Homes aren’t the only places protected by self-defense laws. In many states, gun owners are justified in defending themselves in their businesses or in their vehicles. For cab drivers, their car is a little bit of both. One United Cabs driver in New Orleans protected himself and his property by shooting a would-be robber in the face.
According to an updated report, a 41-year-old cab driver was dispatched to pick up a fare late in the evening on Oct. 19. Upon arrival the fare, a young man between the ages of 16 and 18, entered the cab and asked to be driven to Canal Street. Once on their way the teenager pressed an object, which he implied was a gun but later was revealed to be a flashlight wrapped in a rag and glove, against the driver’s head. The teen then demanded the driver had over his cash and the keys to the cab, so the driver pulled over and complied.
However, when the teen got out of the car, the cab driver then drew his weapon and followed. He confronted him at the intersection, which ended with the teen getting shot in the face. Once injured, authorities said, he attempted to flee once again, but collapsed just a short distance away.
Police transported the suspect to the hospital, where he was placed in critical condition. Once he’s released, he can look forward to weeks of recovery and an armed robbery charge.
Shooting a robber in the face might seem a little bit excessive, but cab drivers across New Orleans have had reason to be wary. A few months ago, a 44-year-old United Cabs driver was shot and killed in his cab. Investigators believed that the driver was murdered and robbed by one of his passengers.
WWLTV spoke with Sheree Kerner, a woman who lost his brother last year during a cab robbery gone bad. “I just wish that my brother would have had that opportunity to do the same thing,” she said. “I think these guys need to really think about their safety in this community because it’s horrible that these guys are being victimized and all they’re trying to do is earn a living.”
This is all in the midst of a new taxi reform that aims to make passengers and cabbies safer by requiring cameras in all taxis. Sure, that might be effective. Putting eyes on people might make them less likely to commit crimes, but will it be enough? What do our readers think? What will be more effective in the fight against crime: more surveillance cameras or more law-abiding citizens with guns?