Real World Shooting - What is the proper outcome?


PDA






Bartholomew Roberts
August 24, 2005, 09:15 PM
Soon Ja Du was a Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen in 1976. By working hard, both her and her husband managed to acquire enough money to purchase two liquor stores in LA. Friends warned them both stores were in bad areas. Their stores saw almost 40 shoplifting incidents a week as well as several robberies. In 1981, Du's husband purchased a .38 S&W revolver with a 2" barrel from a friend. He never fired the weapon or trained anyone else in his family in its use. The weapon was stolen in a robbery in 1990 and later returned by police.

On March 16, 1991, Soon Ja Du went to work in the family liquor store. She normally worked at a different store; but her son Joseph had testified against the local gang (Main Street Crips) in a robbery case and they had threatened his life. He was afraid to work in that store.

Several young teens entered the store, two girls (15yr old Latasha Harlins and 13yr old Lakeshia), and Latasha's younger brother. Latasha placed a bottle of orange juice in her backpack where it was partially visible and proceeded to the checkout counter. Accounts vary; but all agree Du accused Latasha of shoplifting and attempted to take the orange juice from the backpack.

Latasha punched Du twice in the eye, causing Du to fall backwards with the backpack and the orange juice to fall on the floor. Du testified she felt she would die if Latasha struck her again. She threw a stool at the girl (which missed) and then attempted to retrieve the .38 from a holster under the counter.

Latasha picked up the orange juice and placed it on the counter. As she was turning to leave, Du knocked the orange juice back onto the floor and shot Latasha in the back of the head from a distance of 3'. LAPD weapons experts would later testify that the gun had a crudely altered trigger job that dramatically reduced the trigger pull and caused the safety mechanism (transfer bar) to sometimes not function properly.

Du was indicted on criminal charges. During her trial she claimed both self-defense and that she did not intend to shoot Latasha but fired accidentally. Anyone want to guess the outcome?

If you enjoyed reading about "Real World Shooting - What is the proper outcome?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Baba Louie
August 24, 2005, 09:17 PM
Someone sued the gun manufacturer?

Sindawe
August 24, 2005, 10:07 PM
I'll guess negligent homicide, since the threat had ended (Latasha's back turned) and the poor trigger job on the weapon.

thorn726
August 24, 2005, 10:29 PM
back of the head from a distance of 3'.

LAPD weapons experts would later testify that the gun had a crudely altered trigger job that dramatically reduced the trigger pull and caused the safety mechanism (transfer bar) to sometimes not function properly.

During her trial she claimed both self-defense and that she did not intend to shoot Latasha but fired accidentally.

this is kinda ridiculous, and a weak defense- besides contradictory, back of hte head, IF the gun was altered, well i hate people claiming accident when they ask for it.

like a drunk driver saying he didnt mean to kill the ped, he was drunk.

since the whole thing is so crazy i'll guess she was acquitted.....

Old Fuff
August 24, 2005, 10:46 PM
I don't see circumstances that would justify deadly force. While the revolver was apparently defective, I don't think that that would provide a viable defense Good intentions don't count after a trigger was pulled.

And it happened in Los Angeles ... :barf:

I'll bet on a a conviction. :banghead:

Preacherman
August 24, 2005, 11:04 PM
I know the case, so I won't comment - but it surprised me.

SquirrelNuts
August 24, 2005, 11:27 PM
<-=- Dieing to know...

Lone_Gunman
August 24, 2005, 11:30 PM
Sounds like murder to me.

Alex45ACP
August 24, 2005, 11:49 PM
Sounds like a perfectly justified case of self defense to me. The law may not say the same though.

carebear
August 25, 2005, 12:00 AM
Back of the head on a fleeing assailant?

Given the facts as written, murder most foul.

CARRY'IN
August 25, 2005, 12:08 AM
Some form of murder. Cant shoot someone in the back of the head as they are leaving and get away with it (unless you are rich-or a cop).

FireBreather01
August 25, 2005, 12:22 AM
Manslaughter - suspended sentence?

beerslurpy
August 25, 2005, 12:47 AM
My prediction is a lot of Jesse Jackson. </Mr. T>

I remember how things were under Dinkins in NYC. Every time a korean store owner shot a black hoodlum there would be nonstop protests outside the store (for months) regardless of whether the shoot was justified or not. NYC actually does make it relatively easy for store owners to have guns on them legally, so this sort of thing rarely resulted in prosecution.

armoredman
August 25, 2005, 01:51 AM
Murder 1.

Flyboy
August 25, 2005, 02:13 AM
I don't know how this case would go, but where do you get Murder 1? That's premeditated, or murder in furtherance of another crime which you initiated. I don't see either of those here.

c_yeager
August 25, 2005, 03:36 AM
This was a rather well known case in the early 1990s wasnt it? I seem to remember that it was used as a justification for yet another round of L.A. riots which served to further every single stereotype ever put forth concerning the population of certain parts of L.A., and simply perpetuated the same cycle which led to the problem in the first place.

In my opinion this case should have ended with a murder conviction and prison time.

haole_boySS
August 25, 2005, 09:18 AM
Hello, newbie here.....

So what was the outcome?

whitebear
August 25, 2005, 10:19 AM
Thanks to Wikipedia (Soon Ja Du (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soon_Ja_Du)). The emphasis is mine.

Soon Ja Du is the Korean American Los Angeles liquor store owner infamous for shooting and killing 15-year-old Latasha Harlins in 1991. Although the store, Empire Liquor, was normally staffed by Du's husband and son, she was working behind the counter the morning of March 16, 1991, because her son had received death threats from gang members and her husband was out resting. Just thirteen days after the videotaped beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers, Du saw Harlins slip a $1.79 bottle of juice in her backpack. In the ensuing struggle, Harlins walked away and was shot in the back and killed. This incident heated up the already tense race relations in Los Angeles.

Du was charged with murder but was convicted by a jury of voluntary manslaughter. Du was sentenced to five years of probation, four hundred hours of community service, and a $500 fine. Du had faced eleven years in prison. Her light sentence was perceived by many as an indication of the value that society placed on the value of African Americans in Los Angeles. Anger over the incident was a precipitating factor in the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Korean-owned businesses were targeted for burning and looting during the riots.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soon_Ja_Du"

silverlance
August 25, 2005, 06:09 PM
things to think about:

the girl probably said something to the effect of "I'm not stealing nothing, I'm leaving - with the juice sticking out the back in plain sight". If she gets away once, she will do it several more times.

"15 year old girl" is often misleading. i have had 15yros that weighed 210lbs and were 5'9". They also were very polite until someone touched them - anywhere, accidentally or not - and then they'd kick your head on the ground. they also mugged, hustled, and burgled.

there aren't as many black folks in Los Angeles as they would have you believe - or in the whole US, for that matter - about 12% at most. Now brown folks - that's another matter.

but someone the media loves talking about "black violence" and "black community", most likely because they have more figureheads that will give their journalism credibility and relevance in national terms.

if i had been in that situation - and I can't say I'm authoritative at all -

I would never have touched that girl. I would have simply told her to put it back, and if she refused, I'd keep my hand near the gun but not draw it. Let her go. the security camera will provide the PD pics which they can then go to town on in regards to high schools.

newfalguy101
August 25, 2005, 06:34 PM
Based solely on the information given here

I would say that the voluntary manslaughter conviction is warrented, or perhaps maybe she should have been convicted on murder2??

I do think some jailtime shoulda been handed down though, she DID kill someone, even if she "didnt mean to"

Zundfolge
August 25, 2005, 06:49 PM
Anyone want to guess the outcome?


The answer is in this week old thread :p
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=152458

Rockstar
August 25, 2005, 07:55 PM
I didn't notice this info so far, but I'd like to know who wound up taking care of the dead 15-yr-old's three children?

If you enjoyed reading about "Real World Shooting - What is the proper outcome?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!