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Matter of Race? Two Men Shoot Cops Who They Think are Intruders, The White Man Gets Off, The Black Man Faces the Death Penalty

Marvin Louis Guy was just sleeping in his Killeen, Texas home in May when four men crawled into his home through the window.

Thinking that they were  intruders, Guy opened fire, killing one man and seriously wounding one another.

The trouble was, the men entering his home were cops.

Guy, who was suspected of being a drug dealer, was the subject of a SWAT practice known as a ‘no-knock raid.’ It means exactly as it sounds, the cops enter the home unannounced and often in the middle of the night. In this case, Guy fought back.

As one criminal justice blogger pointed out, if the people crawling into his window were not cops, he would have been a hero.

“Had the man in the dark of night been a burglar, Guy would be a Texas hero. They would hold a parade for him and name a day ‘Marvin Louis Guy Day’ to celebrate how he took out some scuzzball who nobody cared about anyway,” Scott Greenfield wrote,

It is also worth pointing out, Guy was not trying to protect his drug stash. With the exception of a few items of paraphernalia, no drugs were found in his home.

Now, Guy is facing the death penalty for the cop’s murder as well as three charges of attempted capital murder for the other officers who were shot.

Unbelievably though, in a striking similar situation that happened in December 2013, another Texas man was not even indicted by the grand jury after cops executed a no-knock raid on his home looking for drugs.

After being cleared of the murder charges, Henry Goedrich Magee’s lawyer said the grand jury did the right thing not to punish a man who thought he was protecting his home.

“This was a terrible tragedy that a deputy sheriff was killed, but Hank Magee believed that he and his pregnant girlfriend were being robbed,” Dick DeGuerin, told the Associated Press. “He did what a lot of people would have done. He defended himself and his girlfriend and his home.”

While the cases are seem nearly identical, one main difference is that Guy is black and Magee is white.

According to one commenter on PoliticsUSA, that distinction is not accidental or insignificant.

It is “revealing that a grand jury found that a white man who shot and killed what he thought was an armed intruder acted in self-defense, while a Black man in identical circumstances is charged by a prosecutor with capital murder and faces the death penalty,” the blogger wrote. “Self-defense is supposed to be a right for all Americans, regardless of race.”

Another hint of bias is the photographs used to accompany the stories, as Cassandra Rules of the Free Thought Project noted.

Here is the one used by the media for Guy:


Here is the one circulated to the media for Magee:


Photo Credits: Police File Photo, DC Clothesline

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.