Last, year, Siwatu-Salama Ra, a 26-year-old pregnant gun owner, got into an argument with Channel Harvey, a neighbor, outside her mother’s home in Detroit, Michigan. During their dispute, Harvey allegedly became violent and deliberately crashed into Ra’s car while her 2-year-old daughter was inside.
Determined to protect her family, Ra pulled out her licensed firearm, which was unloaded at the time, and managed to successfully scare Harvey off. Shockingly though, rather than placing the violent neighbor under arrest, local law enforcement officers ended up arresting Ra despite the fact that she was simply trying to stand her ground and protect her family.
A ridiculous, even racist Detroit policy treats whoever ‘complained first’ as the victim, which, in this case, was the woman who attacked.
What’s worse, after being taken into custody and being treated like the suspect instead of the victim, she was then subsequently denied a fair trial and sentenced to two years behind bars, which means she’ll most likely be forced to give birth while in incarcerated.
Apparently, the whole incident started when Ra called Harvey and told her to pick up her niece because she’s no longer welcome at their house. According to reports, Ra told her this after learning that Harvey’s niece allegedly beat up her own niece at school.
Hearing that her niece was no longer allowed over at Ra’s house, however, absolutely infuriated Harvey so she promptly drove over there and confronted Ra about it.
“She had come to our house upset, very upset, very angry. She started yelling at me, screaming at me, cursing at me. In the midst of this, I’m asking this woman to leave, right? I’m asking her to leave, just go, you know, and she wouldn’t,” recalled Ra while speaking to reporters about the incident.
“And so the next thing that she did was ram her car into my car. Plus, my baby was in the car. She was in the car playing. That shocked fear in me, and I jumped and got my baby out of the car,” she continued.
“So, she’s literally going back and forth with this car, putting it in reverse and fixing herself to come at us again and go after my mom. My mother, who was also standing very close to me, wasn’t able to run,” Ra added, noting, “that’s when I made the decision to reach for my firearm, that was unloaded, with no bullets. I was afraid. And I told her, you have to leave now.’”
Upon seeing Ra with the firearm in her hand, Harvey took a picture of her and then rushed over to a nearby police station and filed a complaint report against her. Although Ra also filed a report against Harvey, the Detroit Police Department (DPD) reportedly have a policy of treating “the first person to file a report to be the victim in a dispute.”
As a consequence, they basically ignored the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law and arrested Ra on felony firearms charges. According to them, she was supposedly engaging in the commission of a crime, not self-defense.
In court, Ra continued to be treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. Specifically, the judge presiding over the case told the jury that if they didn’t come to a decision by the end of the day, they would be forced to return to court the next day even though a blizzard had been forecasted.
Unsurprisingly, after hearing this, the jury, not knowing that their rushed verdict would result in a mandatory sentence, then apparently sped through the process and decided to find Ra guilty of one charge of “felonious assault against Harvey” and one charge of “felonious firearm possession” despite the fact that they acquitted her of a second “felonious assault charge against Harvey’s daughter.”
After the verdict was delivered, the judge sentenced the pregnant woman to two years behind bars and denied her attorney’s request to “delay her sentence until after the pregnancy was over.”
This means that Ra will most likely be condemned to give birth in prison even though she was merely acting in self-defense all because of an absurd policy that the DPD reportedly follow, which is reprehensible. Upon learning about the situation with Ra, the Sierra Club and BLM promptly “expressed serious concerns about how this case was handled” and they’re now seeking justice alongside gun rights activists.
Although Ra was unfairly punished for justly protecting her family, her situation still highlights the importance of owning a firearm. This is because, if Ra didn’t have a firearm available to scare Harvey off, then Harvey could have used her car to potentially harmed or even kill her or a member of her family.
The incident between Ra and Harvey also shows that a gun owner doesn’t necessarily have to discharge their weapon in order to protect themselves or others. Sometimes, brandishing the firearm is all it takes.
Another situation that highlights occurred several days ago in Garden Grove, California when a father shot his daughter’s ex-boyfriend after he broke into their house.
And a few months before that, the importance of gun ownership was demonstrated yet once again when Derek Meyer, a concealed-carry permit holder in Springville, Utah, used his firearm to rescue a local law enforcement officer who was being attacked assaulted by a suspect.
Without a doubt, those who heroically act to try and save the lives of others are extremely honorable people who shouldn’t be punished for their actions. Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t appear to be what happened with Ra.
In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen to others, supporters of the Second Amendment must actively speak out and demand that the DPD abandon the ludicrous policy about who they treat as the victim that they allegedly follow. On top of that, the judicial process also needs to be reformed to ensure that jurors don’t unfairly rush their verdict.