Criminal Justice System Absolutely Fails Young Mother
Article from Reason by Robby Soave.
Siwatu-Salama Ra is a 26-year-old black mother who watched in horror as an angry assailant—a neighbor with whom Ra had a dispute—deliberately crashed her vehicle into Ra’s car while Ra’s two-year-old daughter was playing inside. Ra removed her unloaded, legally purchased handgun from the glove box and brandished it, scaring the neighbor off.
The assailant, Channel Harvey, was never charged. Ra was arrested for felonious assault. She is now serving a mandatory two-year-sentence, even though Michigan is a Stand Your Ground state and Ra was clearly defending her family on her own property.
Again, Michigan residents enjoy the legal right to use a firearm to defend themselves and their property. But since Harvey complained first, investigators didn’t give proper weight to Ra’s side of the story. Bafflingly, the authorities decided that Ra wasn’t engaged in self-defense at all but was instead engaged in the commission of a crime. She was charged with two counts of felony assault: one against Harvey, and one against Harvey’s daughter, who was in Harvey’s car.
This decision obviously makes no sense. How could a jury conclude that Ra’s self-defense explanation was sufficient to dismiss the charge of assaulting Harvey’s daughter, but insufficient to dismiss the charge of assaulting Harvey herself? A jury looking forward to a three-day weekend was apparently disinclined to consider this contradiction.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By KAZ Vorpal (Flickr: Declaration of Independence, with Firearm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons