BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Police say a 2-year-old boy was killed after a Florida woman who was drunk crashed an SUV loaded with passengers.
The Florida Highway Patrol says 24-year-old Shameka Jones of Winter Haven drove her vehicle onto a shoulder in Manatee County on Saturday afternoon. The vehicle went airborne, overturned several times and struck several trees.
The accident killed Isaac Solomon of Winter Haven, who police said was not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. Jones, two adult passengers and a 6-month-old boy were seriously injured. Seven other children suffered minor injuries.
Jones was charged with DUI manslaughter and other counts.
On July 26, 2014, William DeHayes was showing off his gun collection to Carson Hoover and his wife, Katherine, when DeHayes’ antique revolver fired, fatally striking Katherine in the temple. At the time of the shooting, DeHayes—who had just taken opiates and a muscle relaxer—used a Western-style draw (“like a cowboy would” he told police) to unholster his grandfather’s hand-me-down firearm. DeHayes didn’t know that the 65-year-old gun—which had a history of misfiring—was loaded.
Despite the family’s pleas to try DeHayes for negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter, state attorney Brad King declined to press charges—stating that DeHayes’ “conduct, no matter how outrageous, does not constitute a crime.” In a letter denying Bryan’s case, King wrote that in Florida, an accidental discharge of a firearm that kills someone—even if it is the result of gross negligence—cannot be prosecuted.
Aside from the fact that Shameka Jones is African American and William DeHayes is white, what the hell is the difference between these two cases? One is a DUI, one is someone fooling around with a gun after taking drugs.
DeHayes says he feels terrible about what happened, he’s contemplated suicide, his life has been completely ruined, he’d “give my life to take it back,” he won’t go near guns anymore, blah blah blah. Yeah I’m pretty sure Shameka Jones feels the same way. As does every other idiot who does something stupid which results in the death of an innocent person. And no, I’m not saying Shameka Jones shouldn’t be prosecuted — she should. And so should William DeHayes. Because that’s how law and order works in this country.
Gun negligence needs to be prosecuted. Every time, every case. If “feeling really bad” about what happened isn’t punishment enough for any other crime, it shouldn’t be punishment enough for gun negligence. Get a fucking clue, people.