When the officers met with Tate, he allegedly pulled out a gun and robbed the agent. That’s when backup SWAT team member Eric Richard shot the teenager. Tate was pronounced dead at a local area hospital, according to Sgt. Chantay Boxill, a Columbus police spokesperson.
But others say that’s not what happened.
On December 12, the family of the slain youth said they were considering filing an unlawful death suit against the officers after the family attorney said that witnesses disputed the police account.
“I have a sworn affidavit from an eyewitness that says that this was done totally different than what has been put on the news,” said Byron Potts, who is representing the Tate family. “That he was basically shot in cold blood.”
Potts told the station that eyewitnesses have said that the deceased did not pull a gun and that officers only recovered a gun after searching Tate’s home, according to WOSU.
“They shot him on the street, then came back to the house and got a gun from the house,” Potts says. “He did not have a gun on him at the time this happened.”
Upon hearing this news, police miraculously discovered who was really to blame for Tate’s death. On Thursday, officers with the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team arrested 16-year-old Masonique Saunders and charged her with murder and aggravated robbery, the Dispatch reports.
Police allege that Saunders was at the scene of the incident and was romantically involved with Tate. They have gone as far as publicizing the teenage girl’s address and what the Dispatch termed a “lengthy juvenile criminal history” dating back to when she was 12.
I wonder how the Dispatch obtained juvenile records?
Police allege that Saunders “played a role” in the robberies and is therefore responsible for Tate’s death.
“Under what historically has been called ‘felony murder,’ which means that you’re still responsible for a murder if you cause the death of another as an approximate result of committing certain kinds of serious offenses,” police spokesperson Denise Alex-Bouzounis told WOSU.
“In a situation where say there’s two people involved in a robbery, they go in to rob and then police shoot somebody, and police are actually the ones who did the direct killing, we still say the felons were approximately causing that death and should be held responsible under this felony murder doctrine,” Berman says.
Tate’s shooting was the second police shooting during a sting operation that week. Two days earlier, 18-year-old Kyler Collier was shot by SWAT Officer Robert Vass, when Vass says Collier tried to rob him during a sting operation similar to the one where Tate was killed. Police say they recovered a gun that belonged to Collier.
That shooting was the fifth time that Vass has been involved in an incident where he or another officer with him fired a gun.
Trust me, it was not his fault.
There are times when racial bias is so blatant it’s impossible to ignore, and according to a judge in Memphis, the case of two drug dealers facing drastically different charges for the exact same drug deal – is one of those times.
According to The Commercial Appeal, U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. is raising questions about what he believes has been a pattern of prosecutors charging African-American defendants more harshly than white defendants for similar crimes. Fowlkes called out at least three different cases in recent weeks where racial bias seemed to be a factor.
One case that drew Fowlkes attention involves two drug dealers – one white, one Black – who traveled together to a Wendy’s parking lot in East Memphis to sell a man 100 ecstasy pills for $800.
The Black man stayed in their vehicle as a lookout with a gun between his legs while the white man got into the buyer’s vehicle to actually sell the drugs. Unfortunately for both of them, the buyer turned out to be an undercover Memphis police officer.
Both men entered guilty pleas after being caught red-handed, and yet the black man, 38-year-old Mario Silas, got a long prison term of 15 years, imposed by Fowlkes on Nov. 28th. And in stark contrast, the white man, 34-year-old Jared Weatherly, faced a drug case, but no gun charge and the prosecution only asked for a one-year sentence.
The judge asked prosecutors to explain why they didn’t charge the white defendant with a gun crime, too, since he was working directly with the armed black man during the drug deal.
“This is another situation where a white defendant appears to have been treated differently than African-Americans, and I’m concerned about how we’re proceeding in this case,” Fowlkes said during the November 19th hearing.
The prosecutor, J. William Crow, claims he didn’t have faith that he could successfully charge the white defendant but maintains that his office does not discriminate based on race.
“I apologize to the court if you’ve ever thought that I or anyone in our office is taking race into account in what we charge because that’s just not the truth,” Crow explained, according to the transcript.
e are times when racial bias is so blatant it’s impossible to ignore, and according to a judge in Memphis, the case of two drug dealers facing drastically different charges for the exact same drug deal – is one of those times.