You figure they’re probably happening elsewhere in places other than Florida and across more than one pair of demographics yet when all is said and done, it seems that the only ones we hear about are the incidents that happen between blacks and whites. Maybe it’s not true but it sure feels like it.
I say this because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of media coverage of other SYG shootings. And there have been others, least of which is the shooting of Chad Oulson in a Florida movie theater earlier this year.
71 year-old retired police captain, Curtis Reeves, Jr. shot Oulson after the two got into an argument during a matinee showing of the film, Lone Survivor, when Oulson began texting his daughter.
Both Reeves and Oulson are white.
On February 7th, a judge ruled that Reeves will remain in jail until his trial and that second-degree murder charges were appropriately filed. There will be another pretrial hearing sometime this month.
I didn’t hear anything about this, did you? I could have missed it, truth be told.
It’s a shame though because it’s important that the public receives as much information as it can about this dangerous law in order to make a reasonable judgment concerning it. It’s especially imperative that the African American community see and hear of these other SYG shootings, especially when they cross different racial lines, in order to get a better idea of the scope of the statute’s effect on all people.
The media’s reluctance, so far, to vet the Reeves/Oulson second-degree murder trial, or any of the others, makes it’s somewhat easy to feed into the belief that there’s a SYG conspiracy in the works that targets young black males. It’s easy because the only incidents we hear or read about are the ones that leave a young black man dead at the hands of an older white man.
I ask myself, couldn’t the coverage of the Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis murder trial happen alongside coverage of the pretrial motions for Curtis Reeves? Had that been so, it could’ve been a teaching moment for the masses; one that showed the hazardous ambiguity of the law and how it effects everyone and not just African Americans.
On the other hand, if the media covers the Reeves/Oulson murder trial and Curtis Reeves is found guilty, cries will go up in protest shouting racism. People will question whether or not justice recognizes equally the worth of a young black man and the value of a young white man. Such a happening could be the knob that turns public opinion, demanding a change to the statute.
Equally so, if Curtis Reeves is found innocent, such an unlawful slaughter of a suburban family man could as well be a turning point that bulwarks opponent’s attempts to amend or shoot down entirely Florida’s stand your ground law. Maybe it’s me but I get the impression that those are two outcomes that some don’t want.
A Few Other SYG Shootings