew that Chicago had moved down south--since Chicago is the home of black on black homicides?

damikesc said...

I agree with Ann that probably the most critical piece of information is where the guy was shot. It will be quite hard in most of the states in the Union to effectively claim self defense if the gun shot was to his back

Unless he was running to get a weapon of his own. No need for the victim of the crime to take any chances with a thug who already broke into her house.

He's dead because of his own actions.

The Cracker Emcee said...

WaPo tries to bring gun control into an article that will inevitably make it's White readership at least think about the necessity of having their own gun. Liberals are incredibly stupid.

Eustace Chilke said...

..how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school?

I get the idea that stealing is regarded as earning in this context. And there's an argument to be made for this idea if moral adjustments are allowed. Even so, if theft is earning it's partly because of the risk undertaken. Risk mitigated through planning and skill. The kid didn't earn the money. He earned a bullet.

Shoot a thief in the act, fleeing the scene, whatever. One less thief. Take care to shoot only thieves is where I would draw the line.

n.n said...

The press has difficulty coping with their irreconcilable motives.

That said, the sins of idle hands, and the policies that idled them, continue to bear fruit and profit, but not inside minority fiefdoms, where the paradox is progressing.

I wonder if "planned society" would be too explicit.

mccullough said...

Black female homeowner shoots 17-year-old male intruder during home invasion.

Char Char Binks said...

POTUS gets offended when white folks lock their doors.

Char Char Binks said...

Rusty said...
'
I'll tell you what the coppers told me.
"It don't matter where you off the SOB. Just drag his dead ass into the house. Hose off the blood outside and then call us."
Rockford cops were pretty cool'

Rockford cops may be cool, but they're not lawyers, and that advice will get you locked up for a good long time.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Simon, et al.

The rules pretty much have to be different between sworn law enforcement personnel and civilians. So, for example, Officer Wilson, who shot and killed Big Mike Brown, could have been legally excused by either self-defense, or for shooting Brown incident to an arrest and to protect the community. Missouri has a liberal arrest statute, which has been cut back to not allow the use of deadly force by officers unless the subject poses a (significant?) danger to the arresting officer or the community. And, Brown demonstrably did, by committing attempted murder in the presence of Wilson, by trying to take Wilson's gun away from him. So, if Brown hadn't turned back, and started trying to rush Wilson, Wilson probably would have been justified shooting him. But, Brown did turn back, and that gave Wilson a viable self-defense defense too.

The problem for civilians is that in order to qualify for self-defense in most jurisdictions, they must reasonably see an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury to themselves or others (and, for the most part, the "others" have to be distinct individuals, instead of the community that sworn officers can protect). It is usually fairly hard to argue either reasonability or imminence when the person shot is running away from the shooter (and, as far as I can tell, civilians who shoot others in the back rarely qualify for self-defense).

BTW - one place to go if you have any interest in this sort of stuff is at the Legal Insurrection blog, with blogger Andrew Branca, who has a book out titled "The Law of Self Defense". He typically goes into great detail in this sort of case, following the evidence and trials closely. Branca was probably the go-to guy during the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings, in particular. I expect to see him analyzing this case in the next couple days.

Jim Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coupe said...

There is no justification for shooting someone in the back who is fleeing, unless you just witnessed them committing a capital crime.

Stealing your TV is not a capital crime...

Jonathan Graehl said...

In my view there's nothing wrong with making it known in your state that being in someone's house without permission is potentially a capital crime. But let's make sure we consider all the angles before we agree to that. For example: what chance a murderer then invites someone to his home so he can legally shoot him (how hard is it to keep your "home intruder! afraid for my life!" story straight, really?

Jonathan Graehl said...

coupe, how does "just witnessed them committing a capital crime" make sense as a criteria? shouldn't it be based on the likelihood that they'll later return and harm you (or continue to harm others if you let them escape)? (playing 'don't shoot!'-advocate here)

Simon Kenton said...

Jonathan Graehl said, "For example: what chance a murderer then invites someone to his home so he can legally shoot him...?"

After Colorado passed the Make My Day law, a dope dealer eliminated one of his associates like this. It worked. So he did it again. It did not work. The DA found that a reasonable man would not have been in fear of death or serious bodily injury under the circumstances, and put him away.

Dad29 said...

Why are we deprived of the most important fact: Was he shot in the back?

Both very good questions.

By the way, here's something to follow. There was a disturbance on a bus in Brown Deer, WI. a couple of days ago. Cops were called, and herded the galoot out of the bus. They were in the process of subduing him when he sustained a gunshot wound from one of the cops (a woman, by the way.) Galoot is now hospitalized.

Investigating P.D. (Milwaukee) and the Brown Deer cop-shop are being VERY close-mouthed about what happened.

SJ said...

"...the shooting comes at a crucial moment in the debate over gun control in this country."

I think the answer is in.

Gun control means hitting the target.

Which means Gwendolyn Jenrette obviously exercised proper gun control.

Scott said...

Another future valedictorian cut down in his prime...

coupe said...

Jonathan Graehl said......shouldn't it be based on the likelihood that they'll later return and harm you (or continue to harm others if you let them escape)?

No.

Burglars for the most part are probably the safest criminals out there. They have only one goal in life, and that is to make money selling your stuff.

Mick said...

He was a good boy. He din du nuffin.

Fernandinande said...

coupe said...
Stealing your TV is not a capital crime...


Stealing my TV is a capital crime. It cost $200, which is far more than the thief is worth.

Aric said...

"Goetz went out looking for a confrontation."

How short was his skirt?