Nearly a week after a road rage incident turned deadly, Police in Terrytown, Louisiana have filed charges against a White man accused of fatally shooting former New York Jets player Joe McKnight, who was Black.
Initially, the Jefferson Parrish Sheriff’s Office failed to charge Gasser, releasing him just hours after the December 1 shooting at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in the mostly Black community.
The failure to immediately charge Gasser reignited the debate about the value of Black lives in the eyes of law enforcement officials. But Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s officials argued they needed more time to investigate the incident before filing charges.
Still, authorities investigating the case are weighing whether to consider Louisiana’s stand-your-ground law, which allows citizens to use deadly force if an attacker poses an imminent threat, reports say.
The local NAACP chapter held a press conference on Monday calling for action and transparency in the investigation. NAACP leaders point to the fatal shooting of ex-NFL star Will Smith, whose attacker Cardell Hayes, also Black, was immediately arrested and charged with second-degree murder after a similar road rage incident in April. Deliberations for the Hayes trial began on Monday.
McKnight recently played as a running back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
Without protests, do you think police would have charged Gasser? Sound off in comments.
SOURCE: The Times-Picayune