White Killer Cop Who Murdered Black Youth For Dating His Daughter Gets Only 15 Years

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Vicious killer Cop. Hopefully he won't walk streets again. Channel 2 Screenshot via YouTube

[Speaking Truth To Power]

The overdue, conviction of a White Oklahoma killer-cop for the murder of a Black man, who was dating his daughter, is another example illustrating the casual racist violence Black people face at the hands of police.

What is to be done when the killings are so routine?

Police Officer Shannon Kepler was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 15-years in prison for shooting and killing Jeremey Lake in 2014. Some may hail this decision, because police who kill Black people are usually exonerated. Yet this case represents a travesty for so many reasons.

In this instance, we should ask ourselves why Officer Kepler was only found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter instead of first-degree murder, which is what he is clearly guilty of?

On Aug. 5, 2014, four days before the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, 19-year-old Jeremey Lake was murdered by then Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler. Lake’s apparent crime, in the demented mind of Officer Kepler, was Lake’s having the nerve to date his White daughter.

In the long tradition of racist White American men, especially those who have the “legal authority” of the “law” to back them up, Kepler shot Lake dead it seems for having “relations” with his daughter. Given the facts in this case, it is an absolute outrage that it took four trials to convict the murderous thug. Again, this is a police officer—who is also White, in a state like Oklahoma.

The particulars in this case are troubling.

The trouble all started when Shannon Kepler and his wife Gina Kepler, also a Tulsa Police officer, decided to show their adoptive daughter, 18-year-old Lisa Kepler, some “tough love” by throwing her out of their home. Reportedly, they had been unhappy with her behavior. These parents decided what Lisa needed was a good “dose of reality” to “get her back on track.”To do this, they chose to evict her into the hands of the Tulsa Day Care for the Homeless—and, unintendedly, also into the arms of 19-year-old Jeremey Lake. Apparently, the two immediately hit it off, and became an item. Not long after, Lisa was living with Jeremey, at his aunt’s house. Consequently, it was Shannon and Gina Kepler who would get a maddening “dose of reality.” The Keplers’ decision not only backfired, but it precipitately something they could not have envisioned: their White daughter dating a Black man. Imagine what they must have been thinking.

Many Black men have been lynched or killed in some gruesome manner for any intimate association with White women—even when initiated by White women. Some will say race played no role in this tragedy. Many things tell us it did—including the way Kepler killed Lake, and his subsequent coverup-story.

Not long after evicting his daughter, Officer Kepler reportedly found out she was dating a Black man—apparently, from her Facebook account.  He then went to look for her and saw her walking with her new boyfriend. After an exchange of words between daughter and father, Lake was repeatedly shot to death by Kepler on the spot. Kepler’s defense was that he shot in self-defense; the standard one we usually hear from police who kill innocent Black people.

In court, Kepler said: “He’s bringing it, I’m bringing it. It was either him or me. I’m not going to stand there and get shot.” He also made the claim that Lake was reaching for a semi-automatic weapon.

Of course, no gun was found on Lake's body. To fix that major discrepancy, an attempt was made to falsify evidence. Kepler’s defense team floated a supposition that a gun, supposedly, found in an interview-room trash can was the phantom gun Kepler said Lake had. That gun was, correctly, not allowed into evidence.

Are they really trying to tell us this gun was just accidentally thrown into a trash-can, in a police precinct? Who would’ve done such a questionable thing? The already dead corpse of Jeremey Lake or his evil "juju" spirits?

However, the absurdity of this didn’t stop the defense from mentioning it in the second trial—even though the judge ruled it had no relevance to the case and should not be used. This was willfully done no doubt as part of the legal strategy to secure an acquittal, or, a hung jury—as they got in three of these cases related to this blatant murder.

Several witnesses testified that Lake had no weapon. They said Officer Kepler just shot Lake down. Moreover, one of these witnesses is Kepler’s own daughter, Lisa, who told KJRH-TV: “I walked away and Jeremy tried to introduce himself, and my dad shot him.”

Lisa Kepler also accused her father of trying to shoot her, when she tried to stop her father from shooting Jeremey. That charge was said to be verified by police who reportedly confirmed that “the suspect shot at the female but missed.” The defense team characterized her statements as “not credible.”

Officer Kepler also allegedly shot at Jeremey Lake’s then 13-year-old brother, Michael Hamilton. Shouldn’t Kepler have been charged with two counts of attempted murder as well? Several other things need to be pointed out here. For one thing, Kepler’s conduct after this killing is not consistent with innocent behavior. After shooting Lake, he just jumped into his car and drove away. What kind of responsible police officer would leave the scene of a shooting where he himself was the killer?Officer Kepler didn’t attempt to ascertain how seriously he had shot Lake. He didn’t wait for his police colleagues. He didn’t wait for medical personnel to arrive.

From the beginning, Kepler made use of the racist code language that we hear from prejudiced police and politicians. He talked about the “crime-ridden neighborhood” he was in. The attempt here was obvious: to point out to White people that he was in a dangerous Black neighborhood and anything could happen. Shoot first and sort it out later. Such defense ploy tells you how racist and depraved some lawyers are.

However, since Kepler knew this neighborhood was a Black one, and in his mind if that translated into automatic danger for him, why didn’t he ask other officers to ride along with him? If this Black community is so “crime-ridden,” why go there in the first place? Aren’t all officers taught not to go into a risky situation without backup?  Perhaps he had no fear knowing all he had to do was pull out his gun. Which he of course did.

During the trial, Kepler also used other racial tactics to avoid paying for his murderous crime. At the beginning, Kepler made a claim that because he was 1\28 part Creek, that this alleged Native American ancestry meant he couldn't be tried in state court. That nonsense was rejected by the judge.

This tactic having failed, Kepler’s defense team systematically did everything in their power to purge the jury of Black people. This strategy was a successful one. In the three prior trials—which all ended in a hung-jury—only one Black juror was seated, in each trial.

Officer Shannon Kepler has now been convicted and sentenced to 15 years for the murder of Lake. Given his crimes, he got off easy. This officer should be spending the rest of his abominable life in prison; he doesn't deserve to walk the streets ever again.

Officer Kepler’s actions could have left at least two other people dead including his daughter. The alleged fatherly love disappeared when his mind was consumed with racist rage. 

Why he wasn’t prosecuted for two counts of attempted murder is a question that remains to be answered. The issue must be pressed. Why did this cold-blooded murderer only get only 15 years for so callously taking a life? With possible time off from his sentence, Kepler maybe out of jail sooner than we think.

This verdict underscores just how cheap Black life is viewed in America—and shows how the legal system seeks every recourse to protect cops who kill Black people. 

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