Another Young Unarmed Black Man Killed: Castle Doctrine Law Protecting Shooter

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All sorts of interesting state laws are being used to justify the killings of black boys across the country. By now we’re all well versed in Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law but similar legislature in Wisconsin is coming under scrutiny following the killing of 20-year-old Bo Morrison March 3. Global Grind outlines the details leading up to the shooting death like this:

There was an underage drinking party at the home of Tim Hess, the neighbor of [Adam] Kind, which Bo was attending.  It was Mr. Hess’ daughters who were the hosts of the party.  Kind, 35, called police at about 1:00AM, complaining of loud music coming from a car parked in his neighbor’s driveway. He pounded on the window of the car and asked a woman inside to turn down the music. She refused.  The police arrive on the scene at 1:05AM.

For 45 minutes, the police try to get into the garage in the back of the Hess house, where the young people are partying, but to no avail.  They leave the garage area, but park their cars just a few hundred feet away from both the Hess house and the Kind home.

At 1:50AM, the police call Adam Kind and explain that they will cite the party hosts in the morning. They speak with Adam for 4 1/2 minutes. The police say he was appreciative and would give a statement in the morning.  Mr. Kind claims he went back to sleep with his wife.

At 1:55AM, the father of the party’s host come outside and kicks down the door of the garage and all of the young people run. Bo runs and hides in the Adam Kind’s enclosed porch in the back of his house.

At 1:56AM Bo is shot dead. The police cars are still outside the house. Bo is killed while the cops are only a few hundred feet from the house.

At 2:00AM Adam’s wife calls 911 to report the shooting.

Authorities say that Kind, who is white, was justified in shooting the biracial young man under the Castle Doctrine Law enacted late last year. It operates under the principle that man is the king of his castle and therefore can use deadly force to protect himself in the threat of imminent danger in their home. That thinking is very similar to standing your ground with deadly force when you believe you are about to be a victim of a crime. According to county District Attorney Mark Bensen:

“Under a reasonable view of the evidence the homeowner acted reasonably in his use of force based on the facts and circumstances.”

Kind says he shot Morrison once as he, wearing dark clothing, was coming toward him. He also says he immediately told his wife to call the cops. Morrison’s family says the boy was shot while crouching in the corner in the porch because the bullet holes in his clothing were found near the top of his shirt and the exit hole near his buttocks. This makes the idea that he was shot at a downward angle much more probable.

“He executed my son,” Morrison’s mother, Lauri said. “This cannot happen to another kid.”

Since Morrison’s background will likely come into play as this case gains more notoriety, Lauri made it a point to expose the fact that her son had received tickets previously for underage drinking, and said that’s likely why he ran and hid once the party was busted up. His sister, Kayla, confirmed that her brother had gotten in with the wrong crowd for a while, but insisted:

“He was not a criminal. He was not a violent person.”

At this point, Kind has not been charged at all in the case and rallies have begun in Slinger, Wisconsin where the shooting took place. The small city of approximately 3,900 residents is 98% white and 0.2% African American.

What do you think about this case? Was Kind justified in shooting Morrison?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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