Thursday, July 13, 2017

Last Call For Black Lives Still Matter

I missed this story last week but I'm correcting this oversight now: the trial of the murder of 19-year-old black man Jeremy Lake by his white girlfriend's father, a now-former cop named Shannon Kepler, has ended in a third mistrial in Tulsa.

"It's a six-six mistrial," Kepler's attorney Richard O'Carroll told KOTV "And these jurors specifically told the court and the state and the defense that they needed more evidence."
O'Carroll said he is prepared to defend Kepler five more times. 
Holmes had instructed jurors that they could convict Kepler of first-degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter. Manslaughter carries a sentence of four years to life in prison, while the sentence on a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison. 
The jury deadlocked 6-6, but Kunzweiler said it was unclear if the breakdown was six for conviction and six for acquittal or six for murder and six for the lesser charge of manslaughter. 
Kepler, who retired from the force after he was charged, was a 24-year-police veteran who said he was trying to protect his daughter, who had run away from home and was living in a crime-ridden neighborhood. O'Carroll said Lisa had been in and out of a homeless shelter after her father prohibited her from bringing men into his house. 
Kepler told investigators he was acting in self-defense because Lake was armed, but police didn't find a weapon on Lake or at the scene. Lake's aunt said her nephew was reaching out to shake Kepler's hand to introduce himself when Kepler fired
Pam Wilkins, Lake's aunt, said his extended family is deeply frustrated by the third mistrial. 
"But I'm not giving up hope," she said. "We're believing in God and justice for Jeremey."
Jurors in Kepler's previous two trials, in November and February, deadlocked 11-1 and 10-2 in favor of guilt and Judge Sharon Holmes was forced to declare mistrials. 
Although they couldn't agree on the murder charge, jurors in the first trial convicted Kepler of recklessly using his firearm.

This was always a crime of passion, a pissed-off white cop dad who as a career police officer knew full well he'd never be convicted in Oklahoma of more than a slap on the wrist of shooting a ni-CLANG!, so he executed the black man who was touching his daughter.  Period.  It's literally a crime as old as America itself.  This could have happened in 1717, in 1817, in 1917 with the same result, and happened in 2017.  I dare say it'll happen again in 2117.

Black Lives Matter.

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