|14-year-old Marshall Coulter, a habitual criminal in New Orleans, is shot by a white man defending his property. Guess who gets arrested?|
In opening fire on him, he became the criminal. [Unarmed teen shot inside homeowner's fenced yard, but not breaking into home, NOPD warrant says, New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 27, 2013]:
A 14-year-old boy remained in critical condition Friday after being shot in the head by a homeowner who said he thought the teen was trying to break into his house. But police said the teen was unarmed and did not pose an "imminent threat" when he was shot and have charged the owner with attempted second-degree murder.
The family of Marshall Coulter said the teenager could move only the right side of his body a little, but not the left. Doctors told the family that if Coulter survives, he would likely be severely brain damaged.
Coulter's family acknowledged the teen's history of burglary arrests but said he had never used a gun.
Police said that Coulter did not pose a threat to the homeowner, Merritt Landry, who works as a building inspector for the Historic District Landmarks Commission.
Police said the teen was near Landry's vehicle when he was shot about 2 a.m. Landry's friends said the vehicle was in the driveway behind a gate just a few feet from the house's backdoor.
According to an NOPD arrest warrant, Landry shot Coulter from 30 feet away, evidenced by the distance between the blood found on the ground and the single bullet casing outside Landry's house in the 700 block of Mandeville Street.
Landry told police that he approached the boy from his front yard, near his vehicle. As he grew closer, he said, the boy made a "move, as if to reach for something" -- possibly a weapon -- so Landry shot him, the warrant states.
NOPD Detective Nicholas Williams spoke with an unidentified witness who gave an account that differed from Landry's, though the detective did not specify how.
Williams wrote in the warrant that Coulter was not trying to enter Landry's house and did not pose an "imminent threat" to Landry.
Judge Franz Zibilich set Landry's bond at $100,000. Landry posted a property bond and was released late Friday.
Landry's attorneys, Michael Kennedy and Miles Swanson, issued a statement after the arrest saying, "This incident is terrible, and Mr. Landry feels terrible about how things have occurred. Nevertheless, we remain convinced our client has done nothing wrong, and we are sure -- as facts come to light -- it'll become clear that Mr. Landry will be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing."
A spokesman for the City of New Orleans said Landry has been placed on emergency suspension without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, Coulter's mother would not leave his hospital bedside. His grandmother and older brother sat outside the family's home on Elysian Fields Avenue on Friday afternoon, grieving and upset.
Coulter is the seventh of eight children. Coulter's 23-year-old brother, David Coulter, said he had largely raised the children after their father died three years ago of stomach cancer. David said he and his mother did his best to keep Marshall out of trouble.
Marshall Coulter, who had been on medication for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, was awaiting trial for "stealing stuff," his brother said.
"He would steal -- he was a professional thief, sure," David Coulter said. "But he would never pick up a gun, not in a million years. He was too scared to aim a gun at the grass, let alone aim it at a person. No way. Before he'll ever pick up a gun, he'll be your friend first.
"He's still a little boy," the brother said. "Who pulls a trigger on a 14-year-old? What if it was your little brother or your sister? How would you feel?"Maybe this shouldn't be so surprising, considering that black individuals have collectively turned large portions of the city into war zones -- recall before Hurricane Katrina touched down, the New Orleans Police Department hired the Nation of Islam's head security chief to provide "sensitivity training" to the department:
A plan to pay $15,000 to a Nation of Islam leader to give “sensitivity training” to New Orleans police officers is under fire from members of the force and local religious leaders.
Chief Eddie Compass announced the plan as he sat next to controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whose fiery sermons and pronouncements have been criticized as racist and anti-Semitic.
But Compass argues the Nation of Islam’s security chief, Capt. Dennis Muhammad, has successfully implemented the program in other cities, including Buffalo, reported WWL-TV in New Orleans.
Compass said he decided to take action after hearing complaints about police officers during his recent tour of the city’s high-crime neighborhoods.
“The people in the community who are anti-police, who really need to hear our message, who [we] really need to build the bridges with — members of the Nation of Islam have some type of relationship with these people,” said Compass.
The New Orleans Times Picayune reported Compass initiated regular community walks through low-income housing developments in order to listen to the people’s concerns, reduce tensions and allow “mutual trust” to flourish.Never forget: this is also a city where the first black District Attorney, Eddie Jordan, fired 43 employees upon taking office, with 42 being white. In total, 56 people would lose their jobs -- 53 were white. Of 68 hires within his new administration, 92 percent were black.
This was in 2003.
In the post-Trayvon Martin world, daring to defend your property, your life, or your community from black crime is tantamount to aligning oneself with the Klan.
Just ask Mr. Merritt Landry.