Melissa Harris-Perry | December 01, 2012
>>> you shot him over some music and he was in the car. there is no logical reason. there is nothing logical that you can say that would make me believe that you were threatened.
>> that was lucia mcbeth, the mother of jordan davis, the teenage boy that was shot while unarmed at a gas station last week. back with me are "the grio"'s joy reid and you talked with the lawyer representing the family. they have some angst about this turning into a trayvon martin parallel. talk to me about what you know.
>> in talking to the lawyer, he said that the trayvon martin case was a great blueprint of whatnot to do. by exposing the family and opening them up to attacks and being targeted, we saw that not long after the family was ubiquitous. the white sue prem sifts came out. that's what they don't want. there are similarities in this case but it is completely different.
>> this is like our challenge as we were sitting in nerdland. we make a decision of what we are going to talk about. after having read your piece, i thought this is a family that is asking in a certain way for a cheeld. on the other hand, the story itself feels like we can't allow it to happen in the darkness, we need the public light of scrutiny, because you were saying earlier that at lease the based on what you understand of how florida's laws work, there is some possibility that this may be a defense that works for this avail lent.
>> florida is one of the highest incour incarcerating state, a death penalty state. up until the point of conviction tir , it is a defense friendly state. it gave tremendous latitude to a shooter so long as the person they shoot dies. as long as no one can truly prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you didn't feel threatened shall the burden of proof is on the defense and almost on the decedent to show that somehow they were not threatening. this guy has the opportunity to use a stand your ground defense before they even get to a full trial. it is starting to look like that's where it is going to go.
>> obviously, we don't know whether or not these young men had a weapon in the car. it certainly is possible. the assailant had a weapon in his car. that's part of what made me pause. folks are driving around with weapons in their cars. is the problem stand your ground or how we think about how armed everyone should be?
>> i think it is the intersection. the weapons raise the incident rate of the use of weapons and laws that afford a greater latitude of their use. as a lawyer, i look at it and say, what is the law for? the law is for justice. the law is for conduct. justice, because no matter what happens, we expect a just system to afford some modicum of balance. these stand your ground laws as joy so lightly put it take some of the extra powers that we give to police, because of what we ask them to do and transfer them to civilians that don't have the training and aren't required under the law to get it so that, yes, it is hard in a situation where you might genuinely feel fear to identify what is a weapon and what is something that looks like a decision. when police make that decision, they are operating within a set of training. what we've done with these laws in these states is, basically, i believe and i don't know the facts of this case yet, because we don't have all the facts yet. i know at the aggregate level, when you give people more incentive to shoot first and ask questions later, they shoot first.
>> and ask questions later. we are living with that.
>> i think psychologically, it kind of reinforces the war between the us and them. unfortunately, the them tend to play loud music , wear hoodies, be of a certain color and live in a certain neighborhood.
>> that's the piece that made it worth talking about at least briefly this morning before we know all of the legal questions. beyond adjudicating this case, there is a question. this is my core fear. for all of us that parent children and have black husbands and have black fathers, this is the core fear for all of us that love black men in this country. it is what michelle obama said about barack obama in 2008 . he could be killed at a gas station .
>> it is not just everyday indignities of being followed around or denied a job. we see it in stop and frisk and racial profiling. we are seeing it, it seems, more now. justifiable homicides are up. psychologically, whether people go into these situations saying i'm going to use my stand by ground law rights. how does that reinforce what they already think in the buys as and the confluence of that.
>> part of this is also related to violence. when young black boys and men die, it tends to be at the hands of other young black men and boys. that also even in our failure to stem that violence, we also then provide more opportunities for thinking of black men and boys in this way. in an interracial con text, that becomes part of that.
>> we forget, black men are the most victimized group in america, not just perpetrators but the victims.
>> thank you to joy and ari and trumani.
>>> women are fighting for the rights of all of us. as we go to break, i'm going to leave you with this. a salute from jacksonville fire and rescue department to jordan davis as the plane carrying his body departed