Michigan Appeals Court Reverses Felony Gun Conviction in Self-Defense Case
Article from Reason by Zuri Davis.
One year after Siwatu-Salama Ra was convicted of assaulting a woman with a deadly weapon and committing a felony while in possession of a firearm, the Michigan Court of Appeals has reversed her conviction. Both charges stemmed from an incident in which Ra sought to protect herself, her 2-year-old daughter, and her mother from a woman who was threatening to run them down with her car.
As Reason previously reported, the incident in question occurred while Ra, then pregnant, was visiting her mother at her mother’s home in 2017. Ra’s 2-year-old daughter was with her, and her teenage niece was also present. When A’Kayla Smith, a teenage associate of Ra’s niece, arrived at the house, Ra told Smith she was not welcome to visit due to an altercation the two teenagers had at school. Ra demanded that Smith call her mother to pick her up.
When Channell Harvey, Smith’s mother, arrived at Ra’s mother’s house, she yelled at Smith and Ra from her car, which was parked in the street. Ra testified that after Smith got in her mother’s car, Ra demanded Harvey leave and that, in response, Harvey intentionally backed her car into Ra’s car, which contained Ra’s 2-year-old daughter, then attempted to run down Ra’s mother, Rhonda Anderson.
Anderson testified that Harvey knew before she backed into Ra’s car that Ra’s 2-year-old daughter was inside. Ra’s niece testified that after Harvey hit the car, Ra retrieved her daughter from the car, asked her niece to take the girl inside, and then retrieved an unloaded and legally owned handgun from her console and brandished it at Harvey while demanding she leave. Ra’s mother testified that Ra did not retrieve the gun until Harvey attempted to run Anderson down while she stood in her own front yard. Harvey, meanwhile, testified that she hit Ra’s car accidentally after Ra brandished the gun at her and that she never attempted to hit Anderson with her car.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By Cory Doctorow (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons