No Charges for Co-Worker Who Fatally Shot Black Man on a Camping Trip
By: April Carson
A co-worker who fatally shot a black man on a camping trip will not be charged with any crime, prosecutors said on Monday.
The man accused of killing Jamaican immigrant Peter Spencer nine times on a camping trip in western Pennsylvania last December will not be charged by authorities.
"We feel that there is enough evidence presented in this instance for self-defense that we will not be able to overcome our burden and show beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect did not use self-defense, thus no charges will be brought against him," District Attorney Shawn White said.
"This is my decision," he continued. "I am certain it is the correct choice."
On December 11, 2021, Spencer went on a camping trip with a white co-worker to Rockland Township, Pennsylvania. A few hours after departing, the Pennsylvania State Police were contacted to the scene and Spencer was discovered on the front yard of a rural cabin with nine gunshot wounds in his body, including six in his chest.
Spencer's attorney said that he began "acting insane" while on hallucinogenic mushrooms and was firing numerous rounds from an AK-47 rifle, which he had brought with him. Spencer was not ambushed, according to White, who added that he started shooting the gun and ordering other campers to stand at gunpoint as soon as he arrived.
Authorities discovered a number of weapons, "ballistic evidence," and restricted drugs at the home, according to authorities.
Aaron Allen, the liaison for the office, said he will not bring charges against the man. The case was referred to the Heritage Affairs Team, which investigates hate crimes; but Corporal Aaron Allen, the office's liaison, stated that he would also refuse to do so.
"There's no evidence to support the filing of charges," said Aaron Allen.
"We've also been double-checking to make sure there's no bigotry or prejudice throughout this investigation, and I can tell you right now that there has not been any detected," Allen added.
The shooting has sparked outrage among many in the community, who believe that the man should be charged with a hate crime.
Despite the fact that charges will not be filed, the Spencer family has declared its intention to continue bringing awareness to the issues they see.
"We were not shocked by it; this was the sort of conduct we have seen from the PA State Police and Venango County District Attorney since the start," Peter Spencer's family's attorney, Paul Jubas, added.
It's also possible that federal hate crime charges will be filed in light of the allegations. The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cindy Chung, will determine whether or not state charges should be pursued.
"If you want to know if there's any hate crime from a federal standpoint, I'm not equipped to do so or provide you an answer," White said. "She's in charge of that; she knows what the facts are. Call her office."
Spencer's family said it will hold a press conference next week with independent forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to discuss their plans for the future. While disappointed with the decision not to bring charges, they stated that despite this, they will not stop their efforts.
Spencer's shooting is just one in a long line of high-profile cases involving black men who have been killed by white men, often with no consequences.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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