Thirteen year old black kid gunned down while taking out trash by white neighbor

Unbelievable that this is happening again, in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s shooting. You’d think it would have been an object lesson in “children are not a clear and present danger”! And yet, somehow, I expect the white supremacists to dig through this thirteen year old’s history to find something with which to convince everyone he’s some sort of thug.

A 75-year-old Milwaukee man charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who lived next door had been a repeated target of break-ins, according to neighbors.
[…]
According to the complaint, Spooner approached Simmons as the boy retrieved a garbage cart from in front of a house Thursday morning. The boy’s mother, Patricia Larry, who saw the shooting, said Spooner told her son he “wanted his stuff back and that he wanted his shotguns back,” the complaint said.

Simmons and his mother told Spooner they did not have his property. Spooner then pulled a gun, pointed it at Simmons and fired one shot from about five feet away, the complaint said.

Spooner fired a second shot at Simmons as the boy was running away, according to the complaint. An autopsy found the boy suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and the bullet damaged the ventricles of his heart before exiting his back. Police recovered a weapon as well as two spent casings.

That’s cowboy justice for you. Accuse someone of something, when they say “I didn’t do it”, shoot them. Twice. I bet if he kept that strategy up, if he wasn’t arrested, eventually he would have murdered the real thief. You know, he might have had to gun down half the town to do it, but his justice would be served.

This is a damn good reason for gun control, because think of the kids. No, no, not the kids who might accidentally shoot themselves with the guns — the black kids that’ll be murdered for being black and being convenient to a person with a gun and a grudge. And by gun control I mean “don’t give guns to racist assholes who don’t value human life”.

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Thirteen year old black kid gunned down while taking out trash by white neighbor
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91 thoughts on “Thirteen year old black kid gunned down while taking out trash by white neighbor

  1. 2

    Holy shit…just…fuck. I got nothing.

    I despair for the human race. I guess the only good I see is that the worst of the racist fuckwits are older, and will be dying off soon.

  2. 3

    “Somebody broke into my house” + “There’s a black kid” = “It must have been him!”

    ARGH – it’s the racism version of the drunk looking for their car keys under the streetlight, except with killing children.

  3. 4

    This…I just… fuck, but I hate people. I hate people who would do this, I hate people who make the kind of society that thinks that brandishing a gun at people is ok, I hate the people who make the kind of society that teaches people to fear one another to the point of needing weapons, I hate the kind of people who make a society that values stuff over humans, I hate the kind of people who will look at this and shrug and see no need to change anything about society at all because it’s “just an isolated incident”. Fuck them all.

  4. 5

    And fuck the journalist who decided to end the story with this:

    “He seemed burdened, truly burdened,” Donovan said. Spooner also said something about “there are other ways to deal with situations” the police couldn’t resolve, Donovan added.

    to foster sympathy for the murderer rather than focusing on the fact that a child was murdered in cold blood.

  5. 7

    Right, they couldn’t be bothered to, say, mention how the dead child’s mother feels, who saw the whole thing. I guess clutching her kid’s body and screaming wasn’t “truly burdened” enough.

    *spits*

  6. 8

    So, somebody steals a few of this guy’s guns while he’s out walking his dog. Apparently he has problems with the police getting his guns back. Therefore, his solution is to shoot the black kid across the street while taking out the garbage? Obviously, he didn’t have the shotguns for home protection, since he had at least one other gun. I’m betting he left his door unlocked while walking his dog, thinking nobody would go in his house while he just went around the block. If that’s the case, it’s partly his own damn fault his guns went missing in the first place.

  7. 9

    Not to mention the last-but-one sentence:

    “Donovan said the man told him he had lost $3,000 worth of shotguns in a burglary this week, was frustrated with police and was dying of lung cancer.”

    Because somehow, when you’re dying of lung cancer, you really need your arsenal of shotguns more than ever.

  8. 10

    his justice would be served.

    And there you go. To folks like this, the only meaning of “justice” is what serves them, and the rest of the world be damned. And then give ’em a gun…

  9. 11

    I’m sorry I’m being so defeatist. But I’ve got kids exactly that age who take the trash out, and it punches me in the gut to think of this happening to them, and then it punches me again to realize that no, it won’t, because they have the “right” skin tone, and then it hits me again to remember the conversation last weekend where my mom told me about a family baby shower where a great aunt once removed or something was trash-talking her own daughter for dating a black man, and dammit I feel helpless against it all and I know that I only feel shadowy self-induced white burden guilt helplessness compared to the women who actually have to fear for their kids’ lives no matter what they do. I’m just left huddling in a ball in the corner.

  10. 12

    Skip White @8: I kinda have to take issue with that — sure, leaving lots of expensive and dangerous weapons unprotected was unwise, but you can’t victim-blame this guy. Even if he parlayed his own victimhood into destroying this neighbor’s family.

  11. 13

    “‘I looked out the door and saw the mother kneeling over boy at the curb, screaming ‘my son!’ and the old guy was standing right over there by the stop sign with his dog, just waiting.'”

    That right there, broke my fucking heart. I can’t even get properly angry. This asshole responded to the robbery of some fucking things by ripping away a child from his mother. Nothing is worth that. Not a goddamn thing.

    It just… fuck, the image of a mother screaming in pain over her dead son says it all, murdered just for being a suspect.

  12. 14

    Carlie: Get up, girl. You aren’t helpless, and you haven’t been beaten. You have kids, yes? You’re raising them to know that this sort of thing is as wrong as wrong gets, yes? Then that’s at least two victories you’ve won, and two defeats you’ve inflicted on the side that won’t be able to claim your kids as theirs in the future. Even your huddling in a corner is a sort of victory for you- you know where your heart is, and when it hurts, that’s a win for you.
    Sorry if all this sounds like Vince Lombardi shouting “you ain’t beat ’til you quit!” I don’t mean to sound like a cheerleader- but there’s a certain amount of truth in some cliches.

  13. 15

    and the old guy was standing right over there by the stop sign with his dog, just waiting

    And I can’t decide whether it’s good that at least he got caught, when it was because he was so sure of himself that he didn’t even bother to feel any shame and try to run off or say it wasn’t him. Nope, just stood there, looking proudly on his handiwork.

    No single thing is worth someone’s life. Nothing. Especially not fucking guns, but nothing.

  14. 16

    It’s the senselessness of this that kills me. The idiot can’t claim the kid was threatening him. It’s not like he was shooting at someone on his property, or someone who he had reason to think was in the process of robbing him. No, he just happened to be pissed off, he had a gun, he saw a kid who he felt comfortable blaming for his problem, and so he shot him. Even in crazy redneck idiot world, how does that make sense?

    Throw this asshole in prison, and don’t let him wriggle out of it on the grounds that he has a serious health problem.

  15. 17

    (rage warning)

    There’s a reason that compassion for the black victim’s family is conspiciously absent in articles like this one. Black communities live in fear of losing their sons to gunfire combined with the assumption that they deserved it. This happens ALL THE TIME and they know it and can’t do anything about it, no matter how polite or well-dressed they teach their kids to be. It’s likely that the mother’s worst nightmare just came true; but the article won’t mention that in case it becomes controversial or hurts white folks’ feelings. The killer, HE deserves all the sympathy for being scared of the scary black kid; for being victimized by his own bigotry.

    Mano Singham just linked to this Rolling Stone piece, but this is the sort of reaction:

    … One officer asked J.G. to identify the apartment in which he lived. J.G. responded, telling the officer his family’s apartment number. The officers then rang the bell to Ms. Ligon’s apartment. Over the intercom, Ms. Ligon heard a man say that he was a police officer, and he needed her to come down to identify her son.

    Terrified that J.G. was injured or dead, Ms. Ligon ran out of the apartment to find out what had happened to J.G. As she approached the lobby she saw J.G. standing just outside the vestibule near the mailboxes, surrounded by four officers. She collapsed and began weeping. One officer began laughing, asked Ms. Ligon if J.G. was her son, and handed her the ketchup.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/mike-bloombergs-new-york-cops-in-your-hallways-20120403

  16. 18

    @Pteryxx :

    Yes, there’s the brutal reality of it. A shooting like this happens every week somewhere in the United States. There is huge racial bias in the armament mentality in this country, and it’s been there from the founding. One of the factors backing the racism is the heavily slanted arrest rates, where in some areas a black teenager is more likely to be arrested for a petty non-violent crime than a white adult would be for a violent one. The media does its very best to play up these racist arrest patterns in order to propagandize the fear into the population thoroughly.

    In fewer words, the whole system is corrupt.

  17. 19

    Sorry if all this sounds like Vince Lombardi shouting “you ain’t beat ’til you quit!”

    No, I need the kick in the butt. Thanks. 🙂

  18. 20

    Thing is, let’s GO the full Fox News, WND batshit crazy on this one. Hell, it’s at least POSSIBLE that this kid did in fact take the guy’s stuff. It’s often someone young living nearby, right? Let’s even say the guy really did know the kid did it but couldn’t provide evidence for whatever reason, or that he had but the cops ignored him.

    SO WHAT.

    All the Scary Brown People gibbering BS in the world won’t do a damn thing to excuse this. And part of wha makes me share Carlie’s despair is that all that gibbering will indeed happen, because way, way too many of us think that it would in fact make the shooting less awful, or even righteous. Some of them are people I love, dammit.

    All I know is that some of them also see me not sharing their reactions and question their own from time to time. Be who you are and raise your kids best as you can, Carlie. Influence your and their local environment enough to weight the dice in favor of non-lunacy. I think that’s a critical and necessary job right there, and I take it seriously. Especially when I feel helpless reading about crap like this.

  19. 21

    What is also making me angry is that in looking this story up online, at least half of the headlines are saying that Spooner “allegedly” shot the boy. What the hell is that? Pacing back and forth while holding your gun until the police get there, having witnesses who saw the shooting is not “alleged” in any way. At least most of the articles I found did not have any comments, either.

  20. 22

    Just remember, everybody, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And Darius Simmons would undoubtedly be just as dead if his 75-year-old assailant had had a…I don’t know, a sword? A crossbow? His bare, 75-year-old hands?

    Certainly making killing as quick and easy as pointing and clicking had no effect on whether or not Spooner would have killed Simmons in this instance. None whatsoever.

    /sarcasm

  21. 24

    Here in Australia we have mandatory 12-month testing for elderly drivers to re-evaluate their driving skills. Does the US have a similar regulating process for elderly citizens with a Gun License?

  22. 25

    I just told my kids about it, and they were horrified. And the 14 year old immediately said “that’s even worse than Trayvon Martin”. So at least they have that awareness, and that’s good for my small corner.

  23. 27

    The whole thing is just so horrible, but what just pours salt in the whole thing is that there’s nothing that can even resemble justice in this case. What, so the guy goes to jail? How many years does he have left anyway with his 75 years and advanced lung cancer? Even if he dies tomorrow, he’s already gotten a full life and lost basically nothing from this encounter other than his reputation, which he clearly didn’t value anymore anyway.

    It’s OK that there’s no Heaven, but sometimes I really, really wish there was a Hell.

  24. 28

    ShotgunS? Plural? So he’s had multiple shotguns stolen yet still has enough guns to commit cold blooded (but of course entirely justified thanks to feeling immediately imperiled because the *ahem* ‘assailant’ had a skin tone of a slightly different hue) murder…

    You know I’m sort of that ‘collecting way more than I need’ type of guy with computers but I can say that they’ve never killed anyone (well okay, I don’t know for sure that some of the parts weren’t assembled at foxconn, at most that makes me an accessory after the fact)

  25. 30

    but what just pours salt in the whole thing is that there’s nothing that can even resemble justice in this case.

    Exactly. And he’ll get all kinds of sympathy for being old and sick. It sucks.

  26. 31

    my grammar/style-OCD tells me that it should be “Thirteen year old black kid gunned down by white neighbor while taking out trash”; or, less ambiguously, “While taking out trash, thirteen year old black kid gunned down by white neighbor”

    [/irrelevant compulsion]

  27. 32

    Miwanpela,

    In the US, gun laws vary by state. In Wisconsin, no license or permit is required to purchase or own a gun, though a permit is necessary for concealed carry. The only other restriction is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period at purchase.

    I’m going off to wipe my eyes and possibly throw up.

  28. Rob
    33

    I dunno Jason. Where I come from if you leave weapons accessible (i.e. not locked in a gun cabinet, with bolts, magazines and ammo locked away somewhere else) you are a criminal, not an unwise victim. You were advocating gun control…

    There is no equivalency to be had here.

    Jason said:

    Skip White @8: I kinda have to take issue with that — sure, leaving lots of expensive and dangerous weapons unprotected was unwise, but you can’t victim-blame this guy. Even if he parlayed his own victimhood into destroying this neighbor’s family.

  29. 34

    Rob: my problem with it is it would be exactly like telling someone whose car just got stolen that they were partly responsible for it if the door was unlocked, or a woman who was assaulted in a dark alley was responsible for being there.

    Yes, there’s a criminal negligence aspect in the scenario he presented, absolutely, because they’re WEAPONS. But he wouldn’t be complicit. He would be criminally negligent. And there’s a difference.

    Beyond that, we don’t know any of the details about the theft. It’s rank speculation on Skip White’s part.

  30. 37

    damn good reason for gun control, because think of the kids.
    You intolerant liberals! Why would we want the kid dead when he would buy thousands of dollars of Product when he grows up and enjoys a full satisfying career as a gangster?

    Best regards,
    National Rifle Marketing Association

    PS. Did anyone catch this on vid? Our A/V department says it’s valuable. The quality determines how much we’ll pay.

  31. 39

    Darius Simmons would undoubtedly be just as dead if his 75-year-old assailant had had a…I don’t know, a sword? A crossbow? His bare, 75-year-old hands?
    When kronic foot odor is outlawed, only outlaws will have…
    ——
    $3,000 worth of shotguns
    So he’s had multiple shotguns stolen yet still has enough guns to commit cold blooded
    This seems like a risky scheme to convince LE that the guns he strawmanned were actually “stolen”.
    ——-
    Here in Australia we have mandatory 12-month testing for elderly drivers to re-evaluate their driving skills. Does the US have a similar regulating process for elderly citizens with a Gun License?
    Some US states have similar increased frequency testing for elderly.
    I haven’t researched, but I’ve never read of skills test requirement for firearms purchase, though state’s laws vary. The Kill At Will states seem least likely to require anything of new purchasers.
    ——-
    I don’t know for sure that some of the parts weren’t assembled at foxconn, at most that makes me an accessory after the fact
    IANAL, but I suspect to be accessory after the fact, you’d had to have known of the crime when you bought the PCs.

  32. 41

    Does it actually say in the article that the kid was black? I read it twice, but didn’t see any mention of race (even did a CTRL+F for “black” and “african”).

    The article didn’t specifically mention race, no. It didn’t have to, because race could be inferred by the dogwhistles (“his home had been burglarized” mentioned over and over, including the LEAD FUCKING SENTENCE) and the complete lack of consideration for the victim or the mother whose son was gunned down in front of her.

    I wish that wasn’t an accurate metric to determine a victim’s race, but it really is.

  33. 42

    One of those Google photo links came from this article:

    http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/06/another-unarmed-black-youth-shot-killed-darius-simmons-was-only-13-years-old/

    Just a few short months ago Hip-Hop journalist Davey D blogged about the 29 Black people that had been killed by police or those claiming to be security since 2012, 16 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. This was before police in Oakland, CA killed 18 year old high school senior Alan Blueford under very questionable circumstances. This morning I just got word from the Executive Director of the League of Young Voters, Biko Baker, that another Black youth was shot down, he was only 13 years old.

    After police arrived, Darius’s body remained on the sidewalk, while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.

    During the police investigation of the shooting, they searched Ms. Larry’s home again. Finding nothing, they then proceeded to arrest his older brother for having truancy tickets.

  34. 43

    Sorry if someone’s already asked this, but…

    Does it actually say in the article that the kid was black? I read it twice, but didn’t see any mention of race (even did a CTRL+F for “black” and “african”).

  35. 45

    Pteryxx – it’s ol though, they don’t have feelings and stuff, not like white people.

    My heart is breaking for Darius’ mum,and his brother, and for black mothers all over that messed-up country.

    I’ll never, ever understand gun culture. I don’twant to be able to understand the view that POC are subhuman.

  36. 47

    I’m probably just missing something, but from that alone there doesn’t seem to be any reason to assume he killed him because he was black. Indeed, the news article linked doesn’t mention race at all (which I think is the way it should be). It could have just been a distrust of kids in general or the colour of his hair, or any other factor. By statistics alone 1 in 40 people murdered in Canada would be expected to be black (I have no idea what the actual figures are).

    That said, race probably was a factor, and the way the story is reported and the amount of exposure will almost certainly be affected by race. As will the resulting prison sentence, or lack thereof.

    But one shouldn’t disregard the possibility that the old guy is just indiscriminately psychotic, and the theft of his shotguns was a noble deed performed by someone that wanted to protect the community.

  37. 49

    Psst, Sids – being a skeptic doesn’t mean tossing out all social and cultural influences of the last 300 years and pretending people exist in a vacuum.

    After police arrived, Darius’s body remained on the sidewalk, while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.

    And I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

  38. 50

    $3000 worth of shotguns?!?!?!

    It seems to be a rule of thumb that past 1-2 guns maximum, the more guns someone owns the more likely they are to be the sort of person who shouldn’t be allowed to own any guns. But we’re not allowed to profile THOSE people at all, are we? They probably don’t let that murdering bastard drive a car either.

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