The death of Joe McKnight sparks controversy

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Joe McKnight at New York Jets practice
former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight. (ROBERT SABO/NEW YRK DAILY NEWS)

The news of Former USC and NFL running back Joe McKnight leaves communities outraged. Ronald Gasser murdered McKnight on Thursday December 1,2016. A road rage incident occurred involving the two. The incident escalated into much more than a dispute. Gasser fatally shot Joe McKnight at an intersection in Tarrytown, Louisiana. Police arrived on the scene to find McKnight on the ground dying and Gasser holding the murder weapon. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office held Gasser without bond and since then they have charged him with manslaughter.

Police originally questioned Gasser. He was let go later that night. This outraged the community. Consequently, they accused the investigators of not knowing what they are doing. Sheriff Newell Normand responded to the backlash. “The Stand Your Ground law gives us an obligation to get it right,” he said. “For those who have criticized us: Tough. I don’t care,” he said to people upset Gasser was initially released. “Because what I know is that I can put my head on my pillow every night knowing we did the right thing, for the right reasons.”

Police talked with 160 witnesses while Gasser was out of jail. Investigators also talked with 70 business owners. They tried to get video evidence hence giving them a more clear picture. They took the time to gather evidence while sorting through plenty of contradictory stories. Investigators went through a frustrating process while searching for the truth.

The police are working to get closure on the murder of Joe Mcknight. People are pushing for the truth. Tensions are running high. A witness said she saw what happened but it . She left a nearby store when she saw a man(Gasser) at the intersection yelling at another man(McKnight), who was trying to apologize. The man who was yelling shot the other man more than once, she told investigators. The witness said Gasser shot the man, stood over him and said “I told you don’t you fuck with me.” Then he fired again, she said. She alleged that McKnight pleaded for Gasser to stop and furthermore that he was apologizing to Gasser.

However, the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs’ Office disputes this allegation.They say that forensic evidence suggests Gasser fired the shots continuously while inside his vehicle. Furthermore, they believe MaKnight was right outside Gassers car. People are talking allegations of racial bias by police in charge of the case due to everything going on.

Sheriff Newell Normand of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department in Harvey, Louisiana is taking a lot of criticism due to how McKnights’ case has been handled. Sheriff Normand held a controversial press conference Tuesday and During the press conference, Normand defended himself and his officers while reading off some of the derogatory remarks people have made in online comments towards the officers. A reporter questioned about using the quotes verbatim. Normand  referred to crime statistics in his parish. The sheriff also scolded members of the public saying, “Shame on you.” He said it continuously, getting angrier with each one. “It’s not fair,” Normand said. “That’s the tone of what we are calling our elected leaders for simply standing up and simply saying, ‘Let justice prevail, and let the process take its course.”

Meanwhile, he followed up his defense of hateful comments received by saying that he feels people need to late the process take its’ course. “This is not about the right thing, it’s not about justice, it’s not about the process. It’s about what we want and what we want now, and we don’t care who we disparage in the process,” Normand said with anger in his voice.

Former NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie showed his disgust and disbelief on the murder of former teammate JoeMcKnight while on Twitter. “I don’t get it. How in hell do you release someone who killed my brother, my friend a father a son a brother without charging him. Bull Crap. He stood over and murdered him. What else do you fucking need New Orleans police Department. Y’all ain’t protecting and serving shit.”— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) December 2, 2016

Anger was expressed by NFL players, but people also expressed sadness and disbelief. Many people weighed in on the highly debated tragedy.

“Wtf no charges! Y’all have the damn video! N.O. Have to change the damn gun law! This is getting outta hand now. Something have to change!!”— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) December 2, 2016

Kyle Williams of the Buffalo Bills tweeted, “This is some bullshit!!! He stood over him and shot him in broad daylight!!! And fucking stayed there!! Released and not charged!!?!?!?” He also went on to tweet, “Young black men, they don’t give a DAMN how many tds you score or how much of a baller you are, take off that jersey, you are a black man!!!”

Gasser got off easy and the whole world knows it. He avoided a murder 2 charge because of a technicality within the judicial system of Louisiana but you can’t escape fate. The family of Joe Mcknight will live with the heartbreaking truth while Ronald Gasser does his time in prison. Joe McKnights’ funeral is Monday(Dec. 12) according to WVUE Fox 8 News.

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