A few weeks ago, I reported that Pastor Keon Allison of the City of God Ministry in Detroit, Michigan was confronted in the middle of a Sunday sermon by a 26-year-old semi-pro football player named Deante Smith. Smith apparently had ill-intent, believing (rightly or wrongly) that there had been an “inappropriate relationship” between the man of the cloth and Smith’s estranged wife. The footballer attacked the pastor with a deadly weapon — a brick. Pastor Allison had experience and a GLOCK on his side. In case you were wondering about the outcome, GLOCK > brick. Smith was pronounced DOA at a local hospital. At the time, I opined that it sounded like “the proverbial good shoot” . . .
The Detroit Times reported Friday that no charges will be forthcoming against Pastor Allison. Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced: “The provable facts in this case showed that the actions of Keon Allison were done in lawful self defense and there will be no charges.” The Prosecutor also released a summary of the facts as determined by their investigation:
Smith attacked [Allison] with a brick before the preacher shot the man with a Glock handgun…. Smith forcefully entered the church with his estranged wife, Tykia Smith, 25, then encountered Allison in the rear hallway of the church.
Smith pushed the pastor’s mother to the ground when he was told that he was no longer welcome at the church….
After some of the churchgoers separated Smith from Allison, Smith said he would leave. As it appeared Smith was leaving, he rushed past two men restraining him toward the pastor.
Mr. Allison then pulled out a hand gun and fired one shot at Mr. Smith, striking him in the left shoulder, causing him to stagger…. Mr. Smith continued to head towards Mr. Allison who continued to fire his weapon. [He was then] transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds….
On Friday, the prosecutor’s office included a history of confrontational behavior by Smith toward Allison, including an Oct. 16 incident in which video captured Smith running from the front of an auto repair shop toward Allison’s van, swinging a bat and shattering a side window.
It has become popular in the legacy media, where knowledge about fighting and self-defense is pretty thin on the ground, to express shock and dismay whenever there’s a defensive gun use in which an attacker without a firearm is shot. In those cases, the writer typically — and often disingenuously — refers to the attacker as “unarmed” implying (usually incorrectly) that there was a disparity of force involved.
In fact, disparity of force is indeed a big factor in self-defense situations, but it cuts both ways. A huge individual with specialized training in the use of force and violence — say, a male professional football player in his twenties — might be able to do a considerable amount of damage, even resulting in death, in hand-to-hand combat against a middle-aged man of average strength.
This would be doubly true if the defender were elderly or disabled to a greater or lesser degree. But that sort of nuance is beyond the capacity (or conflicts with the preferred narrative) of many news reporters.
In this case, not only was there a possible disparity of physical force, but the attacker had come armed with a deadly weapon: a brick. (If anyone doubts that a brick can cause death or grievous bodily injury, I refer to the case of truck driver Reginald Denny.)
What it boils down to is this: forget what your spouses and paramours may have told you. At least in the realm of armed self-defense, size really does matter.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.