Disabled 61-Year-Old Killed Outside Of Louisiana Grocery Store While Asking For Money
Lawyers for the man's family compared the shooting to the killing of Emmett Till.
August 26, 2020 at 10:07 pm
A Black disabled 61-year-old man was shot and killed while panhandling outside of a grocery store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Saturday night.
The alleged shooter, Jace Boyd, is accused of approaching Danny Buckley who was standing in the parking lot of Trader Joes, according to Vice. After speaking with a young white woman who identifies as "Kaylee," Boyd told Buckley to leave the woman and her roommate alone.
Kaylee, who said she believes she was the last person to speak with Buckely, recalled hearing gunshots shortly after walking to her car.
“This is an assault, in my opinion, on the poor just as much as this is an assault on race,” said Ron Haley, one of the Buckley family’s attorney.
Buckley was taken to the hospital shortly after but died from his injuries. A coroner cited the 61-year-old father's death as a homicide due to a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Kaylee said when attempting to provide a statement to police on the scene, she was brushed off. She later contacted police the next day and offered a statement.
“Yes, he did ask for money. Yes, maybe he did come a little into my space to speak to me, but that’s not a death sentence,” Kaylee told WAFB.
“Whenever I gave my statement, I made sure to tell them that I never felt threatened as a young woman. I’m 21, white female, so that’s why we were so confused that why this man just felt that this was the necessary action to take. We couldn’t really believe it,” she added.
Officials wrote in their report that Buckley was "aggressively harassing customers" before he was shot. According to Vice, no additional details were given characterizing Buckely's behavior or actions in his last moments of life.
Another attorney for the family, Ryan Thompson, said Buckley was disabled, unarmed and could "barely move."
Thompson compared the shooting to the killing of Emmett Till who was gunned for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi in 1955.
“In the South, in America, it is known that you do not talk to white women if you’re a Black male,” Thompson said. “That was his crime.”
Boyd confessed to the shooting upon officers' arrival but after questioning he was released without any charges.
Baton Rouge Business Report quoted anonymous sources who said Boyd was defending himself because he and his wife felt threatened.
Community members in anguish over his release took to social media to share their thoughts.
Gary Chambers posted a video explaining the incident and said Boyd should have been immediately charged.
Danny Buckley was killed in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s here in Baton Rouge on August 22nd. Mr. Buckley was a 62 year old Black male.— Gary Chambers (@GaryChambersJr) August 24, 2020
He was killed by 24 year old Jace Boyd, a white male.
Baton Rouge Police let Boyd go home. pic.twitter.com/Duq4rUxOQf
“I just thought it was egregious that someone could kill somebody in the parking lot and go home that night,” Chambers said.
“The man’s crime seems to be poverty, and he was gunned down by this young white man,” he added.
Kaylee also posted to Twitter shortly after, Vice reported.
On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Boyd, but Thompson said he doesn't believe justice has been served, yet.
Boyd is wanted for second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, according to a police statement posted to Facebook.
Both Thompson and Haley have categorized the shooting as a hate crime and said Boyd's Facebook profile contained Confederate imagery. His account, however, was removed from public viewing, according to the Advocate.
Similar to Florida, Louisiana has a "Stand Your Ground" law that makes it legal for someone to react with deadly force in defense.
Thompson, however, said that it's impossible for Boyd to have felt threatened by Buckley.
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said she has requested for a "fair and transparent review" of the shooting.