It’s about time….Ronald Gasser, the man authorities say shot former NFL player Joe McKnight during a road rage incident, was arrested Monday (Dec. 5) on a manslaughter charge, according to the jail records from Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The move comes after Gasser originally was released after the shooting.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said it will hold a press conference Tuesday morning (Dec. 6) to give an update on the investigation. The media event is scheduled for 10 a.m. with Sheriff Newell Normand.
Authorities say Gasser fatally shot McKnight, 27, from inside his vehicle during a road rage incident Thursday (Dec. 1) at the intersection of Behrman Highway and Holmes Boulevard in Terrytown (map). Gasser was released hours later by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office without charges, as Normand said his office was still working to investigate what happened.
Normand indicated during a press conference last week that the probe of McKnight’s shooter includes consideration of Louisiana’s stand-your-ground law. The law says a person does not have “a duty to retreat” when the prospect of life-threatening or great bodily harm appears imminent.
“In this state, there are relative statutes that provide defenses to certain crimes,” Normand said last week. “For example, officers have those same defenses. So when we shoot and kill somebody, the question is … it’s a homicide. The question is, ‘Is it justified or not?'”
The NAACP and others have pointed to the case of Cardell Hayes, who was arrested by New Orleans police and charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting former Saints star Will Smith under similar circumstances in April. Critics have pointed to the fact that Gasser is white and Hayes is black, suggesting different treatment from law enforcement because of their race, something Normand has rejected.
The local NAACP chapter held a press conference Monday outside the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office headquarters to call for justice and transparency in the investigation into McKnight’s death.
“We will not go away until this case has been resolved justly and fairly,” said Gaylor Spiller, president of the NAACP’s West Jefferson Parish branch. She asked to meet with Normand to discuss the case, saying there are “too many unanswered questions” which lead to “a whole lot of misunderstanding, misinterpretation.”
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