We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Will JUSTICE be delivered in WI trial with white man accused of shooting African-American 13-year-old neighbor?

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John Eyster
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Will JUSTICE be delivered in WI trial with white man accused of shooting African-American 13-year-old neighbor?

I am genuine concerned as to whether JUSTICE will be delivered in the trial of a 75-year-old white man who is accused of shooting his neighbor a 13-year-old unarmed African-American on the street in front of their homes in Milwaukee? What do YOU expect?

That very significant trial dealing with the sad situation of a 75-year-old white man shooting his neighbor, a 13-year-old African-American man only on the basis of his suspicion that the teen-ager had stolen from him started yesterday in Milwaukee. Let it be reported NOW that police searches verified that the teen-ager was telling the truth.

What is the motivation when a white-man shoots an African-American teen ager? I have been amazed to read that the defense attorney is asserting that the accused did NOT intend to KILL the teen-ager! What is the motivation when one comes out on the street with a GUN?!

ADD WED. (7/17) report from trial yesterday - Tues. (7/16) - "Gimbel, who limited his cross-examinations, told jurors during opening statements he intends to raise questions about whether Spooner actually had the requisite intent to commit homicide.

“'We will focus on what was Mr. Spooner’s intent when he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger,' Gimbel said."

What was Spooner's INTENT? What can be one's INTENT when one POINTS a loaded gun and pulls the trigger?! Is there a doubt?!

The whole text of the article issued by the Associated Press and published by the Washington Post can be read using this link, "Surveillance video shows Milwaukee man, 76, shooting neighbor boy, 13, in the chest."

Sorry, I am NOT able to separate totally the situation of the so-called Community Watch man, George Zimmerman who shot Trayvon Martin in FL. IF GEORGE had NOT had a gun, TRAYVON would NOT be dead. IF JOHN had not had a gun, DARIUS would not be dead. GUNS! How can one argue that a person with a gun does NOT have INTENT to kill?! What do YOU think?

Since the tragic shooting of DARIUS SIMMONS allegedly by his neighbor John Spooner ON THE STREET in front of his own home in Milwaukee, I have been following this situation with GREAT ALARM. I suggest you may want to review the report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, June 1, 2012 about the killing of Darius about 10 am on Thursday morning, May 31, 2012. An ordinary day with the teen-ager doing the chore of moving a garbage cart from the curb. REGULAR ROUTINE! You can use this link to read the Miwlaukee Journal Sentinel article published the day after the tragedy, Friday, June 1, 2012, "75-year-old man charged with fatally shooting boy, 13."

One gains helpful information and perspective reading about John Spooner’s breakfast with his Ald. Bob Donovan at the local George Webb’s restaurant. Spooner talked about his frustration that the police had not made arrests. NOW, in retrospect, Spooner’s comments to Donovan have special significance. Donovan is quoted in the article, “He said Spooner also said something else – that “there are other ways to deal with situations” the policy couldn’t solve. Donovan said he didn’t really take it as more than a passing comment at breakfast.” The article asks, “Was Spooner telegraphing vigilante actions?”

I am Unable to understand that there is an EXCUSE for the accused, John Spooner, for SHOOTING DARIUS. The defense attorney is raising the issue of mental illness. Reviewing the report from the breakfast conversation with Ald. Donovan, one would have to assert that John Spooner was sane and WELL AWARE of the ethical issues. How does one assert that John Spooner did NOT know right from wrong that morning?

THE TRIAL STARTED YESTERDAY (7/15) and continues today in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a very informative article on yesterday, “George Zimmerman trial has effect on jury selection in Milwaukee case: John Spooner charged with homicide in Darius Simmons' death.” You can use this link to read that article.

The article discusses the concern of influences from the Zimmerman killing of Trayvon Martin case in FL on the WI case. They are very different situations. The reality is that the accused is a white man accused of shooting an unarmed African-American teen-ager. Spooner made accusations. Darius denied stealing from Spooner. Spooner raised a black hand-gun and allegedly shot Darius in the chest from five feet away.

The charge against John Spooner is first degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon. IF found guilty, Spooner faces life in prison. I am very uncomfortable with the assertions of the defense attorney to create a RATIONALE or EXCUSE (mentally not responsible) for the accused to be protected from meaningful legal action in terms of IMPRISONMENT. What do YOU think about LEGAL tactics to blunt or avoid LEGAL CONSEQUENCES?

There is also the assertion by Spooner’s attorney that his client is “very fragile.” I do NOT understand that ill-health is a basis on which to avoid legal consequences. I hope it is NOT! What do YOU hope?

I am HOPING that JUSTICE will be delivered in WI for DARIUS I wish I were MORE confident. What is YOUR perspective?

Jury selection was challenging last Monday. I encourage you to read the article for more details.

There is a key issue identified by Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams when he expressed concern yesterday that only four of the 40 prospective jurors in the panel were African-Americans, when blacks make up about 30% of Milwaukee County's population. I have not read an update as to the consideration of this issue which the DA had requested for this morning before opening statements.

The jury is reported to be made up of 10 men and four women. ONLY ONE AFRICAN-AMERICAN. Two jurors will be dismissed after the trial is over with twelve jurors to deliberate and give a verdict. This means that the deliberating jury could be ALL WHITE. Really? Is this appropriate? I don’t think so. What do YOU think?

Day-by-day I shall be following the reports on this trial with the audacity of HOPE that JUSTICE will truly be delivered in WI. I wish I were more optimistic. How do YOU feel?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

POSTSCRIPT - Just after I posted this statement on my blog, I read a new article on Washington Post, I urge you read this article, "Attorney General Eric Holder condemns 'Stand Your Ground' law." I agree! I do NOT believe that "stand your ground" or "castle" laws are reasonable. What do YOU think?

Last updated: 8:25 am Monday, July 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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