Detroit, MI — Nineteen-year-old, Juwan Alexander Plummer, who has never been in trouble with police, thought he was doing the right thing earlier this month when he grabbed a shotgun to protect his mom and little brother from the would-be robbers at his front door. While many will agree that he did, indeed, do the right thing, the court does not because the men Plummer thought were robbers — were actually cops.
Plummer now faces charges of two counts each of Intentional Discharge of a Firearm in a Building Causing Serious Injury; Intentional Discharge of a Firearm in a Building Causing Injury, Felonious Assault. He has also been charged with four counts of Felony Firearm. He is looking at several decades behind bars — for protecting his family.
The incident happened on April 16 as police were responding to several calls of burglaries in the area. The break-ins were reported across the street from the Plummers' home. However, police decided to check the Plummers' home as well, where the shooting would occur.
After the shooting, media outlets across the country were laden with similar headlines of a 19-year-old man arrested for shooting two cops. None of the media took the time to bring up the nature of self-defense.
Just two days prior to these cops showing up, the Plummers' door had been kicked in by burglars. They had every reason in the world to be concerned.
That night, Plummer, his mother, and his 14-year-old little brother did not see the police lights because the unit was parked down the road. When they heard people fumbling around on their porch, Plummer called 911 to report the burglars and then grabbed his Grandfather's shotgun that was given to his mother for protection.
When Plummer went to the door, the scared kid fired a warning shot to fend off the would-be burglars. However, the shotgun blast hit one officer in the arm and the other in the face.
“Several calls of a burglary were made to the police department on this date,” said Chief James Craig. “In fact, three calls were made. One of the individuals in the house, who we believe to be the 19-year-old male, fearing for the safety of his family fired from inside the house, armed with a shotgun, striking both officers.”
According to reports, the officers who were shot are even asking for leniency toward Plummer. According to the chief, the families of the officers also said they want to communicate their thoughts for the young man and the mother that was there.
“This case is very unfortunate and could have been much worse. We simply cannot and will not ignore the alleged actions of the defendant in this case,” said Prosecutor Kym Worthy during Plummer's arraignment last week.
Worthy is right in one regard, it is very unfortunate that a young man protecting his family from intruders is facing decades behind bars.
As one of the commenters pointed out on WXYZ's Facebook page, had these intruders been anyone but cops, Plummer would not be facing charges. In fact, as the Free Thought Project reported a year ago, the Detroit police chief urged citizens to arm themselves to fight crime.
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Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who is already on record urging city residents to buy firearms and use them when threatened by criminal violence, reiterated that advice on multiple times.
“If you’re a terrorist or a car-jacker, you want unarmed citizens,”Craig points out.
For the estimated 30,000 Detroit citizens who legally carry firearms, “the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug,” Craig told Detroit’s CBS affiliate.
Below is the heartbreaking video of Plummer's arraignment. The young man pleads not guilty through tears as the prosecution attempts to paint him as a threat to society.
"The lives of these officers, who were doing their jobs, will never be the same and we must hold people accountable for their actions,” said Worthy.
A judge set bond at $25,000, 10 percent. The judge did not impose house arrest or a tether, much to the chagrin of Worthy.
Plummer is due back in court on Wednesday for a probable cause hearing.
Ray Rosas is was involved in a similar incident but was acquittedafter a jury of his peers found him not guilty of shooting three Corpus Christi police officers on February 19, 2015. On that day, early in the morning, CCPD executed a no-knock search warrant, forcing entry into the home without first knocking and announcing they were the police.
In December of 2013, in Somerville, Texas, Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders led a team in a no-knock marijuana raid on Henry Goedrich Magee’s home. Magee, who was home with his pregnant girlfriend, believed that someone was breaking in. Concerned for his girlfriend and unborn child's safety, Magee opened fire and killed Sowders.
In February 2014, all charges against Magee were dropped when a Texas grand jury refused to indict, based on the belief that he feared for his safety and that this was a reasonable act of self-defense.
Marvin Luis Guy, however, acted in nearly the exact same manner as Magee, Rosas, and Plummer — yet he is rotting behind bars this very minute. Hopefully, Plummer does not endure a similar fate.
For now, Plummer just hopes that the two cops are going to be okay.