Is anyone else familiar with this case? I don't recall hearing about it before a commenter brought it up at the Bar:
This story reminds me of a case that happened in Louisiana where a Japanese exchange student, Yoshihiro Hattori, was gunned down by a white man, when the door was opened ON PURPOSE and he entered the house, assuming that he was about to enter for a Halloween party he and the white boy who was part of his host family were planning to attend. This happened in 1992.
Two months into his stay in the United States, he received an invitation, along with Webb Haymaker, his homestay brother, to a Halloween party. Upon their arrival, the boys mistook the house owned by Rodney Peairs, the shooter, for the house where the party was actually held to the similarity of the address and the Halloween decorations on the outside of the house. When the boys approached the house, they rang the doorbell. In the interview, the white boy said that the white woman whose house he approached opened the door, but she was not scared of him even though she did not know who he was and he was dressed as mummy. She got scared when she saw the figure of the Japanese boy coming from around the house. She told the police she did not know what his race was but that she noticed that he was "darker colored".
The white woman slammed the door shut, according to the white kid. She told her husband "Rodney, get your gun!" as she thought someone was outside trying to get in. The husband proceeded to get his weapon. As the boys were walking to their car, Rodney reopened the carport door and pointed is revolver at the boys. He pointed his gun at Yoshihiro and yelled "Freeze!" Yoshihiro could not speak fluent English, so when he approached Rodney, he said that they were there for the party but Rodney shot him in the chest. Yoshihiro later died in the ambulance. Although the white family was sorry for the death, Rodney was not sorry for owning a gun.
During the police investigation, she said that when she saw Yoshihiro, she thought that he was Mexican. (Notice that when the white boy was in the white woman's face, only separated with a screen door, she was not scared.) But when she saw a non-white male from a distance, she was frightened and told her husband to retrieve his weapon.
Rodney Peairs was acquitted after a 7-day trial. In a civil trial, however, the court found Peairs liable to Hattori's parents for $650,000 in damages. The lawyers for Hattori's parents argued that the Peairses had behaved unreasonably: Bonnie Peairs overreacted to the presence of two teens outside her house; the Peairses behaved unreasonably by not communicating with each other to convey what exactly the threat was; they had not taken the best path to safety—remaining inside the house and calling police; they had erred in taking offensive action rather than defensive action; and Rodney Peairs had used his firearm too quickly, without assessing the situation, using a warning shot, or shooting to wound. Furthermore, the much larger Peairs could likely very easily have subdued the short, slightly built teen. Contrary to Peairs' claim that Hattori was moving strangely and quickly towards him, forensic evidence demonstrates that Hattori was moving slowly, or not at all, and his arms were away from his body, indicating he was no threat. Overall, a far greater show of force was used than was appropriate.
When it comes to shit like this, ain't nothing changed but the weather.