*Does this sound familiar? In North Carolina, a white man said to be on “neighborhood watch” shot and killed an unarmed 20-year-old black man, Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, on Sunday(08-07-16). The shooter, Chad Copley, 39, then placed a call to 911 saying he was trying to protect his family from “hoodlums.”
“We’ve got a bunch of hoodlums out here racing,” Copley said, according to a recording of the first emergency call. “I am locked and loaded. I’m going outside to secure my neighborhood.”
In the second call, Copley admitted he fired his weapon, but said he wasn’t sure if he had shot anyone.
“Well, I don’t know if they were shot or not, Ma’am,” he told a dispatcher. “I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”
The operator asked who had come to his house.
“Ma’am, I don’t know who they are,” the man said. “There’s frigging black males outside my frigging house with firearms. Please send PD.”
No weapons were found outside, police said. Cops said Copley fired the shot from inside his garage. Copley could face the death penalty if he is convicted.
Copley was charged in the death of Thomas and held without bail at the Wake County Detention Center. Copley used a shotgun on the victim, however authorities haven’t revealed the type of shotgun or the kind of ammunition used.
CNN reports that as Copley entered the court room for his hearing, he winked at his family before the judge assigned the capital defenders office to defend him. It was later revealed that Raymond Tarlton would defend Copley and in a brief statement, Tarlton said it was too soon to make any definite decisions regarding the case.
“We have seen too many wrongful convictions for anyone or any organization to jump to conclusions on the basis of someone being charged,” the statement said.
One can’t help but think of George Zimmerman and the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, when hearing the details of this case. Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman in Florida, was found not guilty for the murder of Martin.
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