Friday, March 31, 2017

First-Degree Murder Charges for Right for This?

A 13 year old was shot by store clerk Raad Sunna while attempting what appears to be a robbery. Police say the assailant was grabbing at marijuana paraphernalia. In the video, he does turn towards the wall and appears to be possibly reaching for items. However, it is a very brief period of time. It took me several reviews of the video to catch that. One would be within reason to perceive the quick dash behind the counter as a robber's charge to the register.

The assailant was not shot running out of the store. He was only just barely turning around, probably once he realized that Sunna had drawn and aimed his firearm. He was shot in the back because Sunna, operating under extreme stress, did not have time to realize what was going on. Self-defense expert Massad Ayoob explains it beautifully.

Ayoob also mentioned that this information, which would have been so crucial for the homicide detectives and prosecutors to understand, is rarely taught to law enforcement. Had the officers and deputy DA's in question known this, they would not have over-charged, or charged at all, Sunna. God willing, a jury will realize that Sunna felt he was facing a robbery.

Looking at the video, I believe that reasonable doubt exists. Certainly, premeditated murder, malice aforethought, does not exist. Metro and the DA appears to have overcharged. At the time that Sunna draws, the assailant is still running towards him. The assailant is running behind the counter dressed like a robber. Sunna had every reason to believe it was a robbery and that the assailant was rushing to attack him. 
“Back in the 1970s, my friend and colleague John Farnam did tests which proved that the average person—not just a shooting champion—can fire four shots in one second from a double action only handgun with a long trigger stroke for each shot, and five shots in one second from a semiautomatic pistol with a short-reset trigger.”
“Now, let’s examine it from the attacker’s side. He is lunging at his victim, probably not the first time he’s done something like that, and now something unexpected happens; the victim comes up with a gun! Instinct tells him to turn away from danger, and what we know now about human reaction time shows he can start that turn in a quarter of one second, or even less. As a rule of thumb, a human being can pivot his torso a quarter turn in, oh, a quarter of a second. That’s 90 degrees, and if his side was angled toward you, the defender—something common in the ‘body language’ of human-on-human assault—the lateral midline of his body has passed your gunsights in 0.25 of one second. The human can do a half-turn, 180 degrees, in half a second. That means that even when the bad guy is square-on when you started shooting, he can his back square to you in 0.50 of one second."
“The third thing we have to factor in is the shooter’s reaction time to the unanticipated change of events when the attacker suddenly turned away. Reaction time to anticipated stimulus runs plus/minus a quarter of a second. But the shooter firing in self-defense does not anticipate a sudden break-off of the assailant’s attack; after all, if he or she thought the attacker was going to suddenly stop attacking, he or she would not have fired at all."
“Reacting to unanticipated stimulus therefore takes far longer, meantime, the original justified action—in this case, firing as fast as one can stop the threat—is still taking place. By the time the finger comes off the trigger, several shots may have been fired.”
Watch the video, what do you see? 

[1] Ayoob, Massad. Deadly Force; Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense. "Chapter 7: Furtive Movement Shootings and Other Widely Misunderstood Events." 2014.

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