LANDRY CASE UPDATE: Marshall Coulter’s Brother Speaks

Fox 8 in New Orleans did an interview with David Coulter, the brother of the 14-year old professional thief who was shot in the head by a New Orleans homeowner in the latter’s yard at 2:00 a.m. last Friday morning.

It appears that David has an incomplete appreciation for irony. During the interview, he said this…

Marshall’s brother is outraged Landry fired the shot. “You got a weapon, you got the upper hand,” he said. “Shoot in the air one time.”

The irony? On David’s Facebook page, a discussion of which we’re about to embark upon shortly, you’ll find this video from New Year’s Day…

Had Merritt Landry, the homeowner who shot Coulter’s brother and now faces an attempted second-degree murder charge, been possessed of the kind of hardware in David’s video perhaps that might have been good advice. That video’s a scary enough show to frighten off most 14 year-olds, at least.

There should be some sympathy for the Coulter family, though. It’s clear that family has absolutely fallen apart since it lost its pater familias…

Coulter’s family doesn’t deny the teen has been in trouble and has a history of burglary arrests, but his brother told us, “Marshall is a good kid… He just takes the wrong way sometimes.”

Their father, David Douglas, worked construction to support the family of eight children.  He died on Christmas Eve 2010. That’s when the family noticed a change in Marshall.

“When my dad was living, Marshall was never outside. He was going to school and was a perfect student. Before the shooting happened, we tried to avoid all this by giving him help. You understand? Nobody was trying to give us help, they were brushing us away.”

David told his mom it would look bad that a 14-year-old boy was out at two in the morning. “Once everybody is in the house and the doors are locked, you are 14 years old, you can sneak out of the house. It’s not like we have metal bars on every door or window.”

How much of this is spin and how much of it is legitimate is hard to say. After all, the picture painted of Trayvon Martin in the aftermath of his shooting death was that he was an angelic little kid who got stalked and shot down just for having gone to the store to get Skittles. As the case developed we found out just how atrociously fraudulent that picture was.

What we do know is that the death of David Douglas, who was either the father or the stepfather of the eight Coulter kids (it’s been reported both ways; we’ll just call him the father for the purposes of this piece), was pretty damaging.

David Coulter was playing college football at Division II Miles College in Alabama when his father passed away. A few months after his father’s death, he had to give up that football scholarship and return home to help raise his siblings, which is an absolutely enormous sacrifice to have to make and something he should be given credit for.

And on his Facebook page, it’s pretty clear that sacrifice was hard on David. His status updates indicate somebody who has been pretty miserable.

But that also indicate something else – namely, that while David might not be a bad guy, he is clearly immersed in the thug culture.

We’re not going to get into all the F-bombs and N-bombs that cover his Facebook page. They’re everywhere. But you’ll find lots of these as well…

The shooting-the-bird thing is a thug culture thing. It’s not a black thing by any means; Johnny Cash made it a pop culture thing back in his wannabe-prisoner days.

And since then it’s basically de rigeur for pop artists who want to look like badasses.

An interesting message board thread on this topic can be found here, and while the commenters in the thread don’t exactly spell out “thug culture,” that’s what they’re talking about.

And while we want to be careful about equating shoot-the-bird Facebook pics with all kinds of other manifestations of thug culture, let’s not parse this too much – if you’re OK with presenting yourself that way on social media you’re probably a consumer of all the other things inherent in it.

And this is not to say David Coulter thinks it’s OK for his brother to be a professional thief at 14, but his comments do indicate a certain blase’ acceptance that hey, these things happen – and at least he didn’t go around carrying a gun.

Make what moral judgements you want about that, but the point is that something the mainstream American culture would regard as atrocious – a 14-year old kid who’s out at 2 a.m. on a weeknight is almost by definition a juvenile delinquent, and a 14-year old kid who’s in somebody else’s fenced-in yard at 2 a.m. on a weeknight when he’s already facing trial for “stealing stuff” is beyond a doubt a juvenile delinquent – is presented by David Coulter as a mere stipulation.

That’s an admission that he’s not in a position to control his brother, which is understandable. That family situation is brutal, and if David couldn’t handle it he’s not the first person to struggle in those circumstances. Nor are the consequences of that failure to keep an at-risk kid like Marshall on the straight and narrow; the graveyards are full of kids who got in with the wrong crowd and paid the ultimate price for it while their families grieved.

But the point of all this is that just like in Trayvon Martin’s case, this is the thug culture at work. David Coulter seems to be able to dip into it without being a crook (as best we can tell; for all we know he might be one too but we’ll assume the best), but his brother wasn’t. And in the midst of a thug culture, you get thug behavior. You get a disrespect for other people’s property. You get burglary. You get a lack of education. You get the kind of environment in which Merritt Landry sees somebody in his yard and quite reasonably decides the safest course is to shoot when Marshall doesn’t freeze when he’s told to.

The thug culture is not a racial thing. The Left wants it to be a racial thing, for reasons we’ll discuss in a later post, but it’s not. You can choose your culture. There are millions of black Americans who have real jobs, are disgusted by gangsta rap and the social pathology it celebrates and who have decamped for the suburbs in an effort to get away from all that. And there are millions of white and Hispanic kids – and adults – who think people like Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z are just the coolest thing ever, and who’ve marked up their bodies with jailhouse art, and who are lustily engaging in all the same behaviors which make the urban street the cultural sinkhole it is.

And immersed in that culture, kids like Marshall Coulter – robbed of a strong father figure to stand against it – haven’t a prayer.

That culture is what has to change. That kid should have had no reason to want to be in somebody else’s yard at 2 in the morning on a weeknight, and he shouldn’t be in the hospital with a hole in his head right now. Blame Merritt Landry if you like, but the shooting in the Marigny is just a symptom of a much larger disease.

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