Apparently John Henry Spooner, a 75-year-old man from Milwaukee, thinks we’re still living in the Jim Crow-era South.
With no regard for the law, Spooner took matters into his own hands and murdered 13-year-old Darius Simmons, a young boy who lived next door to him.
Spooner confronted Darius and his mother and accused the teen of stealing property from his home. The property in question? Spooner said he had a collection of guns that went missing and suspected Darius of the crime, even though he was in school at the time of the robbery.
Spooner confronted Darius and his mother about the robbery and they both denied being involved with the theft, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Spooner raised his 9mm handgun and pointed at Darius.
Frightened by the sight of a gun being pointed at him only five feet away from his chest, Darius raised his hand in surrender as Spooner fired one shot into his torso. Scared, wounded and confused, Darius took off running as Spooner aimed and fired another shot, striking Darius in the back and ultimately killing him when he arrived to the hospital.
Spooner was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and a judge set his cash bond at $300,000.
Many are drawing comparisons with this case to the one involving Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, another unarmed black teenager who was senselessly gunned down by a vigilante who took the law into his own hands.
But these cases are totally different; I understand why Zimmerman killed Trayvon to an extent. He followed him, confronted him, got scared when Trayvon defended himself and let his gun be the ultimate answer.
But when I read about Spooner and Darius’ case, it reminded me of a story I covered two years ago involving a 13-year-old Chicago boy by the name of Robert Freeman.
Robert was shot 22 times while hanging out in his neighborhood, by a gunman who took him for someone else. The gunman fired 22 rounds into Robert’s body and walked away.
The insanity of the circumstances is what angers me in both cases. Spooner killed Darius in front of his mother and Robert was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity.
When it comes to these two killers, they have no regard for life; they treated their victims as though they had no value and were worth nothing.
In the case of Spooner, it seems as though he reverted back to a time when you could just kill a black man and not be prosecuted. What did he think would happen after he shot Darius, they were going to let him go?
What’s even more amazing is that the police searched Darius’ home and didn’t find any of Spooner’s weapons.
At age 75, Spooner grew up in the time of Jim Crow segregation and I’m sure he witnessed a lynching or two, which would explain why he did what he did. But what an inexcusable act perpetrated by guilty man.
Shaka Griffith is the News/Politics Editor of GlobalGrind.com Follow him on twitter @Darealshaka