Previous Post
Next Post
Pastor Keon Allison. Via

Twenty-six year-old Deante Smith allegedly showed up to confront the Pastor of the City of God Church in Detroit on Sunday. Smith was a former semi-pro football player for the Michigan Lightning, and judging from his picture, wasn’t exactly a small man. Nevertheless, Smith decided to stack the deck in this confrontation by bringing along a brick . . .

Deante Smith. Photo credit: Smith family, via

The thirty-seven year-old pastor identified by Fox2Detroit as Keon Allison doesn’t appear to be anywhere nearly as well-built as his alleged assailant, and so he also did a bit of deck-stacking with a GLOCK. When Smith confronted Allison in the vestibule of the church, the pastor drew his pistol and shot his tormentor, terminating the assault, and along the way, Smith’s life. Smith was pronounced dead on arrival at Botsford Hospital.

Police are still investigating the incident, however, after questioning Pastor Allison at police headquarters, no arrests were made, and the pastor was released. Police stated that Smith had had “a history of threatening the pastor and others in the congregation.”

“The suspect entered the church, he allegedly had a brick in his hand and was threatening the pastor,” said Asst. Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt. “We’ve had a previous incident, at least one, and the pastor filed a police report.”

Reports are circulating, based in part on statements made by his family members and posts he had made to his Facebook account (which, as of this point, is still publicly visible,) that Smith was upset at Allison because he suspected that the pastor was having an affair with his estranged wife, and may have been the father of the child his wife was carrying.

Detrese Abbot, Smith’s cousin, said her family is devastated.

“It’s unbelievable,” Abbot told the Free Press. “They’re painting him to be a monster, but he wasn’t. They knew each other very well. This is not just a strange man that walked in looking to harm someone. … We’re just trying to figure this whole thing out….”

Abbot said Smith had been a member of the church for the past four years and had been close to the pastor before their friendship soured.

“The pastor took him under his wing, he was his mentor,” she said. “He was someone my cousin looked up to as a father figure…. So much happened that led up to this. I just don’t understand none of this….They had a relationship and bond that couldn’t be broken. For this to end like this and for them to paint him as a crazy and deranged person, he didn’t want this to come to this.”

Indeed, if one looks at Smith’s Facebook page, while one is left with the impression that he wasn’t exactly going to be reading Thucydides in the original Greek anytime soon, the posts are largely banal, with an occasional religious reference until around September, when he indicates he is getting divorced. At that point, his posts become more ALL CAPS and make less sense, along the lines of this:


Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.53.00 AM

It should probably go without saying that regardless of Smith’s state of mind or motives, the fact that your estranged wife may have been impregnated by her adulterous lover is not, actually, a justifiable reason to attack someone in the eyes of the law.

This incident is also a reminder of the very real fact that the use of deadly force against a purportedly unarmed attacker (or one armed “merely” with a bludgeoning instrument, such as a brick,) can be justified. Even the idea of an “unarmed” professional (or semi-pro) football player attacking an average middle-aged man of Pastor Allison’s size and weight might present a situation where the disparity of physical force might creates very real threat of death or grievous bodily injury to the victim that would certain justify his use of deadly force to stop the attack from the physically superior assailant. I think Massad Ayoob did a decent job of explaining it here:

DISPARITY OF FORCE is the legal principle which recognizes that even without a…weapon, a violent attacker may have such a physical advantage over the intended victim that if the assault is allowed to continue, the totality of the circumstances indicate that the victim is likely to be killed or crippled. This authorizes the victim to use an actual deadly weapon in self-defense. That situation would exist if the attacker was significantly larger and/or stronger than the victim. It would exist if the attacker had complete freedom of movement and leverage, and the victim did not, a situation known as “position of advantage….”

The police investigation into this incident is still ongoing, so we should assume that the facts are not completely known just yet. Still, if everything so far reported is true, it sounds as though Smith brought a deadly weapon in the form of a brick, added to what is likely to be a significant disparity of force between the ex-football player and the pastor, and–regardless of whether his suspicions about the relationship between his estranged wife and the pastor were correct–it is likely that Smith arrived at the Church with a freight train full of anger. I were a betting man, I wouldn’t be putting down any money on the notion that the pastor is going to see any jail time. Unless some other evidence comes out, this sounds like the proverbial “good shoot”.

At least, as far as man’s law goes, that is. It sounds as though the pastor might have to answer a few other questions as far as God’s law is concerned.


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.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. That’s some pretty ramped up writing on Deonte’s part. I tried to follow it, but without Barbara Billinglsy here to interpret, I got lost…

  2. 1.) My understanding is that a majority of homicides (justified or not) occur where the people involved know each other.

    2.) Such language! Deante was obviously a racist.

    3. Glock/brick – same thing, no?

    • I wondered if anyone was going to draw the obvious parallel. The first thing I thought when I saw the Glock reference was that the pastor clearly had a better brick.

      • Details are muddy. I’ll withhold judgement until the investigation is no longer half-baked.

        On a serious note, a “key to the city” (as someone here once colorfully described it) can definitely be a ticket to the hospital, the ICU, or even the morgue when applied with malicious intent. Not unlike the other brick that saved the day. I wonder if, in the confusion, the good pastor tried to reholster his assailant’s brick by mistake.

  3. A brick can definitely be a “deadly weapon”, and the shooting sounds justified. I certainly hope that the pastor wasn’t involved in an adulterous relationship with the man’s wife. That sort of thing happens far more than most “church people” want to admit. Perhaps Mr. Smith took the Biblical concept of “stoning” a bit too literally with his “brick”.

  4. Alrighty then-but the pastor wasn’t charged.Homie did seem a tad short of a full load(of bricks). BTW MY pastor just made his 2nd reference in 2 weeks about owning a gun and defending yourself…

  5. I’m somewhat sad that it had to end with the loss of life. For this one, I think I’ll hold off on good/no-good judgement until a couple days pass and all the facts come out.

  6. The pastor allegedly was banging his old lady and got her pregnant. So much for not putting anything into the holiest of the holies, to paraphrase mr sam jackson.

    • When my cousin’s husband went off the deep end, psychiatrically speaking, he accused her of having an affair. Such delusions are fairly common in the realm of mental illness and I wouldn’t put any stock in this particular lunatic’s accusations, at least until DNA evidence proves otherwise.

    • “So much for not putting anything into the holiest of the holies, to paraphrase mr sam jackson.”

      The Gospel according to ‘Pulp Fiction’?

      One of my fave movies.

      Especially the pawnshop scene, as I have worked that trade…

    • Let me guess. Smith was so excited about his new career that he raced to church, brick in hand, to show his mentor (the pastor) … who misinterpreted Smith’s actions as a deadly attack.

      • Smith had a running bond with the community. He wasn’t walled off from those offering help. His life was getting squared away. His life was a story board of despair lacking a solid foundation. Level heads should have prevailed in this situation.

        • Well, it could be said that Smith was that one brick short of a full load. He was obviously carrying it to finish the walkway for his dear departed grandmother.

  7. Adulterous relationships are one of those sad situations where secular law is at odds with religious law.

    From a secular perspective, the adulterous relationship is hunky dory as long as both parties were willing participants. From a religious perspective, the adulterous relationship is one of the most egregious wrongs that a person can commit. And this event gives us an insight as to why.

    We all like to say, “no harm, no foul”. Well, when a spouse enters into an adulterous relationship, they cause some of the deepest emotional wounds known to man to the other spouse. Given that adultery does cause harm to the other spouse, how can we say that there is no foul?

    • Maybe the wronged spouse should suck it up and deal with their hurt feelings like a normal well-adjusted adult and not resort to violence? Are you really going to go down the road where hurt feelings should dictate laws? Because I’m pretty sure that liberal territory.

    • Yeah, banging another man’s wife is playing with fire, even if they’re headed for divorce.

      It might be legal, but as the old saying goes, smart people do smart things, and dumb people do dumb things.

  8. The left would rather this pastor and several bystanders had their skulls bashed in than the pastor be able to defend himself.

  9. Massad Ayoob has so much wisdom. I saw him outside a Cabela’s once smoking a cigarette. He made the Marlboro Man look like a dork.

  10. You people are crass not to mention insensitive jerks. Making jokes in a situation such as this not only reveals your substandard sense of humor but also is a prime indicator of your general character. The not so subtle dog whistling bigotry speaks loudly as well.


        • Excuse me? Your argument, in this particular incident, is misplaced. My comment made no reference to black on black violence nor the Black Lives Matter campaign. I simply pointed out the base and cavalier jokes made about this tragedy as well as the undertones of bigotry. If you want a fight about crime statistics based upon certain demographics as well as political movements, do not use my comment in this thread to initiate it. Reading comprehension truly is fundamental.

  11. An important point here is that a police report was on file claiming Mr. Smith’s harassment of the good pastor AND members of his congregation. I think people pass on filing reports with the authorities for non-violent occurrences because they figure that nothing will come of it.

    I believe a significant reason that Mr. Allison walked out of the police station that night was because of that official record of complaint. Good lesson for us all.

  12. Had the person behind the gun used to stop the brick wielding assailant been a white police officer instead of a black preacher, “witnesses” would immediately materialize describing how poor Deante was summarily executed with his hands up and swear the brick was evidence planted in a massive LE conspiracy and cover-up; the usual suspects would be burning and looting their own neighborhoods; the black lives matter movement would ramp up their pleas for murderous and cowardly retribution against law enforcement; Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be leading “no justice no peace” and “hands up don’t shoot” chants at rallies demanding murder charges against the officer; and gullible progressive liberal journalists would dutifully spin a story to atone for their white guilt by manufacturing a false narrative characterizing the shooting as the latest murder of an “unarmed” black man by law enforcement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here