An Oklahoma judge declared yet another mistrial in the case of a White police officer who fatally shot his daughter’s Black boyfriend, reports the New York Daily News.
According to the outlet, this is the third time within a year that there has been a hung jury regarding the case. The former Tulsa officer, Shannon Kepler, allegedly shot and killed Jeremey Lake in 2014 after he discovered that Lake was dating his 18-year-old daughter Lisa Kepler, writes the source. According to investigators, Kepler says he shot Lake because he was armed but it appears that Lake was unarmed and there was no weapon discovered on the scene.
The Daily News reports that Judge Sharon Holmes told the jury that Kepler could either face first-degree murder or manslaughter, but after four hours of deliberations they were unable to reach an agreement on what he should be charged with.
One of Lake’s aunts Pam Wilkins, who allowed the couple to stay at her home, told the outlet that her family is saddened by the outcome. “But I’m not giving up hope,” said Wilkins. “We’re believing in God and justice for Jeremey.”
The two previous trials took place in February and November 2016. Both juries were deadlocked.
Tulsa police officers taking the lives of Black and Brown individuals in the city has been an ongoing issue. In June Joshua Barre, a Black man who suffered from mental issues, was fatally shot by police officers in front of a convenience store.
A year prior, 40-year-old unarmed Terence Crutcher, was fatally shot by a Tulsa police officer in the middle of a road. Betty Jo Shelby, the officer responsible for shooting Crutcher, was acquitted of charges related to the incident.
SOURCE: New York Daily News