Should you beat someone to death for stealing your wallet?

Is street justice good for the community in the long run?

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
August 13, 2018 - 11:04 am

A man sits behind bars in New Orleans after detectives say he told police that he chased down a thief and beat him so severely that he died.

Simon Morris told arresting officers that he went after the suspect who stole his wallet.

An NOPD release says officers were called after witnesses reported see the two men in a fight.

"Second District officers responded to a call at 8:19 a.m. Friday, August 10, 2018 reporting a fight in the 4200 block of South Claiborne Avenue. When they arrived they found an unresponsive male at the location. The victim was transported to University Medical Center where he later died."

Cops later tracked down Morris, interviewed him and booked him with manslaughter.

Many people are telling us they don't think Morris should be convicted of a crime.  The community support for his street justice is strong, at least based on reaction from WWL listeners.

About 90 percent of those texting the Early Edition of WWL First News were rallying behind Morris, given that we only have one side of the story and an investigation that is still very early.  It tells me that people really are so fed up and angry with criminals, that they are discounting what the law says and the potential longterm impacts of vigilantism and street justice.

Here some of the texts we got at 870870 between 5:00am and 6:00am...

  • That criminal got exactly what he deserved! Did people really expect a man who I'm sure works hard to make a living to provide for himself to sit back and let some thug who didn't want to work take from him? That man deserves a medal for taking one more criminal off the streets.
  • Innocent a message needs to be sent to these thugs causing crime in the city
  • I'd aquit. Perp deserved whatever happened.
  • Not guilty. The robber commited a crime and paid the ultimate price, he shouldnt go around robbing people and that wouldnt have happened.
  • I would let the guy off free he did the community a public service
  • Give the guy one year in prison because he needs to be taught to control his anger but I don't give a rat's ass about that Thief he deserve what he got
  • Set him free!!!!
  • The guy is a hero. Let him go free
  • He'd go to JAIL

This tells me that many people have little faith in the criminal justice system and its ability to protect the community.  That being said, just for a minute, really try to picture a world where crime victims can kill the people they says victimized them.

What if people falsely claim they were victims, kill the wrong person or they end up dead trying to administer this kind of street justice?

I totally get why there is such loud support for the man who killed the alleged thief, I do.  I also see where a public condoning victims going after suspects could also lead to the victims ending up injured or dead.  Generally speaking, I would think most criminals would have the upper hand in a fight that could involved knives and guns.

We also still only know part of this story.  It will be facinating to see what else we learn and where this case ultimately goes.



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