White Man Released On Bail After Shooting Unarmed Black Teen In The Head
The disturbing epidemic of white men taking the law into their own hands when they feel a young black boy poses a threat based solely on his appearance and “suspicious” actions continues to spread.
In the latest incident, a 14-year-old unarmed African-American teenager remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the head by a white man who believed that the boy was planning to break into his home in New Orleans.
A Marigny homeowner has been charged with attempted second-degree murder after he shot a 14-year-old boy in the head early Friday, police said. The homeowner’s friends and neighbors said the owner believed the teen was an intruder.
New Orleans police arrested Merritt Landry, 33, after conducting multiple interviews and reviewing crime scene evidence, NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said.
Police said the teen was near Landry’s vehicle when he was shot. Landry’s friends said the vehicle was in the driveway behind a gate just a few feet from the house’s backdoor.
Similar to the Trayvon Martin case, a few witnesses have come forward with what they saw prior to the shooting, including a neighbor of Landry’s who seems to also believe that the teen was planning to burglarize Landry’s home based on what he witnessed.
[Friend and neighbor] Charles Hazouri said his [surveillance] video, which he gave to NOPD detectives, shows a teen in a light-colored T-shirt walk his bike across Mandeville toward Landry’s house. Then, the teen walks back out to the middle of the road before climbing over Landry’s fence, Hazouri said.
Earlier in the evening, a different neighbor said, a teen in a blue tank top had been biking around the area around 8 p.m. and the neighbor believed he was looking at different houses.
“I thought about calling the cops, but the last thing I want to do is racially profile a little kid who’s just biking,” said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The neighbor and Landry are white; the two teens are black.
Landry’s large dog started barking, which alerted Landry to the teen being inside his yard, according to Landry’s friends. Landry, who has a pregnant wife and baby daughter, believed the teen was trying to break into his house, Hazouri said.
Both family members of the teen and attorneys for the shooter have spoken out with few details surrounding the current condition of the teenager and the future outcome of this case. Hear what they had to say on the flip…
Landry’s attorneys, Michael Kennedy and Miles Swanson, issued a statement after the arrest saying,
“This incident is terrible, and Mr. Landry feels terrible about how things have occurred. Nevertheless, we remain convinced our client has done nothing wrong, and we are sure — as facts come to light — it’ll become clear that Mr. Landry will be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing.”
Although Coulter’s relatives have acknowledged that he has a history of arrests for “stealing,” they said he has never used a gun. Police said Coulter, 14, was unarmed when he was shot and did not pose an imminent threat.
The teenager remains hospitalized in critical condition according to police, and family members told the paper that while he can slightly move the right side of his body, [doctors believe] that he would have severe brain damage if he survives.
Given the facts of this case so far, do you think this man was justified in shooting this teen? Or is this a Zimmerman-Martin story all over again?
Photo Credit: New Orleans Times – Picayune