Tulsa men confess to shooting rampage in black neighborhood
Two Tulsa, Oklahoma men have confessed to a shooting rampage last Friday morning that left three dead and two injured, police said Monday night in an affidavit.
Jacob England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, were charged in court on Monday with several counts of murder and attempted murder, and illegally possessing weapons. Their bail was set at $9.1 million apiece.
It’s not yet clear what their motive was for the rampage, but England’s father was shot and killed by a black man in 2010. Just one day before the shootings, and on the second anniversary of his father’s death, England published a racially fueled screed online admitting, “it’s hard not to go off.”
The man who shot England’s father was ultimately not charged with the shooting under a “Stand Your Ground” law which permits lethal force in cases of self defense. He did however face several other charges and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The “Stand Your Ground” laws have been targeted of late by progressive activists who point to them as a contributing factor in another recent racially charged killing, this time in Florida. George Zimmerman, who’s admitted to killing Trayvon Martin, was not jailed immediately thereafter because he claimed to have stood his ground in self defense.
Opponents of the law in Florida predicted it would lead to racially motivated killings, and since the Martin killing conservative groups that pushed the laws have come under considerable rhetorical fire. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that drafts model bills for lawmakers, has born the brunt of the criticism, with several major organizations pulling their funding from the group in the last week.
The video below is from Al Jazeera, broadcast April 9, 2012.