Dominion of New York

The 411

April 10, 2012

Claiming Self Defense, Black Arizona Man Kills White Man, Escapes Arrest

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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H/T to, where we first learned about this case.


s the world waits for a Florida prosecutor to determine whether George Zimmerman will be arrested for killing African-American teenager Trayvon Martin, thousands of miles away, near Phoenix Arizona, a mirror murder case is unfolding. A black man who shot and killed a white man after an argument erupted between them in the parking lot of a Phoenix-area Taco Bell last Tuesday has not been arrested and a community is asking why.

“He needs to be behind bars. I’ll never see my brother again,” the victim’s sister Marina Reyes, told Fox News. “If he felt that my brother was threatening him, he could have easily just rolled up the window and called the cops.”

The murder victim was Daniel Adkins, a 29-year-old mentally disabled man. His family says he had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old. As of last week, the killer’s name had not been released. But police say he is claiming self defense. The attached video describes the altercation.

“He swung his fist towards the driver window, and at some point the driver shot him,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson told Fox News. An arrest is still an option, Thompson says: “Just because we don’t book a person immediately does not mean we don’t charge a person at a later date.”

This killing and other’s that have occurred since Trayvon Martin’s have raised fears that the Stand Your Ground laws that have been adopted by almost two dozen states including Arizona — will lead to a wanton increase in the declaration of justifiable homicides. Dominion of New York was one of the first news organizations to note that Stand Your Ground is the law under which Zimmerman is claiming self defense. We were also one of the first to note that the state of Florida has seen a spike in justifiable homicides since their Stand Your Ground Law took affect in 2005.

Since 2005, Florida has had more than 344 justifiable murders under the law, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

What’s more, the paper found:

Reports of justifiable homicides tripled after the law went into effect, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Last year, twice a week, on average, someone’s killing was considered warranted.

The self-defense law — known as “stand your ground” — has been invoked in at least 93 cases with 65 deaths, a St. Petersburg Times review found.

In the majority of the cases, the person’s use of force was excused by prosecutors and the courts.

In response to fears about the law, lawmakers and citizens in some states, including Florida, are reconsidering them. Yesterday, in Atlanta, a lawsuit was filed contesting Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law. According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the lawsuit alleges that the law is vague and could result in a disproportionate number of minorities being shot.

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About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.