Activists protest Horn case

July 10, 2008 5:26:13 PM PDT
Community activists marched downtown in front of the district attorney's office over a case which has had people fired up on both sides. It's a reaction to a grand jury's decision last week not to indict Joe Horn, who shot and killed two people suspected of burglarizing his neighbor.About 200 people marched at a protest to say the system is flawed. In October 2007, Joe Horn, 61, fatally shot two men who were breaking in to his neighbor's house, even though a 911 dispatcher pleaded with him not to.

Protestors want to know the racial makeup of the grand jury that chose not to indict Horn last week. They also want the district attorney to call a new grand jury to look at this case and indict Horn.

"He has not been tried by a jury of his peers," explained Parnell Herbert with the Coalition of Justice. "If I were Joe Horn, I would want to be indicted, so I could be tried by a jury of my peers and be found not guilty. Because otherwise, this could hang over his head for the rest of his life."

Activists say one thing they want to be clear on is that they are not justifying the actions of the two thieves, but they don't feel Horn should have shot them, particularly in the back. They are also questioning the fact that three shots were fired, as heard on the 911 recording.

Harris County District Attorney Kenneth Magidson issued a statement which reads in part, "We respect the rights of all citizens to exercise their Constitutional provisions of free speech and free assembly. ? All cases are judged on the law and the particular facts that comprise them. We will continue to perform the duties of our office with honor and integrity."

Last week, Horn broke his silence in his first television interview on ABC's Good Morning America. Horn said the months that followed the shooting have been traumatic for him. He insisted he was not a vigilante, and he only pulled the trigger to save his own life.

The grand jury cleared horn of charges just a few days before that interview.

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