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Black Gun Owner Gets Two Years In Prison For Defending Her Family

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Imagine living in a Stand Your Ground state and having a crazed, angry individual ram their car into yours. To make the situation even worse, your two-year-old daughter is in the car, and your mother is only a few feet away. Fearing for their safety, you grab your unloaded, legally purchased firearm to scare off the attacker, which is your right under the law. But soon after, you find yourself behind bars, facing a two-year prison sentence on a felonious assault charge, while the individual who intentionally crashed their car into yours, making you fear for the lives of yourself and your family, gets off scot-free.

It sounds like insanity, but this is the story of Siwatu-Salama Ra, a pregnant, African American woman, and legal gun owner.

One has to ask, is this still the United States of America? Or is this Great Britain, where the law seems to work against those trying to defend their lives from an attacker?

Here’s more from Reason:

Siwatu-Salama Ra is a 26-year-old black mother who watched in horror as an angry assailant—a neighbor with whom Ra had a dispute—deliberately crashed her vehicle into Ra’s car while Ra’s two-year-old daughter was playing inside. Ra removed her unloaded, legally purchased handgun from the glove box and brandished it, scaring the neighbor off.

The assailant, Channel Harvey, was never charged. Ra was arrested for felonious assault. She is now serving a mandatory two-year-sentence, even though Michigan is a Stand Your Ground state and Ra was clearly defending her family on her own property.

Ra is pregnant, and she is expected to give birth in prison.

The Detroit Metro TimesThe Root, and Democracy Now! have all reported on the overwhelming criminal justice failures on display here. The jury in Ra’s trial evidently ended deliberations early in order to wrap the case up before a major snowstorm hit—and that’s not even the craziest thing about this case. The Detroit Police Department apparently treated Harvey as the victim, even though she rammed Ra’s car, for the sole reason that Harvey beat Ra to the station and filed a police report first.

Let’s start with the fact that Channel Harvey was treated as the victim in this situation merely because she beat Ra to the police station.

Even if Harvey filed the complaint first, one would think the Detroit Police Department has to take into account that Harvey committed a crime by intentionally crashing her car into Ra’s vehicle. The police department has to realize the whole reason Ra grabbed her weapon in the first place was because of Harvey’s actions. In today’s society, there are people out there who like to make themselves out to be the victim, and in a situation like this, the DPD should have looked to get all of the details first. The fact that police ultimately brought felonious assault charges against Ra is beyond asinine.

Here’s what Ra’s attorney, Victoria Burton-Harris, told Democracy Now!:

Siwatu, after she pointed this firearm at the complaining witness and her daughter, the complaining witness snapped three photographs and said, “Oh, you’re a CPL holder. I have something for you.” She snapped the three photographs and immediately drove to the nearest police station, and she gave a false report. In this report, she did not mention that she attempted to hit Siwatu’s mother. In this report, she neglected to mention that she even hit Siwatu’s car, which she later admitted to doing in a subsequent police report. The police listed this complaining witness and her daughter as the victims in this case, victim one and victim two. And Siwatu was noted as the aggressor…

Burton-Harris also states that SWAT came to arrest Ra:

Siwatu had one opportunity to provide her version of the events, and that was when she made her report a few hours after this mother and child. And the next thing that she knew, she was being contacted by the police, not for an interview and follow-up, an investigation, but because SWAT was outside of her home to arrest her.

Ra’s pregnancy makes this situation even more devastating. Burton-Harris explains:

Prison is no place for a pregnant woman. It’s hard enough to carry a child, to carry a child full term. And Siwatu did not carry her first child to term. She had an early pregnancy, or she had an early delivery date with her first child. She had serious complications with that pregnancy. And she’s currently showing signs and symptoms of the same complications now with the second pregnancy. And so, we are working diligently to get her released on an appeal bond, so that she can deliver her child safely at home.

This statement couldn’t be more accurate. Prison is no place for a pregnant woman, especially one that shouldn’t be behind bars in the first place. Not to mention, Ra has a history of pregnancy complications.

Ra’s story is now a couple of weeks old, and yet few people have heard about it. Ra needs all the support she can get, and gun rights organizations across the country should be fighting for her release and for the guilty verdict to be overturned. These group should also be pushing for Harvey to be held accountable for her actions.

As Reason says to its readers, “… it would be nice to see the National Rifle Association speak up… Ra doesn’t belong in prison for any length of time, let alone the next two years of her young children’s lives.”

The post Black Gun Owner Gets Two Years In Prison For Defending Her Family appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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