It appears that an employee at a store in Louisiana who was arrested and charged with manslaughter after he shot and killed an armed robber is not being protected by the state’s so-called “stand your ground” law that allows people to use deadly force in self-defense.
Rafus Alexander, 30, killed the suspect and accidentally stuck a customer during the shooting at a Dollar General store in the city of Monroe on Monday, according to local news outlet KNOE, which cited police records.
The customer who had been shot was treated at a hospital for injuries and later released.
The store clerk, Rafus Alexander, says he locked the store and left after the incident.
Alexander went to the Monroe Police Department and gave a statement.
MPD says that Alexander told them he was afraid the suspect was going to kill him when he pulled out a gun and robbed the store.
Alexander allegedly told MPD that he only shot at the suspect but did not know he hit him as the suspect continued running.
Officials say that Alexander told them this was the sixth armed robbery at the store since Aug.
In theory, the part about Alexander’s reported claim that “he was afraid the suspect was going to kill him” should preclude him from any criminal charges.
According to Louisiana law, Alexander committed justifiable homicide and not manslaughter.
The law specifically states that a homicide is justifiable when “committed in self-defense by one who reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing is necessary to save himself from that danger.”
The law later adds: “A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force as provided for in this Section, and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force.”
By all means, the law seemingly applies across the board to Alexander’s case. Instead, he was being held at the Ouachita Correctional Center without bail. In recent years, the decision of when to invoke a stand-your-ground law has seemingly fallen along racial lines.
At least, that’s what appeared to be the case when a former police captain — a 71-year-old white man — instigated a deadly incident with another moviegoer but then claimed because of his age and seated position, he was afraid of being attacked. Curtis Reeves ended up shooting Chad Oulson to death in the theater after the deceased man threw a bag of popcorn because of criticism over texting. Reeves was found not guilty last year by a Florida jury.
While Reeves wasn’t allowed to use Stand Your Ground as a defense, his case — much like George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin — distorted the traditional application of self-defense and permitted the use of deadly force with no requirement on the instigator to deescalate or retreat.
At the time of Reeves’ verdict, civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted, “Research proves that if a white alleged killer asserts the SYG defense w/ a Black victim, he has BETTER odds of not being convicted!”
Now, compare that to the case of William Marcus ‘Marc’ Wilson, the young Black man who was found guilty in August of manslaughter despite his consistent claims that he used his legally owned gun to fire fatal shots at a “truckload of belligerent racists” trying to run him off the road in Georgia. Wilson is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence after his conviction.
This is America.
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