Where’s Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, et al? Why are there no marches, no protests, no ‘T’ shirts printed with the victims faces printed on them? Why no public outrage? Why hasn’t the President called? Gee, I don’t know?
Why have we not heard of this shooting?
During his trial, a Florida teenager, accused of killing two British tourists in 2011, told a friend how he gunned them down as they pleaded for their lives.
Shawn Tyson, 17, is accused of killing James Kouzaris and James Cooper in April of 2011. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and could face life in prison if convicted.
Yesterday, 18-year-old Latrece Washington testified that Tyson told her he saw the two tourists walking through a housing project in Sarasota, drunk.
Washington testified that Tyson said he intended to rob the two men, but the men said they had no money.
‘He said “Well since you ain’t got no money I got something for your ass,”’ Washington recalled Tyson saying on the day after the killings.
Tyson told Washington that the men begged for their lives and one said, ‘please let me go home, I’m lost.’
Recounted Washington: ‘He shot one of them in the side and one of them fell instantly and the other one was crying for his life. He shot him.’
Judge Rick De Furia ruled that TV cameras should not broadcast Washington’s face because of fears for her safety.
As testimony continued Monday in the second week of the trial, a portrait of Tyson began to emerge. He was 16 at the time of the shooting, was behind in school and had the word ‘Savage’ tattooed on his chest.
He and friends – many of whom had criminal histories – repeatedly watched Shootas, a 2002 movie about gangsters in Jamaica and Miami.
The two Brits, Kouzaris and Cooper, were in Sarasota on a three-week vacation. On April 15, 2011, they went to dinner and then had drinks in downtown Sarasota.
Mr Kouzaris was from Northampton and Mr Cooper was from Hampton Lucy, Warwick.
The pair went to two bars and left on foot early in the morning of April 16, and somehow strayed into a neighborhood known for its high crime rates.
Witnesses say they saw Cooper and Kouzaris walking shirtless and stumbling through the neighbourhood followed by two men, one with a red bandanna around part of his face.
Prosecutors are trying to link Tyson to the shootings by showing he had a friend bury .22-caliber bullets in a yard. That was the same caliber of ammunition used to kill Cooper, 25, and Kouzaris, 24.
Defense lawyers contend there is no evidence linking Tyson to the bullets and that witnesses tying him to the scene are not credible.
On Monday, another witness, Jermaine Bane, said Tyson accidentally called him the night of the slayings, and Bane heard Tyson say to someone ‘Who are those crackers walking past the park?’ Shortly after that, Bane testified he heard gunshots. He described a cracker as a white person.
His friend, Mr Bane told the court he received several phone calls from Tyson both before and after he heard gunshots in the early hours of April 16.
He also told the court when police arrived to search Tyson’s house later that day, he saw the teenager – then 16 – throw something into a friend’s car.
Mr Bane said he had been friends with Tyson for about three years. They lived less than two minutes from each other and would often spend around 10 hours a day together.
Bane said he often saw Tyson carrying a 0.22 caliber revolver, usually in his pocket, and had seen him fire it into the air in the ‘the projects’, about four or five times.
On the evening of April 15, 2011, Mr Bane, Tyson, and two friends spent the evening together ‘smoking and chilling’, and visited a Jamaican Club nearby.
The four split up just after midnight, with Mr Bane and one friend going to Bane’s house, while Tyson headed in a different direction, the court heard.
Mr Bane told the court he received a phone call from Tyson asking if he got home.
He said he heard Tyson say: ‘Who are those crackers walking past the park?’
Mr Bane said: ‘I kept saying ‘hello’, to see if he knew I was still on the phone.’
But Tyson did not answer and Bane hung up the phone.
Shortly afterwards, he heard gunshots.
Bane said after that his brother Jarius started ‘beating down the door’, adding: ‘He was very loud like he was scared, like he was about to knock the door down.’
His brother was saying ‘they’re dead, they’re dead’, he told the court.
Mr Bane said Tyson then called him asking if he had heard gunshots and did he know what happened, and if ‘anybody got hit’.
‘I told him, ‘I don’t know ‘cus I’m not out there’,’ he said.
‘I wouldn’t go out there because I didn’t want to step into crossfire or anything.’
He said Tyson called him again, and asked him ‘repeatedly’ to go out and see if the people were dead, but he refused.
Later that day, when police arrived to search Tyson’s house, Mr Bane said he saw Tyson throw something into a friend’s car.
‘He went over to the car. He opened the door and threw something in.
‘He leaned towards under the seat, the driver’s seat.’
Mr Bane originally told police he did not know anything about what had happened because he did not want ‘the image of being a snitch’, he said.
The court heard he was arrested in May and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, but the charge was reduced in seriousness in exchange for giving evidence in the Tyson trial.
Last week the court heard that phone records showed a series of calls were made to and from mobile phones registered to Tyson and Mr Bane just before 3am – around the time of the killing.
The court also heard Mr Bane make a comment that it was the phone calls that had ‘f****d him up’.
Today he said: ‘If it wasn’t for the phone calls I wouldn’t have been getting questioned.
‘I didn’t want to be put in the situation where I had to snitch or anything like that.’
Bane and his brother, Joshua Bane, both testified that they saw Tyson with a .22 calibre revolver before the April 16 shootings. Jermaine Bane also said he was testifying in exchange for authorities reducing a felony weapon charge against him to a misdemeanor.
Another friend, Treshaun Simmons, said he had been with Tyson and Mr Bane that night, and when the group split up, he went to Bane’s house with him, and shortly after, they both heard gunshots.
Mr Simmons also told the court he had gone to Tyson’s house on April 15 to get some bullets.
He said: ‘I needed bullets for my gun. I walked into Shawn’s room….I got a pack of bullets that weren’t open.’
On Friday, Tyson’s sister was arrested and charged with retaliating against a witness in connection with comments she made on Facebook to a woman who testified earlier in the week.
Attribution: Daily Mail