I saw this at the New York Post and it blew my mind.
Really, how so, I bet this is going to be good.
There is a reason homeowners can rarely afford to dispense mercy on an overnight invader: Criminal intruders tend to be the dangerous type.
That is a hell of a start. First sentence and the New York Post already acknowledges that the people who break into occupied homes at night are dangerous.
I guess the New York Post didn’t get the memo from NBC New York that home invaders are just “unwanted house visitors.”
What homeowners don’t expect are law enforcers and prosecutors going after them for defending themselves and their loved ones.
Wait what? Is the New York Post actually starting down the path of contemplating lawful self defense?
I want to see where this goes.
Queens resident Joel Christopher Paul faced a home-intruder threat in the early hours of July 30, 2017. The 27-year-old was home in Springfield Gardens with his mother, brother and sister when someone attempted to break in. The intruder was Shamel Shauvo, 26, who had traveled north from Maryland after being named a suspect in a shooting there 10 days earlier.
So a dangerous guy breaks into the family home.
Expecting a pizza delivery, Paul’s brother, Michael, 16, went to the door and discovered Shauvo trying to break in. Michael forced Shauvo to the surrounding area, and his mother called for help. Joel, adrenaline likely surging through his veins, answered the call — and brought a bat and knife to the confrontation.
It is New York City so I’m kind of surprised he’s allowed to possess both a knife and a bat.
By the time it was all over, Shauvo received the ultimate lesson in picking the wrong house.
That’s one way to put it.
He died at Jamaica Hospital after being clubbed and stabbed.
The confrontation had all the indications of a break-in gone wrong for the wanted man, and as one high-ranking police source told The Post, the response was justifiable.
The NYPD is not allowed to have that opinion, which is probably why the person here is being quoted as “one high-ranking police source” and not by name.
Both brothers avoided arrest and remained home after the incident. But months later, Queens DA Richard Brown submitted the case to a grand jury, bringing ruin upon Joel, who has been charged with manslaughter.
New York City DA’s are pieces of shit. Flat out. I think that is a qualification for the job.
Remember that Manhattan DA is hated by just about every civil rights org out there because he loved to prosecute working class trades people (especially workmen of color) for gravity knife violations for carrying the pocket knives they use for work, including those folding box cutters that have become so popular.
Vance was also the DA that refused to investigate accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein.
This is law enforcement in New York City. Are you a construction worker who pays his taxes? You get fined and a criminal record for carrying the tools of your trade.
Are you a heroin junkie, shitting in a public playground, wagging your penis at kids in the park? You are just part of the rich cultural diversity of the Big Apple.
So it doesn’t surprise me that the Queens DA would prosecute home owners defending themselves against a break in by a wanted criminal with a violent record.
A ham sandwich, as the saying goes, can be indicted in grand-jury proceedings completely overseen by prosecutors. But prosecutors shouldn’t have targeted Joel. The stress, expense and uncertainty of facing a first-degree manslaughter charge are devastating and can lead to an unjustified plea that could result in Joel going to prison.
Part of the trouble lies with New York’s “retreat doctrine.” A theory fit for law school classrooms, the doctrine holds Joel had a duty to run and hide if it was safe to do so. It’s an obligation Joel, like the vast majority of New Yorkers, had probably never heard of.
Yet it’s likely that the Queens DA will pursue precisely this avenue at trial, since the indictment states that Joel, “with intent to cause serious physical injury to Shamel Shavuo,” caused his death.
*BOOM* Mind blown.
The New York Post figures out that duty to retreat laws just fuck over honest people and help criminals.
While most jurisdictions would have left Joel alone, the Queens DA seems to want to resurrect the city’s bad old days, when prosecutors developed a reputation of interpreting laws in ways that protected criminals more than they protected victims.
That’s because the system isn’t about reducing crime, it’s about enriching the city.
Going after real criminals is hard work and expensive. Fining and jailing honest people who wanted to obey the law is easy.
High violent crime rates also increase budgets for law enforcement and prosecutors offices.
It’s like the Iron Law of Bureaucracy predicts this to a tee. The most bureaucratically perfect law enforcement system is one that stops no real crimes and fines law abiding citizens for complaining about it.
There is also an abuse of prosecutorial discretion here.
Prosecutorial discretion is pure evil. It is never used to avoid prosecuting the honest guy who made a simple, understandable mistake. That’s the defendant that prosecutors love the most because those guys all but convict themselves just trying to explain why they are innocent.
Prosecutorial discretion is always used to avoid prosecuting the friends and donors of the prosecutor and his political friends.
The DA should have recognized that Joel was forced to make split-second decisions involving defending his vulnerable family members. Even if Shauvo was initially repelled, Joel had no time for a thoughtful inquiry into what Shauvo would do next unless he saw Shavuo’s backside running down the block.
This is why duty to retreat sucks. The light bulb in this writers head just went “click.” This guy gets it. The New York Post hits the nail on the head.
Brown’s office should also review its own files to get a better sense of the devastation wrought by home invaders over the years. Such a search will reveal unsolved murders, sexual assaults and general terror inflicted on mostly working-class victims.
And why should the DA give a shit about working class victims? They don’t donate to his campaign.
For a lesson in the threat posed by home invaders, the Queens DA might also recall the notorious 2007 Cheshire, Conn., home-invasion that ended with the murder and sexual assaults of a mother and her two daughters, one of them just 11 years old.
Other home invaders in this country have had remarkable runs, like the Golden State Killer, who allegedly committed numerous assaults in the 1970s. Closer to home, a woman in her 20s last week came home to her apartment from a Manhattan bar only to wake up to the nightmare of an unknown man, who tied her up and raped her.
California and New York. You don’t read about that in places like Oklahoma where you can shoot your home invaders with an AR-15 and the cops only show up to take the bodies away.
And what if Joel had acted less assertively and Shauvo had grievously injured Joel’s kin or killed one or more of them?
Like the DA gives a shit about some working class guy getting murdered. If Joel wants the DA to care about his kin, Joel needs to cut a big fat check to the DA’s reelection campaign.
Prosecution after the fact would have offered no relief. No criminal sentence can put victims back together. Prosecution doesn’t raise the dead nor mend physical and mental scars left by crime.
It never does.
At times, the only defense is an unrelenting offense against a criminal you can assume has the worst of intentions. Unless there is more to this case than the DA has let on, those who neutralize criminals who threaten the sanctity of our homes shouldn’t face criminal charges.
Welcome to the justification for Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground. It’s not about racism or hunting black men. It is about the system protecting and giving the benefit of the doubt to the honest man defending himself, his loved ones, and his home, instead of protecting and giving the benefit of the doubt to the criminal attacking him.
Maybe, in this case it helps that Joel Paul is a black man and so this doesn’t have the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin baggage.
The New York Post is starting to see how duty to retreat and prosecutorial discretion can destroy an honest man’s life.
Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground are good protections for all honest people of all races and identities because it puts the interests of the honest over the interests of the criminal.
The New York Post is finally figuring that out.