Justin King’s Father, Shot by Neighbor, Rips Missouri Prosecutor for Letting the Killer Strike

Father of Justin King, a 28-year-old Black man was shot down by a white neighbor in a trailer park in rural Missouri in November, charged a local prosecutor Wednesday with his decision not to charge the shooter with any crime.

In particular, the grieving father argued that his failure to pursue criminal prosecution was the result of a “one-way” presentation of evidence before a jury of poor quality: the coroner’s investigation unfolded a the day before in Crawford County, where his son had lived and was. was killed.

“It was decided before they walked in, what was going to happen,” John King, Justin’s father, told The Daily Beast. “It was a farce.”

Crawford County Sheriff Darin Layman, whose office investigates King’s shooting, told The Daily Beast that the investigative process is only for “sensitive cases” such as King’s or police shootings. civilians. The proceedings were initiated by the county coroner and, Layman said, he selected a jury of six “good and lawful” citizens to appear to hear evidence presented by the district coroner and the prosecution’s attorney. presented district.

After viewing evidence in King’s shooting, the grand jury on Tuesday concluded the shooting was an act of force.

In doing so, the jurors agreed to the version of events originally put forward by the local police. And when the local prosecutor reached the same conclusion Wednesday, new friends and family were outraged, painting a picture of a justice system that values ​​the safety of whites more than blacks. .

“I think we’re going to have to find the Attorney General, perhaps petition the governor to request a federal investigation,” said Nimrod Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, who is working with the family. King, told NBC News.

In its report on the November 3 shooting, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office stated that King was shot after “forcibly” entering his neighbor’s home, where “a riot broke out.” according to a November 8 newsletter from the agency.

“The homeowner said he feared for his life and shot King,” police said.

But local prosecutors did not have to agree with the jury. They may have gone ahead and charged the shooter – who has not been identified by police anyway -. Instead, on Wednesday, David Smith, the attorney general for Crawford County, announced he would not file any charges.

In a press release, Smith said King and the neighbor had known each other for more than a year and were “sociable”. On the morning of November 3, Smith said, King was accused of leaving another neighbor’s dogs unchained, an allegation that King denied and which “infuriated” him, according to Smith.

Smith said the neighbor who shot King had assisted in resolving the matter with the dog’s owner, but King remained “agitated”. Ultimately, the prosecutor said, the shooter visited King’s trailer. Citing audio and video from the security camera inside in the trailer, Smith said the shooter was trying to calm King. Footage shows the gunman leaving King’s home as King tells him, “Love you, man,” the prosecutor added.

However, 50 minutes later, according to Smith, King’s footage shows him running out of the house while “screaming incoherently” and going to the shooter’s residence and “slamming” the door – and then Enter the intro. About a minute later, Smith said, the video shows two men struggling and toppling over on a covered porch.

King then collapsed to the ground from being shot.

According to Smith, the shooter said in a statement to investigators that King shouted, “I’m going to kill you” while banging on the door. He also claims King threw a television across the room inside the trailer and damaged another. During the standoff between the two, the shooter said he fired three shots at King. He told investigators he “didn’t know” what caused King’s behavior to change since they last saw each other in King’s trailer that same day.

Smith said that after speaking with the county coroner, Darren Dake — who did not respond to a request for comment — and Sheriff Layman, they agreed that the investigation would be helpful to provide an “independent” assessment. establishment” of the case, especially to those who were “important” to the investigation.

But King’s father says the investigation looks like an “archaic” procedure – a procedure he believes is used only to provide a look of objectivity and exempt authorities from making a decision. The decision looks like a decision that became official on Wednesday.

“Instead of putting it on one man, you go find six people the sheriff personally selected to corroborate his point of view,” he told The Daily Beast, claiming that the jury consisted of five white man and only one black man.

Sheriff Layman denied King’s claim that he cornered the jury.

“My selection criteria is that each of the jurors has no criminal history, they are good, legal and moral people and they do not have any connection with or know the deceased or the shooter,” he told The Daily Beast. “I did my best to choose as fair and objective as possible.”

When asked about the racial composition of the judges, Layman said the selection “was free from racial prejudice.” Crawford County has a population of about 25,000 and more than 98 percent of residents are white, according to recent census data. Black residents make up less than one percent of the county.

In addition to downplaying Layman’s process, King also accused Smith, the district attorney, of giving “one-way…presentational” evidence. “Basically, he lured them in exactly where he wanted them to go.”

Catherine Bosek, the self-identified neighbor who initially believed King let her dogs out, similarly harshly criticized Smith’s investigation and on Tuesday – though, she said, testifying in it herself. She called Smith “rude” and said she believed he was “against” her while testifying.

“Justin is the victim and [Smith] act like he’s the initiator,” she told The Daily Beast.

Smith declined to comment for this story.

Bosek told The Daily Beast that on the day of the shooting, she was sleeping in a chair when a friend told her that King had put her two dogs on a leash. She said she was upset and went to confront King, who denied releasing the dogs and jumped into his car to help her find them. She said after they found a dog and she brought it home, her car wouldn’t start, and King and his neighbor then shot him over to help her out. At the same time, her second dog was found and she said she was no longer upset with King.

She also reported King and the man who killed him were joking and walking together. “That was the last time I saw Justin alive,” Bosek said.

About 45 minutes later, Bosek continued, she heard three gunshots and stepped outside to find King lying dead on the ground.

Bosek says she doesn’t buy the shooter’s story. She told The Daily Beast that the neighbor was an odd man, and a month before the shooting took place, King told her he had threatened to shoot him, one account said. Chief Layman said jurors heard on Tuesday, but he previously claimed he didn’t know. investigators.

“I thought it was all bullshit,” she said. “He should have been charged.”

She admitted that she also did not know why King’s demeanor changed in the period after the neighbor left his home and King came to confront the neighbor at his home. She said that in Tuesday’s testimony, it was revealed that King was given a joint by a neighbor and that investigators asked the man if he had impregnated it, but he negate.

According to a local CBS branch, testimony during Tuesday’s interrogation revealed that King was weeding and eating meth in his system at the time of his death. The testimony also revealed that authorities and the shooter said he gave King joint. But Smith told the King family that no evidence of weeds had ever been found.

“I don’t know what happened,” Bosek said. “I wish I could know. I don’t see where the madness comes from.”

The man whom John King and Bosek have identified as the shooter – whom big-name police say they have not released because he has not been charged and whose identity authorities will not confirm Wednesday – has not respond to a request for comment.

King’s father said he was not shocked to learn that there would be no charges against his son’s killer. He sat down during the inquest on Tuesday and added that, in addition to his disappointment at Smith’s presentation of the evidence that had been shown, he was shocked by the video evidence from outside of the trailer for the show. The shooter was never produced.

King said that while his son’s case appears to be ending locally, he is appealing for help from the FBI for a possible federal case; he before expressed hope the Feds could re-engage in December.

“It really doesn’t surprise me,” King said of not being charged. “What surprised me was that they actually thought we were actually going to accept that.”

“Justin will get justice.” Justin King’s Father, Shot by Neighbor, Rips Missouri Prosecutor for Letting the Killer Strike


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