Killing of Justin King, a Missouri Black Man, Considered a ‘Reasonable Killer’ Despite Outcry

Residents of a small community in rural Missouri have been sounding the alarm for weeks over what they describe as a suspicious fatal shooting of a Black man by a white neighbor. his case, but on Tuesday, the grand jury investigation released the official version of the facts and ruled it rightful murder.

Justin King, 28, was found shot dead in his neighbor’s yard in a Bourbon trailer park community on November 3. The murder was almost immediately treated as self-defense by Van. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that “it appears King was shot to death after forcing himself into a neighbor’s home.

Police said investigators were trying to “preliminarily corroborate” the shooter’s claim that “he feared for his life and shot King.” However, after gathering questions from the community, they returned and promised to investigate further before the case would be turned over to the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Tuesday, a jury of six Crawford County residents unanimously agreed with the police’s initial findings, which ruled the shooting was a justifiable murder consistent with Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law, in which assumes that residents can use “fatal force” to prevent home invasions and have no obligation to retreat. Now, the prosecutor’s office decides whether to press charges or side with the jury.

But many, including King’s family, are questioning whether the jury was given enough evidence to reach that conclusion. The jury, selected by Crawford County Sheriff Darin Layman, heard testimony from law enforcement officers and witnesses and watched video of investigators questioning the shooter shortly after the murder.

The shooter, who has not been named because he has not been charged, testified that King was high on drugs and broke into his home before breaking several TV sets; he admitted to providing King with a link prior to the shooting, but insisted it was not laced, although authorities say King had THC and meth in his system at the time. the point of his death.

While police testified that they corroborated many of the shooter’s claims, surveillance video from the shooter’s trailer, described by authorities in their testimony, was not made available to witnesses. magistrate, according to KMOV.

“This is not the end. It is far from over,” King’s father, John King, told the local news outlet. He said his son is the only Black resident in the car park community. pulled and questioned whether “racially motivated hatred” contributed to the murder.

“The only person who said it was a home invasion was the guy who shot my son,” King’s father was quoted as saying. NBC News. “And all the neighbors are saying, ‘No, you shot him in cold blood outside. “

The local NAACP chapter also raised questions about the shooting and the ensuing investigation.

“This is a pattern of behavior that we see in rural Missouri. There is a reluctance to hold attackers accountable when the victim is Black. It’s a terrible reality that we’re facing in Missouri,” Nimrod Chapel Jr., president of NAACP Missouri, told NBC News.

He said King’s family was “distraught” after “seeing their son defamed” during the investigation rather than seeing all the evidence presented.

After King’s death, several witnesses spoke out about what they described as red flags in the shooter’s version of events. Neighbors interviewed by Fox 2 in early December said King was friends with the man who shot him.

“I heard one of them say, ‘Hey, I thought we were friends!’ And you hear the other person say ‘Wow, we did!’ And then you hear pop, pop, pop,” neighbor Earl McCoy Jr told the news agency.

Dwoyne DeJean, King’s boss, said the 28-year-old father was working virtual shortly before the shooting, a fact that casts doubt on the “home invasion” claim.

DeJean told Fox 2. “He literally took a 15-minute break.

Katherine Bosek, another witness, testified for the grand jury Tuesday, telling them King helped her find her dog shortly before the shooting happened, and that both King and the shooter later helped. She started her car. She said King had confided in her in previous conversations that he believed the shooter could have killed him, which she said she informed police about. But the sheriff denied that investigators had ever heard that claim.

King’s family also said they had seen surveillance video showing the shooter inside King’s home on the morning of the shooting. Based on Fox 2, the shooter was at the center of an earlier shooting in 2017, when a trailer park resident said he pointed a gun at a man’s head.

The charges were eventually reduced in that case because the accuser did not appear in court. Killing of Justin King, a Missouri Black Man, Considered a ‘Reasonable Killer’ Despite Outcry


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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