In January, 2013, 22-year-old Rodrigo Diaz, a George Tech student from Columbia, was enjoying a day out with his girlfriend and two of their friends.
On their way to go skating, they had one last friend to pick up. In an unfamiliar section of town, Diaz’s GPS led him into a driveway he thought was a friend’s — it wasn’t. It turned out to be a fatal mistake.
The owner of the home, 69-year-old Phillip Sailors, a retired Vietnam Veteran, came out of his home and immediately fired a warning shot. Realizing the danger, Diaz threw his vehicle into reverse and tried to flee. That is when Sailors fired another shot — directly at the head of Diaz. He was killed instantly.
What happened next is nothing short of infuriating.
When Lilburn Police arrived on the scene, they arrested Diaz’s girlfriend and two passengers, and held them overnight in jail. On Monday, Sailors learned what his fate would be for the murder of Diaz.
Thanks to a plea deal with Gwinnett County prosecutors, Sailors’ murder charges were reduced to involuntary manslaughter. He will pay a $500 fine and have one year of probation.
The Diaz family agreed to the lesser sentence, saying Sailors going to jail would not bring their son back, and they did not want to rip apart two families.
Still, this sets a very dangerous precedent.
As Shaun King wrote on DailyKos.com:
Does anyone truly think that if Phillip Sailors accidentally pulled into the driveway of some young Latino or African-American and got shot in the head without ever leaving the car that they would be allowed to pay a $500 fine and never serve a day in jail?
Just another good guy with a gun, right?
Watch the video below: