I’m taking a quick break from my multi-part post on Duncan, Ok, to cover this, as I believe it really needs to get out. I’ll get back to the other stuff later! While doing hours of research on the horrific murder of Christopher Lane in Duncan, Oklahoma, I saw this article from the Australian Herald Sun.
James Johnson, 52, called the police to tell them that the accused killers were hiding in the car park of the Immauel Baptist Church car park at about 5pm, two hours after they allegedly shot Lane. “My son called me and said, ‘They’re saying they’re coming to kill me’ so I called the police and they got here within about three minutes,” Johnson told the Herald Sun. Mr Johnson claimed that Edwards had threatened the life of his own 17-year-old son Christopher on Facebook. His son was at home with his mother and sisters near the church when he received the death threat. “They threatened to kill my son because they are in a gang, the Crips, and were trying to get my son in it and I wouldn’t let him do it.
I instantly started searching this and saw nothing locally, except one blub on the New York Post. I should mention that these Australian news agencies and the New York Post have something in common. They are NewsCorp/Murdoch owned. Now I had read a different account of how police captured the suspects. Here’s KSWO in Wichita Falls, Ok.
Duncan Police had no leads, but thanks to a particular path the suspects took, security cameras of nearby businesses were able to capture their car speeding down the street. From that they were able to track down the car and suspects leading to all three of their arrests just hours later. “We certainly want to thank the businesses because they shut down their work and gave us their video, and we were able to locate the car, ” said Ford.
So it wasn’t Mr. Johnson, but rather local businesses that helped capture the guy. That article makes no mention of Mr. Johnson at all. But wait. Today Duncan’s local newspaper published this article:
A man told police that the three teenagers charged in connection with the shooting death of an Australian baseball player in Duncan were out to kill his son later that day. Police reported previously that someone called 911 four hours after 22-year-old Christopher Lane was fatally shot while jogging along Country Club Road on Friday and said there were some juveniles with guns who wanted to kill someone. That call from a residence at 111 W. Ash at 7:05 p.m. Friday quickly led police to the nearby parking lot Immanuel Baptist Church where the teens were apprehended. Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said early Thursday that the man who called from Ash, James Johnson, told detectives later that the person the teens were out to harm was his son. “We were told there was some sort of falling out between the boys,” Ford said. Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks declined to comment on that call Wednesday. His office has the recording of the 911 call that led police to the teens but has not yet released it.
Now I hadn’t seen that before, despite hours of research. Well, until now. Here’s an article the Duncan Banner posted on Saturday:
A phone call from a residence at 111 W. Ash at 7:05 p.m. gave officers the break they needed. “The reporting person said there were juveniles there with guns and they were wanting to kill somebody,” Ford said. He didn’t say if the reporting person was an adult or juvenile. Officers responded and found three young men, ages 15, 16 and 17, near a Black Honda Civic, in the parking lot of Immanuel Baptist Church, directly across from the residence at Ash.
But every quote from the police chief after that article is about the “security cameras”, until today. There was also no charges against the teens in regards to them going to kill Mr. Johnson’s son, despite them being caught across the street from their house, with guns. This changes the narrative of the story a lot. First off this wasn’t some race driven kill, as the right wing has tried to frame it. Instead it was some gang related stuff. That also changes the motive given by Ford:
“They saw Christopher go by, and one of them said: ‘There’s our target,’” Ford said. “The boy who has talked to us said, ‘We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.’”
Now if I lived in Duncan I would be fuming and calling for heads to roll. Why is it the police and District Attorney seem to be trying to hide the fact this was gang related? Could it be that this little town in rural America, with their 80% white population and 80% Republican voting record would hate to admit that the inner city problems have hit them? We have another narrative that comes into play here. As my previous pieces have been focusing on, the right wing tried to push that all the suspects were black. We now know that is not the case. Michael Jones was white. He was not charged with the actual murder, but rather with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree. That became the right’s defense for the wrong picture yesterday. They instantly tried to diminish Jones’ involvement in this case, since he wasn’t the shooter. Now Jones didn’t pull the trigger, but he was certainly involved and, as we know now, was willing to continue his involvement. After all, it was Jones who drove the other two to their next target. Interesting also is that Jones is the one we know the least about. Everything has been focused on Luna and Edwards, the two black suspects. The only thing we really know about Jones is his name, the charges he faces and, oh yeah, he is going to be a father. There is one other thing we do know about Jones:
It comes after Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford this week said he had secured the confession of Jones who had summoned investigators to his jail cell and claimed they were bored “so they decided to kill somebody”.
Now my guess is that confession is what saved Jones facing murder charges. He played ball and got a lesser charge. No shocker there, as that happens in the justice system all the time. Still, it doesn’t mean Jones’ is any lesser a criminal than the other two, despite the narrative the right is trying to frame. But it does lead us back to the whole gang thing. Why didn’t Jones’ make any mention of that in his confession. Or did he, and they just aren’t reporting it? There is one other thing this new turn in events has me thinking about. If Lane wasn’t out jogging that day and they found no one on the street, instead going straight to Johnson’s house and killing him, would we even be talking about this today? Gang shootings are far too common in our society today, which is a tragedy, but there is a race factor here. We are talking about this story, not because of the gang aspect, but rather because the victim was white. The story also became more sensationalized when the right wrongly pushed the image of three black suspects. That changed it to an “Oh my, 3 black teens killed a white guy” narrative, which we quickly realized wasn’t the truth. I will give the right credit for the entire gang thing, as that now seems to be the case, but it doesn’t excuse them from their race problem. We know we wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t a black victim. Location also probably plays into it. Gang violence has hit ruby red, rural America, pulling them into the crisis facing our inner cities. It also highlights a problem they now face. The right can no longer continue to ignore gang violence, as it appears they are trying to do in Duncan, because that will only make it worse. We do need to talk about race in America. We must admit that the irony of racism is that it does not discriminate. Anyone is capable of hate based upon the color of the skin, even if it is the same as their own. This story is very much about racism, but not how you may be thinking. See, Jones, Luna and Edwards are the innocent ones here. The guilty ones are the people who tried to make race the motivation. They are the ones who only wanted to talk about this story because the victim was white. They are the ones trying to ignore the gang factor in this case. And they are the ones trying to diminish the involvement of the white suspect, simply because he is white. Make no mistake that Jones is as guilty as the rest, and if he had not confessed, I’m sure he would be facing murder charges today. Racism is very much alive and well in America still. It’s just not where you think.