Gun Stories Ra Vs Harvey Weekly Edition 8/9-16/2020
As a gun owner, it is sometimes hard to face the dangers of being a gun owner. After researching gun stories across the nation. You come to the realization that there are large groups that want nothing more than to see an end of guns in America. The case Siwatu-Salama Ra Vs Channel Harvey or Ra Vs Harvey makes it especially difficult to ignore.
Over the course of this week, we have covered gun owners’ difficult decisions, gun owners in the wrong and now this case. This case is the only case this week that has come to its conclusion. You will see the wrong, the right and the extremely wrong as it played out.
For this case we are asking our readers to comment on how they think public perception can be changed based on the facts of the article. What they may have done differently, and as always if they believe there is a training element that could be incorporated. At the very least how to prevent gun stories like this from happening again. We start with Harvey’s version of events.
Siwatu-Salama Ra Vs Channel Harvey
Chanel Harvey’s daughter, who we will call teen 1. Was in a fight at school with Siwatu-Salama Ra’s niece, teen 2. Teen 1 beat up teen 2 in the bathroom. The once friends had since made up after the fight. Ms. Harvey has stated that teen 2 has been to her house to play at least twice since the fight. As a result, Ms. Harvey had taken her daughter teen 1 over to play with Mrs. Ra’s niece teen 2 at her Grandmothers house.
Where Ms. Harvey then got a call that teen 1 was not allowed there and that she needed to come pick up her daughter. Ms. Harvey upset by this drove over to the home and picked up her daughter. While there she got into an argument with Mrs. Ra. (the aunt of teen 2) During the heated exchange Mrs. Ra pulled out a gun and told her to leave.
Ms. Harvey being scared, stated she back up into Mrs. Ra car and went to drive away. However, not before taking pictures of Mrs. Ra attempting to hide the gun behind her back. At which point, she then went to the police and filled a report showing that Mrs. Ra pulled a gun on her and teen 1.
Mrs. Ra’s Version
Siwatu-Salama Ra called her sister to ask about the teens playing together. Her sister stated that no permission had been given on that day for the teens to play together. Mrs. Ra then called Ms. Harvey to have her come pick up her daughter. When Ms. Harvey arrived, she was angry that her daughter was being made to leave. At which point she started to ram her car into Mrs. Ra’s vehicle, where Mrs. Ra’s 2-year-old daughter was playing at the time. She also attempted to run over Mrs. Ra’s mother who was standing in the yard at the time.
Mrs. Ra fearing for her daughter and mother, grabbed her unloaded gun from the glove box and her daughter from the car. As which point, she handed her daughter to her niece and instructed her to take her daughter into the house. She then pointed the gun at Ms. Harvey demanding her to leave. She also stated that Ms. Harvey was driving aggressively in the yard and putting them at risk. Feeling she was innocent in her actions, she did not initially report anything to the police. Until hours later she then decided to get them involved.
The Police Action
All gun stories seem to end with some sort of police action. This case was no different. It has been reported that the first person to get the police involved is considered the victim and the second person is the aggressor. The Michigan police deny that this is the case and that they look at each case in its totality.
Retired New Hampshire Police captain (one of his many titles) Massad Ayoob has stated on multiple occasions and even wrote about it in his book “Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense”. The first person to report the crime is usually considered the victim. The results of the this and many other gun stories seem to support this.
Mrs. Ra was charged with felonious assault against Ms. Harvey. As well as felonious assault against teen 1, and felony firearm. Mrs. Ra legally owned and carried a firearm. Felony firearm refers to using a firearm in a felony.
Mrs. Ra was convicted of felonious assault of Ms. Harvey and felony firearm. She was found not guilty of felonious assault on teen 1. She was sentenced to the minimum 2-year sentence plus 2 years probation. Also she was pregnant at the time. Then she was required to give birth while in prison. She spent 2 days with her newborn child before the child was removed.
The story does not end there though. The case was later heard by the Michigan court of appeals. Where they determine the jury was wrongly advised on the laws in Michigan. Michigan Court of Appeals stated that “the trial court’s failure to give the jury instruction regarding the use of non-deadly force in self-defense was erroneous.”
This resulted in Mrs. Ra’s being freed on bond and the case being returned to the prosecutor who could take the decision to the supreme court. According to Mrs. Ra’s attorney this case was filled with errors. For example, with a snowstorm due the next day. The jury was instructed that if they didn’t reach a verdict that day they would have to return during the storm. Of course, there was also the question of how they did not find her guilty of felonious assault against teen 1 as well. On a side note, Mrs. Ra was denied bail twice once before the trial and after the conviction. Where her attorney asked if she would have the baby at home prior to going to prison.
Mrs. Ra later took a plea to avoid another trial. She ended up pleading to brandishing a weapon a 90-day misdemeanor. Ms. Channel was never charged with anything through this whole process. I also want to point out that according to the court documents. Mrs. Ra’s mother was standing in the yard when Ms. Chanel drove the car at her almost hitting her. It was after that that Mrs. Ra pulled out the gun demanding her to leave. Mrs. Ra version of events was the version that was considered to be true. Yet, she felt because she didn’t report it before Ms. Channel that investigators largely ignored her version of events.
Michigan does have a “Stand Your Ground” law and allows non-deadly force against anyone if you are not committing a crime, are in a location where you have a lawful right to be, and you believe that the use of force is needed to defend yourself against any imminent unlawful use of force by another person.
As far as gun stories go, this one was extremely hard to research. Not because it was hard to find information. Instead, it was because of the real injustice that was done in this case. As gun owners we believe in the right to self-defense. Imagine seeing your young child in a car that was just rammed, and your mother narrowly avoiding being hit. Both could have easily been killed by a 2000 pound deadly weapon.
Mrs. Ra’s sense of restraint I am sure had a lot to do with teen 1 being in the car. Mrs. Ra is married and a mother. As well as co-executive director of an environmental justice group who represented Detroit at the Paris Climate talks. She is also a local political activist in Detroit. Along with a clean record and has never committed a crime. Ms. Harvey on the other hand is a 3x felon. She would have been looking at life in prison had she been charged and convicted for her actions.
The injustice goes deep in this case and I believe goes a long way at showing the dangers we face as gun owners. You have to be pretty anti-gun to think this was just in anyway. According to reports the jury focused more on the fact that a 2yr child was playing in the back of a car. Where a gun was in the glove box rather than the fact she could have been killed by a 2000lb deadly weapon.
We are asking our readers not to focus on the injustice though. For this gun story we are asking you to comment on how they think public perception can be changed. What you may have done differently, and as always if you believe there is a training element that could be incorporated. At the very least how to prevent gun stories like this from happening again.
This story is now over, the only option we have, is to learn from it. We ask that our reader focus on these facts rather than ones that are not present. The reason for this is because these are the one’s most widely reported and are directly in the court documents. I am sure there is more to Ms. Harvey’s story, but they were not present in the court documents other than the fact that she claimed she did nothing before the gun was drawn.
Every self-defense case will require some sort of legal defense. Therefore, it is so important for gun owners to join organizations like the USCCA. The legal battle alone can cost well over 150k just to get to trial, not to mention the civil one that can sometimes follow. First, we fight for life, then the fight for our freedom begins. As always stay safe and remember to stay situationally aware as much as possible, your life may depend on it.
You can check out more concealed carry-dangers to gun owners here, if you would like more information on how to handle a situation if you are ever forced to draw your weapon. This case went a long way to prove there is a real danger to not being the first one in reporting it to the police. Check out how to help protect yourself after self-defense, concealed carry dangers.