Last summer, after a string of carjackings and robberies in the ‘city that law and order forgot’, a fearful and racially diverse group of residents promised to ‘stand their ground’ and fight back against the rising tide of violence.
I remarked at the time that we would see just how serious these residents were about civilian self-defense when a white man shot and killed a black man.
That day has arrived in the style of NOLA homeowner Merrit Landry shooting 14-year-old Marshall Coulter.
Coulter had hopped over the Landry home’s 8-foot-tall wrought iron fence and was attempting some sort of mischief when Landry confronted him at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
According to Landry, “I approached the boy from my front yard, near my vehicle. As I grew closer, the boy made a move, as if to reach for something, possibly a weapon.”
Landry fired one shot, which struck Coulter in the head. Coulter survived but is in the hospital in critical condition.
In typical, better late than never fashion, in swoops the NOPD to press second degree murder charges against Landry, claiming their intrepid detectives have a witness who does not corroborate his story.
Really!? In a city competing valiantly for the murder capital of the country title, the police force that cannot locate the whereabouts of submerged cars wants to persecute homeowners doing that department’s job?
Coulter’s brother nonchalantly told nola.com, “He would steal. He was a professional thief, sure. But he would never pick up a gun, not in a million years.”
Ok, first of all how was Merritt Landry to know Coulter was unarmed, and second since when does being a ‘thief’ not place one outside the confines of what we call ‘law and order’?
That a life of crime, for a 14-year-old is treated like marching band practice at St. Augustine tells you everything you need to know about this epidemic of violence: it is the new paradigm, the law of the streets.
Unfortunately, citizens like Merritt Landry live under the antiquated notion of the old law and order, passed by legislators and used to be enforced, by the NOPD.