Imagine that you are home alone and suddenly hear someone breaking into your home. For many people, the first thought is to protect yourself and your home. This may even include arming yourself if you exercise your right to keep a firearm at home.
This is what occurred when a Miami homeowner found her house under siege. In March of 2016, 17-year-old Trevon Johnson broke into a home with the intent to rob it. It was not clear what he was going to do to the homeowner in the process of robbing the house.
Johnson found out very quickly that his plans for the robbery that night were not going to work out. The homeowner shot the teen and killed him. Local authorities found her actions were justified and she acted in self-defense. This was a very clear case of protecting both herself and her home.
While police were able to piece together enough about the events of that night to see the shooting was justified, what happened next is very puzzling. The family of Johnson lashed out against the homeowner for protecting herself. The family did not acknowledge Johnson was wrong in his actions; their reaction tried to justify his plans to rob the home.
In a ridiculous statement from Johnson’s cousin Nautika Harris explained:
“You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood. You have to understand, how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point of view.”
Instead of apologizing for the robbery or even focusing on this youthful mistake, his family is blaming the home invasion victim for the fact that Johnson grew up in the hood. His family status explains why this woman should have allowed him to break into her home possibly harm her. The fact that his family was not providing for him means he was somehow free to take from strangers to fill the void? If we were to follow the logic of Harris, it seems we should not even arrest those committing crimes because we do not see life through the eyes of the criminal.
Harris went on to speak out against the homeowners right to even have a firearm in this statement:
“I don’t care if she have her gun license or any of that. That is way beyond the law, way beyond. He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals. He was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning.”
The point of this story is not to focus on how wonderful of a person Trevon was when he was not out robbing strangers. It is also not the homeowner’s concern that he has goals beyond the purpose of robbing her home. If the family is, in fact, saying he was forced into robbing the home by his lack of family supports, then they are to blame for this brazen action.
At no time should the homeowner be blamed for taking the steps needed to make sure the break-in at her home did not end as Trevon has intended. There is no way of knowing is the homeowner was to be harmed in the break-in, it could very well have ended in a murder also.
The family pushes the idea that the break in was just part of the reality for a child that grows up in the hood. Are we to believe what could have happened if the homeowner did not have a gun was also just part of this hood mentality? The woman involved was very lucky not to be hurt in the process.
While Johnson’s family was singing his praise after he was shot, just where were these same family members when he needs clothes and things for school. It is not enough to say the child had goals but turn him loose to fend for himself. It is sad that their efforts to make sure he was respected did not seem to start until he was forced according to their statements to rob others.
While Johnson’s family was singing his praise after he was shot, just where were these same family members when he needs clothes and things for school? It is not enough to say the child had goals and turn him loose to fend for himself. It is sad that their efforts to make sure he was respected did not seem to start until he was forced, according to their statements, to rob others.
The sad truth is that this young man did die at a young age. He died committing a crime his family seems to justify. He died without family support to get his basic needs, but this is not the fault of his victim. This responsibility lands squarely on the family that failed this young man.
The statements from the family clearly show they were well aware of survival instincts and the mentality that he had a right to find any means possible to get what he needed or wanted. He was not working an after school job to earn school clothes as many kids do through out the United States. He was taking whatever he could by force. As easy as it was for the family to explain, it seems it would have been just as easy for them to help him correct the issue.
Out of all the parties involved, the last person to blame for the death of Johnson is the homeowner he robbed. She did nothing to create the situation that ended in her being victimized. Johnson took the step to break into the house, and it sounds like his family all but expected this to occur. He was left to fend for himself and at 17 paid with his life.