Justice is a One-way Street

Eric Hansen
Posted: May 03, 2012 2:27 PM
ON Tuesday April 3, of this year, 29-year-old Daniel Adkins clipped a leash to his yellow Labrador retriever, Lady, and stepped into the night for a walk in his Phoenix neighborhood.  

Around the same time, a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend pulled up to a Taco Bell drive-through window for an evening snack.  It was approximately 7:30 in the evening. A seemingly pleasant evening went haywire from there. According to KSAZ FOX 10 in Phoenix, as the couple moved pulled to the pickup window,  Daniel and Lady stepped into the path of their car, sparking an exchange of angry words between driver and dog walker.  The altercation escalated, finally culminating in a single gunshot that rang across the parking lot.  An instant later, Daniel Adkins lay on the ground, and would later die at the scene.  The couple claimed that Adkins swung a metal pipe at the driver;  a third party witness saw only a swinging fist. 

FOX 10 reported that the driver, whose identity hasn't been made public, called police to the Taco Bell in the wake of the shooting.  Police searched the area, but have yet to recover any metal pipe or other blunt instrument that Daniel may have used during this incident.  Meanwhile, the driver claims he fired his weapon in self-defense, and, to date, hasn't been arrested.

This story has largely remained a local one in the Phoenix area, and hasn't exactly drawn wall -to-wall coverage even locally; it's barely a blip in the mainstream media.  Except on The Mike Gallagher Show, where we couldn't help but have the strangest twinge that we've traveled this road before.

Would it surprise you to learn that Daniel Adkins,  a mentally disabled man, unarmed and walking his dog when he was gunned down, was white?  Maybe not, but try this:  the driver of the car, the 22 year old who pulled the trigger, who claimed self-defense, is African American?  The driver's ID remains under wraps, and his is free, having never been arrested for the shooting.  The investigation is ongoing and charges may still be filed at a later date, according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.  It may turn out this was just a tragic result of confrontation spun out of control.  Sound familiar? So, on the show this week, we asked, where is the outrage?  Why was George Zimmerman hounded and finally arrested and indicted on second degree murder charges, while this 22 year old driver remains free and clear?  Where is Al Sharpton?  Where are the protests?  Media and activists linked arms howling for justice for Trayvon Martin.  But where is the justice for Daniel Adkins?

-Eric Hansen, associate producer, The Mike Gallagher Show