A white man was accused by police but not arrested for shooting and killing his Black neighbor in Texas last month during an apparent argument. The victim’s family members were frustrated by police inaction in yet another apparent example of white privilege in a possible race-based self-defense case.
The Fort Worth Police Department said there were no updates to the investigation into the March 25 killing, WFAA-TV reported. They would only confirm that 57-year-old Kevin Battle, who was shot while holding his 5-year-old grandson’s hand, was killed by his still-unidentified neighbor while standing on the suspect’s front porch of their duplex.
“Homicide detectives found that the victim and a suspect were involved in a verbal argument near the threshold to the suspect’s residence,” Fort Worth Police Officer Bradley Perez said Monday. “The suspect fired multiple rounds striking the victim as a result of this argument. The suspect then called 911. The suspect was interviewed in reference to this investigation, but was not arrested.”
Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said Battle had gunshot wounds to his head and face. The examiner ruled the manner of death as a homicide.
The police did not identify the suspect, but Twitter users said the know his name.
“So as I’m walking toward the door, I hear like a gunshot. And then I’m close enough to where I can see the second gunshot where my dad was shot in the back of the head. And like I say… I didn’t hear any tussle or altercation between them,” Battle’s son, Kevin Battle II, said.
While the police have shared very little information with them about the case, the family said the police told them that the neighbor has claimed self-defense for the shooting.
Texas is one of the states with a “stand your ground” law in which shooters walks free for claiming that they feared for their life.
We’ve seen this before. One of the most recent cases to get national attention involved a white gunman who killed Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater, Florida convenience store in July. The local sheriff declined to arrest Michael Drejka, who was ultimately charged only after protests and pressure from elected officials.
Perhaps the most notorious Stand Your Ground case was George Zimmerman’s acquittal for shooting and killing teenager Trayvon Martin in 2014.
Race has historically played a major role in these cases. People who killed a Black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time, according to an analysis by the Tampa Bay Times.