The media is having Trayvon Martin withdrawal. The Florida teen’s demise dominated the news cycle for more than a month, boosting ratings and giving commentators something serious (race relations!) to kvetch about. The obvious next step: Trayvon Martin II. Although there are plenty of firearms-related homicides from which to choose (hey, it’s a big country) finding a killing that will viralize is as difficult as not hot-linking to Israeli babes. You need exactly the right combination of ethnicity and events (for both tasks). To paraphrase Blue Peter‘s presenters, here’s one they prepared earlier . . .
A 14-year-old boy remained in critical condition Friday after being shot in the head by a homeowner who said he thought the teen was trying to break into his house. But police said the teen was unarmed and did not pose an “imminent threat” when he was shot and have charged the owner with attempted second-degree murder.
The family of Marshall Coulter said the teenager could move only the right side of his body a little, but not the left. Doctors told the family that if Coulter survives, he would likely be severely brain damaged.
The nola.com story isn’t perfect for the purposes of press preening and media milking. At the risk of seeming insensitive, Marshall Coulter isn’t dead. And it seems likely that the Louisiana teen with a history of burglary beefs wasn’t just trying to “get home.” But there are some Twitter-appropriate talking points.
Coulter’s family acknowledged the teen’s history of burglary arrests but said he had never used a gun.
Police said that Coulter did not pose a threat to the homeowner, Merritt Landry [above], who works as a building inspector for the Historic District Landmarks Commission . . .
Earlier in the evening, a different neighbor said the teen in the blue tank top had been biking around the area around 8 p.m. and the neighbor believed he was looking at different houses.
“I thought about calling the cops, but the last thing I want to do is racially profile a little kid who’s just biking,” said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The neighbor and Landry are white; the two teens are black.
Now there’s a twist. And you gotta give nola.com [some] credit for keeping race out of the story until the 20th paragraph. If this story blows up you can bet it will be front and center. Again. Still. And if not this one, another.
Not to put too fine a point on it, there’s gold in them thar’ white-on-black self-defense teen-involved shootings. Funny old world, innit? [h/t EW]