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HollyAmbrose 03-01-2011 03:53 PM

Self-Defense in Detroit, Michigan
We represented a self-defense case in Detroit, Mi that brought into question the right to own a gun, shoot in self-defense and in defense of others. The Prosecutor fought us the entire way but we were able to win a NOT GUILTY verdict for our client Reginald Burks, a law abiding citizen who did the right thing. We want to share his story with the world, and change the way people perceive gun owners in Detroit.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the case. A brief summary, our client fired in self-defense, called 911, had a CPL and waited at the scene of the shooting. Police never investigated and later arrested and charged a completely random person for the incident. When our client found out he turned himselfm again explained to police what had happened and that he had his CPL. They charged him with 2nd degree murder and threw in him jail for 93 days until we could raise bond.

c3shooter 03-01-2011 04:45 PM

Good morning, Holly, and welcome to the forums. Good folks around here- some younger, some older, some guys, some ladies. When you get a moment, stop over in the intro section and say howdy.

Took a quick glance at the blog- it needs much more time than I can give it right this minute.

Quick and dirty- Yeah, Detroit. One of the few places that can make Philly and Trenton look attractive. The scenario that your client faced is one we are all have some personal concern over facing ourselves at some point. Also explains why I am much more comfortable living in a rural area where we have PEACE officers, as opposed to your LAW ENFORCEMENT officers. Yes, there IS a profound difference.

Just a comment- as an old gun buff- if MY attorney is going to defend ME on a gun charge, take the time, get coached by someone that is a gun expert, and use the correct terms. To be honest, I winced a bit when the attorney rehearsing his closing kept referring to the number of bullets in the cartridge of the sidearm.

HollyAmbrose 03-01-2011 05:49 PM

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit the site! Luckily we were able to get Reginald a NOT GUILTY verdict and it only took the jury 12 minutes to deliberate. Restored our faith in the justice system!

Car54 03-01-2011 07:40 PM

Holly, thanks for joining the ranks here at FTF.

As a former cop from Detroit I found this quite interesting. I know the area in question very well although I sure in the time that I have been gone the names and faces and players have changed.

First off my first impression that both you and I know that almost everyone tells the story to suit themselves whether it be flat out lies or assuming what had occurred and giving their version of the story. In this matter, reading the statements (which if I had turned in to my supervisors something like most of those, I'd be embarrassed) were basically useless to either the prosecution and to you the defense other than the inconsistencies from those involved. What I saw from those is that there were no real truths told so it is left up to the judicial system and jury to weed out the garbage and find some semblance of the truth during the trial.

In my opinion, the investigation portion was at most, horrible. Again my opinion, the investigators saw an easy closure and hung their hats on it. There was ample opportunities for the investigators to talk with all the witnesses, not only once but several times and pin down exactly who was at the scene and what actions each took. What they did in their reports and statements was brush over the incident without earnest facts and presented a case which should not have been brought forth with the case they presented. Saying that, do I think the defense side (not specifically Mr Burk at this point) was without wrong? Absolutely not, they put themselves in a position of peril by going out looking for the initial assailants which is quite normal in the particular social circle of people involved.

In my opinion again, Mr Burk may share some blame because even though he is a cpl holder and an upright citizen, seeing a gun pointed at someone should not require immediate action because he has no first hand knowledge of what is occurring (i.e. a citizens arrest) because as he said he drove up onto the scene already in progress (unless he was part of the search party and did not divulge that info). He should have reported and observed until such time a life was in danger. Also, it was noted that he had called 911 to report he had fired shots but apparently left the scene prior to the arrival of the police. It would have then been his due diligence to go into the station and report the shots fired and at that time give a statement which could have refuted the story concocted by the victims friends and family shedding a whole new light on the investigation.

In final, I'm glad that your client was freed and sorry that he had spent time in jail on a murder charge because of what I see as a total inept, misguided investigation, with so much inconsistencies, however I do think he was somewhat negligent by joining in the incident and then failing to officially report his actions afterwards.

HollyAmbrose 03-01-2011 07:47 PM

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to visit our site. Reginald said as he got out of his car at the scene, one of the men from the white vans shot at him, in that instant he fired back 3 times. He did actually speak with police that night after calling 911 but they did no follow up with him. They then arrested someone who was nowhere near the scene and charged him with first-degree murder! We posted that interrogation onto the site with captions. We believe the shot fired from the men in the white van actually killed Mark Edwards. A renowned blood spatter expert confirmed this before knowing our side of the story. Even after being faced with insurmountable evidence the police and prosecutor refused to drop charges against Reg. In the 8 months we worked on this case we became very close with Reginald and his family. He's a great man and we're happy we were able to save his life. We respect and honor all police officers but we were greatly disappointed in their lack of investigation on this case. No one seemed to care that an innocent man might be seperated from his wife and children. Again, thank you so much for you insight and for spending a few minutes reading our story. We truly appreciate it :)

Car54 03-01-2011 08:20 PM

Something was real wrong. You had three of four separate 911 calls reporting a large group of people and shots being fired, then especially after Mr Burk reporting that he had fired three shots, the police failed to act, but yet 20 or so minutes later a half dead person shows up at the hospital which is less that 10 minutes away from the same area where the other 911 calls came from and no back tracking is done nor is there any indication the police ever arrived near Mansfield/Verne/ Pilgrim area even after the gunshot victim died.

Let me ask, is there anything presently going on to do a proper investigation and try to find out what really happened or has it been buried, and has anyone in the P.D. been spanked for an improper investigation?

I can only shake my head....

HollyAmbrose 03-01-2011 08:37 PM

The only proper investigation done was by us, and luckily the jury found Reginald NOT GUILTY after only 12 minutes of deliberation. The Judge would not allow us to play the 911 calls for the jury so much of the information we had the jury never got to hear. Luckily, we found a blood spatter expert who independently found that even though Reginald was justified in shooting back, his bullet is not the one that killed Mark Edwards. We hope that sharing all of the information we have gathered though will shine some light onto the lack of investigation done by the police and the unwilligness for the prosecutor to believe the truth. That is why we want to share this story with as many people as possible, so something like this doesn't happen to someone else.

Car54 03-01-2011 08:53 PM

I agree, thanks Holly. I wish there could be some accountability where the blame lies.

clip11 03-03-2011 03:30 PM

I live in Detroit, born and raised here. Im almost 25 and this city has always been violent, even as a little boy I remember hearing about murders, robberies, and carjackings. I've attended funerals of people my age that have been murdered in the city.I've known people who have been shot and survived with no serious injuries, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know a guy who was standing at a bus stop minding his own business when a group of guys jumped him for no reason.

The police in this city is no protection. Thats a fact. You must protect yourself.

clip11 03-03-2011 03:48 PM

I know exactly where that area is, I've been in that area numerous times.

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