[Ed. note: Knockout, also known as the “knockout game” and “knockout king,” is a violent activity played by teenagers in which they attack an innocent pedestrian in an attempt to render him unconscious with one punch. The game can result in serious injury or death for its victims and criminal charges for those playing it.
The Knockout Game is documented in Colin Flaherty’s book White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it. Many of the examples are on video, which readers of the new edition can see by scanning a QR code as they read about it in the book.]
The newspaper in Lansing came so close to getting it right: An intended victim of the Knockout Game shot his attacker. So far so good.
This version of the game had a twist: Instead of punching the victim in the face, the predator used a Taser — a KL-800 Type Stun Gun capable of generating 1.8 million volts.
The assailants had scouted the site, the victim, and even practiced firing the Taser. But then it all went wrong. Or right.
When Marvell Weaver jammed the Taser into the ribs of the still unidentified man and pulled the trigger, it jammed. The target pulled out his .40 caliber Smith and Wesson and shot Weaver as he tried to escape to the getaway van where two of his accomplices waited.
According to MLive.com:
Weaver ran, sat down across the street, his leg going numb, bleeding. Pleading.
‘I’m sorry, please don’t kill me, I don’t know why I did that, I’m high you know, I just wanna go home,’ the teen told the man who had just shot him.
He lived. This happened in May, while the intended victim was picking up his child at a school bus stop. The story came out this week.
According to MLive:
The teen was hospitalized with a non-life threatening injury. At first, Weaver said he merely removed the stun gun from his pocket to look at it and the man shot him. He later confessed to the attack, records show.
Mlive.com took pains to put the attack in context, citing this statistic and that trend, but in the end, it pronounced the crime “random.”
That caught the attention of MLive.com readers and others throughout the country familiar with the Knockout Game as it has been played hundreds of times in St. Louis, Champaign, Chicago, and dozens of other cities around the country. Said one reader:
The ‘game’ is not random. It is a very racially charged ‘game’ with very strong criteria for ‘target’ selection.
There are many, many reasons for ‘target’ selection beyond ‘than they are there.’ There is the inherent hatred of the participants along with their boredom and restlessness, accompanied by a ‘they got and I don’t, so what does it matter if I hurt them’ mentality.
In St. Louis alone, a judge said one person was responsible for 300 episodes of the Knockout Game. In Oklahoma, an accused killer of Australian college student Chris Lane tweeted that he was “playing golf” and hitting “woods” prior to the murder earlier this month. Woods is short for “peckerwoods:” White people. The Knockout Game.
The perpetrator admitted to “playing the game” did five times since the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.
In St. Cloud, Minnesota, a car full of black people came upon a college student in an alley walking two girls home from the library. The car screeched to a stop, one man got out, and hit 20-year old Colton Gleason in the face. He died.
This week, Jesse Smithers, the assailant, told the court the attack was in self defense: Gleason and the two girls, he claimed, attacked his car.
In Chicago, two black people played the Knockout Game with a father of 11. He died last year.
In St. Louis last year, the mayor came upon the remnants of a Knockout Game when he found a badly beaten and bloody Matthew Quan in the gutter. Knocked Out. As he stopped his car, the black people sauntered away, laughing.
One of the assailants was arrested but the charges were dropped after a witness disappeared. The mayor said she was threatened.
The accused assailant died earlier this year when he was shot while breaking into someone’s house. He was 15. His grandfather said he was a good boy and this was another case similar to Trayvon Martin: a black person shot for no reason whatsoever.
In St. Louis earlier this year, a black person was sentenced to life for the Knockout Game death of a 72-year old Vietnamese immigrant.
The list goes on and on. Mlive.com says this kind of evidence is “anecdotal.”
But anyone looking at the hundreds and hundreds of anecdotes knows this: The victims can be white. Or Asian. Or women. Or homosexual. But all the incidents have this factor in common: All of attackers in the Knockout Game are black.
But MLive.com wanted no part of that uncomfortable truth. Neither did some of its readers. “Please don’t tell me you’re bring[ing] the race card into play,” said one. Other said that perhaps Weaver could have taken the victim’s gun and done even more damage.
Whatever the merits of ignoring the intensity, frequency, and racial angle of this crime, some gun owners were happy with the story nevertheless.
“MLive is great on firearms issues and crime coverage,” said Barry Shickinger. “And as a disclosure, I’m the executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners — Michigan’s largest state-based gun group and ally with the National Rifle Association.”
While the people of Lansing try to sort out the best way to protect themselves, the prosecutor is trying to figure out how to charge Weaver.
Weaver’s two accomplices — the ones who drove him and helped him scout the victim and watched the attack — were not charged. And some in Lansing worry Weaver may get off easy as well.
Because the intended victim was not harmed, and there was “no evidence” Weaver wanted to rob him, the judge will not charge him with robbery or aggravated assault. The plea bargain conference is set for next month.
Weaver is sorry, he told the victim in a letter:
I don’t blame you for what you did. You were only trying to protect yourself. I only wish I could go back to change it to were [sic] I never did it…. Im very sorry.
Cross-posted from WhiteGirlBleedALot.com