No charges over 'reverse Trayvon Martin' shooting in Phoenix area
Police have yet to charge a black motorist who shot dead a mentally disabled and unarmed "white Hispanic," Daniel Adkins, in a Taco Bell parking lot near Phoenix earlier this month. The two reportedly exchanged words before the shooting that occurred, according to some accounts, after the motorist almost ran over Adkins who then banged his fist on the car's windshield.
The April 3 shooting by the 22-year-old black man -- whom police in suburban Laveen have yet to identify -- has gotten little if any coverage by the national media. Nor has President Obama weighed in on the case. Is it because Adkins doesn't look like his son?
Whatever the case, the slaying of Adkins -- who was walking his yellow lab on a leash -- has ignited controversy in Arizona, and it has been commanding increasing attention in the blogosphere. Adkins' grieving family says he had the mental capacity of a 12 year old. He lived with his mom and dad.
Local media outlets are describing Adkins as a Hispanic -- yet with an "Anglo" name and light complexion, he easily qualifies as what the national media have called a "white Hispanic" when describing George Zimmerman. Is this why the national media has yet to take an interest in the case?
After Adkins was shot dead, his dog, Lady, stayed by his side, and a representative of the Humane Society was called to take the dog away. Police found no weapon at the scene despite the motorist's claim that Adkins had one.
Here are the details of the case as reported by a local Fox News outlet:
About 7:30 p.m., a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend ordered food at the Taco Bell drive-thru and were told to pull up while their order was prepared.
At the same time, Adkins stepped around a corner into the path of the vehicle and angry words were exchanged between he and the driver.
They got into an altercation and Adkins was shot once by the driver. He died at the scene.
The driver, a 22-year-old black male, called police but has not been arrested.
At first, the couple claimed that Adkins had a metal pipe that he swung at them -- but it turns out he was holding a dog leash with his yellow lab on the other end.
Family members want that driver arrested, but he's claiming self-defense.
"He needs to be behind bars. I'll never see my brother again," says sister Marina Reyes. "If he felt that my brother was threatening him, he could have easily just rolled up the window and called the cops."
A metal pipe or bat was never located. An independent witness did say Adkins swung his fists in the driver's direction.
"He swung his fist towards the driver window, and at some point the driver shot him," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson. "Just because we don't book a person immediately does not mean we don't charge a person at a later date."
Here is a video clip from a local news station regarding the tragic shooting