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Prison For Cop Who Shot Daughter's Black Boyfriend

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On Nov. 20, a court sentenced a white police officer in Oklahoma to 15 years in prison after he shot and killed his daughter's black boyfriend.

In October 2017, former officer Shannon Kepler, 57, was convicted of killing 19-year-old Jeremey Lake while off duty in August 2014, reports HuffPost.

While sentencing him to prison, Tulsa County District Court Judge Sharon Holmes also ordered Shannon pay a $10,000 fine.

Shannon told authorities he shot Lake in self-defense, saying Lake had pulled a gun on him. He alleged he was on the lookout for his then 18-year-old daughter Lisa Kepler, who he said had "run away from home."

But Lisa told the court her parents had kicked her out and dropped her off at a homeless shelter where she met Lake, a volunteer. She then moved in with the young man and his aunt.

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Police say there was no weapon found on Lake at the scene of crime, and witnesses confirm they did not see him with a gun.

Instead, Lake's aunt says her nephew was reaching out to shake Shannon's hand when Shannon shot him.

Lake's family seem satisfied with the outcome of the case.

The sentencing hearing provided Lake's father, Carl Morse, an opportunity to address Shannon in open court for the first time, reports Tulsa World.

"I could hate you, but it’s not going to change anything," Morse said, looking at Shannon. "What you did was wrong, and now you have to pay the consequences of your actions."

"My son was trying to help your daughter,” Morse added. "My son was a wonderful young man."

Shannon's case quickly grew racially charged. He killed Lake days before another white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown. Brown's death end up inciting protests across the nation, and made Shannon's case all the more suspect.

For example, many civil rights activists accused Shannon's defense team of intentionally picking only white jurors. The first three trials only had one African-American juror each.

But Shannon's defense team adamantly defended their client against the "political" accusations, saying he was being used as a scapegoat.

"He’s the great white whale, and it would have gone on forever," lead defense attorney Richard O’Carroll, who argued Shannon did not receive a fair trial, said. "I'm saying that this was political, and it was a gesture, and it was a token gesture, and he was a pawn. And if it wasn’t for the fact that he was a police officer and he was white and they [the state] put so many people of color in jail, they would never have tried this case four times. That’s what I’m saying."

Sources: HuffPost, Tulsa World / Featured Image: Pixabay /Embedded Images: Augustus Didzgalvis/Wikimedia Commons, Loaves Of Bread/Wikimedia Commons

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