Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Self-defense for African-Americans Gets Ignored

The facts are clear. Justice was denied in Georgia.

Let me remind you of the details of a case from 2005.

In self-defense, John McNeil, a successful African American businessman and father of two, shot and killed a Caucasian man. The deceased was a former builder who worked on John's property and had threatened John and his son with a weapon.

The police were called, but they didn't arrest John. It was clear that John acted in self-defense and that no crime had been committed. But 274 days later when Cobb County District Attorney Patrick Head was campaigning for re-election, John was charged with murder.

He was found guilty.

This is an outrage. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous is headed to Georgia to personally deliver a message to the attorney general, asking that he support us in our pursuit for justice for John McNeil. He needs you to add your name in support of John McNeil now:

Georgia has strong Castle Doctrine laws giving individuals the right to protect themselves "without a duty to retreat" if they feel threatened on their own property. John was clearly within the law.

You see, it was at John's home that the builder, who was previously barred from their property, first used a knife to threaten John's son La'Ron. John was on the phone and listened to the encounter. Upon rushing home he saw the builder put something in his front pocket as he charged back onto John's property.

This is a clear-cut case of self-defense. Two white Cobb County officers testified on John's behalf during his trial. But that didn't stop District Attorney Head from pursuing the case.

The politician won re-election and John is serving a life-sentence.

John's case is currently being reviewed in Georgia courts. We hope that the decision is a just one and in John's favor and that Attorney General Sam Olens does what is in his power to see that justice is served and John returns home to his family.

Being black should not make you a criminal. Protecting your family from an armed intruder should not put you in prison for life. If you agree, sign our petition in support of John McNeil so President Jealous can deliver your support to the attorney general:

Thank you,


Edward DuBose
Georgia State Conference President

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