U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– In Ada, Oklahoma, at about 9 p.m. on December 31, 2022, a few hours before the new year, Jassmone Ashton was minding his own business outside the Sunset Market Valero gas/convenience establishment. Jassmone had filed a protective order against Denavarie Brooks in 2021. Jassmone is 35 years old. Denavarie Brooks was 37 years old. It is not clear what the issues between them were.
According to police, who did a 10-day investigation and intensely examined surveillance video, Jassmone was pumping gas at the Valero store before the shooting. From the prosecutor, District Attorney Erik Johnson:
“It’s obvious by watching the video that Denavarie Brooks came into that gas station. He had passed Jasmonne and witnessed him at the gas pumps and then pulled back around, pulled in aggressively in an aggressive manner, came up, and approached Jasmine from behind,” Johnson said.
On January 12, 2023, District Attorney for District 22, Erick Johnson, stated he would not file any charges against Jassmone Samuelle Ashton. From theadanews.com:
Johnson indicated he believes it was a matter of self-defense and made his determination after spending the past 10 days reviewing all the evidence available, which included watching video footage of the shooting dozens of times.
“I don’t make these decisions in a vacuum,” Johnson said, “ultimately, this is my decision, no one else’s. No one else has this responsibility to make this decision. (However), I have very talented and experienced investigators in my office, I have the benefit of having a professional police department assist me in making this determination, and I’ve got experienced prosecutors who also reviewed all this evidence, and we all came to the same conclusion. So, it was my call and my call alone, but I believe it was the right call.”
In Oklahoma, as in many states, a person who is legally in a public place is not required to flee from an attacker. However, in this case, the prosecutor believed Ashton did not really have a choice because of the speed of Brooks’ approach.
The prosecutor stated during the investigation that they discovered other people who had been threatened by and had altercations with Denavarie Brooks. There was a history of Brooks having violent altercations with Jassmone Ashton, which was the reason for the restraining order in 2021.
At the gun violence archive, the categorization of the shooting has not been changed as of this writing. From the gunviolencearchive.org: the shooting is listed as “Shot – Dead (Murder, accidental, suicide). There does not appear to be a “justified” block in this incident.
The “woke” narrative of a black man, who defends themself with a firearm, will be either immediately executed by police or locked up without any serious investigation is challenged by this case. This case shows an intensive investigation, due diligence, and a decision by the prosecutor not to charge the man who defended himself.
Oklahoma is a “constitutional carry” state, where no permit is required to carry a firearm, openly or concealed. The firearm was in the victim’s vehicle. The surveillance video showed the whole incident.
How many people have been sent to prison simply because the laws in their state infringed on the rights protected by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for their defense?
Treating self-defense cases with respect for the law and the facts builds trust in the justice system.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.