A white man shot a black man to death, because he saw “hoodlums” outside. It’s sadly reminiscent to the death of Trayvon Martin four years ago.
39 year-old Chad Copley of Raleigh, North Carolina called the police to report that there were “hoodlums” outside in his neighborhood. The man he killed was Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, a 20 year-old black male attending a party in the same neighborhood.
Prior to the shooting, during his 911 call, Copley said the following to the dispatcher:
“I’m on neighborhood watch. I am going to have the neighborhood meet these hoodlums out here racing up and down the street. It’s 1 in the morning. There’s some devil in them. They have firearms and we’re going to secure our neighborhood. If I was you, I would send PD out here as quickly as possible.”
But neighbors argue that Copley was never part of any neighborhood watch group. Some say there wasn’t even a neighborhood watch group to begin with. Yet, Copley took matters into his own hands and murdered Thomas.
It was reported by police that after the call was made, Copley went outside and shot Thomas. After the shooting, he made another call to authorities:
“We have a lot of people outside our house, yelling and shouting profanities. I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises.’ They were showing a firearm, so I fired a warning shot and, uh, we got somebody that got hit.”
The dispatcher then asked him if someone was shot.
“Well, I don’t know if they were shot or not, ma’am,” he told her. “I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family. … Ma’am, I don’t know who they are. There’s frigging black males outside my frigging house with firearms. Please send PD.”
Copley then hung up.
Copley is currently facing murder charges and will probably get the death penalty if convicted.
Here’s what to expect to come from this latest chapter of gun-possessing white fear leading to the deaths of black lives. Though it’s not written in stone:
One, people will see similarities to Trayvon Martin’s shooting in 2012. If you recall, Martin, an unarmed black teen, was murdered by George Zimmerman after he was spotted by the neighborhood watch leader in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman called 911 prior to the shooting to say that he spotted Trayvon and that “he’s up to no good“, among other racially charged statements.
Eventually, after chasing down Martin and wrestling him, Zimmerman shot and killed him. Zimmerman claimed self-defense even though he was armed and Martin was not. Plus, he weighed a lot more than Martin. He went to trial a year later in 2013 and was acquitted.
Two, this will likely gain the attention of civil rights organizations and the Black Lives Matter movement, especially within the Raleigh area. The movement has remained active after George Zimmerman’s trial and was galvanized after the shooting of Michael Brown two years ago.
Three, gun nuts, conservatives and all-around racists will defend Copley. News outlets will attempt to ‘thuggify’ Thomas. They will attempt to dig up Thomas’ past to find any tidbit of information as to any kind of wrongdoing. His legal past will be unearthed for “journalists” to reveal any sort of criminality. In other words, they will blatantly blame the victim and subliminally mold public opinion against him.
Four, there will be folks who will use the tired-ass “what about black-on-black crime” argument despite the fact that they don’t give a damn about black people, ‘black-on-black crime’ or that this racist society has laregly orchestrated the problem in the first place. They have never, nor will they ever do anything to fix the problem they falsely seem concerned about. And they will end up looking like racist ignoramuses who just like to complain.
Fifth, the worst-case scenario will be if Copley, like Zimmerman before him will also walk free. If not, he will get a lighter sentence than the death penalty, comparatively lighter than if Copley was black and Thomas was white…or if they both were black.
So far, the first prediction came to past. The others are remained to be seen as of now. This could change however. But for now, let’s learn who Kouren “Koury” Thomas was, according to those who knew him:
Kouren-Rodney Thomas had been working at McDonald’s in Raleigh since May 2014, his family said. He previously worked at Waffle House.
She was the youngest son of Simone Butler-Thomas, who, while holding a picture of him, told the Raleigh News & Observer, “This is my baby. He looks just like me.”
Family members told the newspaper Thomas was a “bit of a comedian.”
He was looking forward to helping his girlfriend, Amani Rooney, move into her dormitory at East Carolina University later this month.