“Unnecessary Roughness” Foul Play? Or No Foul

This year we have witnessed the senseless killings of two former NFL players, while driving in New Orleans. Two black men, killed during road rage incidents gone wrong. Both men were shot multiple times and in both situations, the men that were allegedly responsible for the shootings, waited for the authorities to arrive. Both men feeling they were justified in their actions. Both men were arrested. However, both men did not receive the same punishments and the victims did not receive or may not receive the same justice.

On April 9, 2016, former NFL defensive end, Will Smith was shot multiple times and killed by Cardell Hayes, during an altercation stemming from a car accident between the two men. Hayes was arrested and held in jail while awaiting trial. He has since been found guilty of man slaughter and is planning an appeal.

On December 1, 2016, former NFL running back, Joe McKnight was shot multiple times and killed by Ronald Gasser, again, during an altercation stemming from an apparent road rage incident. Gasser was taken into police custody, where he was later released without being charged. After protest and public outrage, Gasser has since been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

All this begs the question: both men committed similar crimes, yet both men were treated differently, why? For the record, Hayes is a black man and Gasser is white. In the case of Hayes, Smith did have a gun as well and was said to be as aggressive in the altercation as Hayes. Gasser, however, was said to have pulled McKnight out of his vehicle and shot him at least four times.

So why was Gasser given the benefit of the doubt? Why was he released without being charged, while Hayes remained behind bars until his trial? Hayes was originally charged with second-degree murder, while Gasser is being charged with manslaughter, which carries a lesser charge. Why? Authorities asked that the public not just to conclusions involving Gasser and wait for the entire story. Yet the same plea was not afforded Hayes.

In a time when screaming “Black Lives Matter” is deemed offensive and the rebuttal is “All Lives Matter”, why is it apparent that Hayes’ life matters differently than Gasser’s? WHY?

Story by, Christlo Jordan III

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