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Can a Black Man Claim Self-Defense In Wisconsin and Walk Free? Family of Man Who Killed White Attorney Hopes So, Especially with Surveillance Video


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Can a Black Man Claim Self-Defense In Wisconsin and Walk Free? Family of Man Who Killed White Attorney Hopes So, Especially with Surveillance Video


As the trial of Theodore Edgecomb, 31, nears in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sonya Gordon stands by her son, saying he “defended himself.”

Edgecomb was arrested on March 4, 2021, and charged with first-degree intentional homicide for killing Jason Cleereman, a Milwaukee immigration attorney, on Sept. 22, 2020. Edgecomb and his supporters claim the shooting should be justified on a basis of self-defense.

Gordon says on the evening of Sept. 22, 2020, her son was spending time with his daughter before he took to his bicycle to get sushi for them to eat. At some point along his trip he encountered Evanjelina and Jason Cleereman.

According to a police report, Evanjelina was driving and Jason Cleereman was in the passenger seat. She says she had to swerve to miss Edgecomb on his bike who was riding eastbound in the westbound lane against oncoming traffic, and that’s when Jason Cleereman yelled at Edgecomb, “What the heck?”

Evanjelina told police when they stopped at a traffic light, Edgecomb pulled alongside them to ask, “Are you talking to me?” Evanjelina told police she replied, “yes,” and Edgecomb responded by punching Jason Cleereman in the face.

Newly released surveillance video shows what happened next. Edgecomb can be seen riding his bike turning a corner with the Cleeremans close behind him. As the Cleeremans’ SUV inches closer, Edgecomb veers onto the sidewalk. The 54-year-old Cleereman then gets out of the SUV and runs toward Edgecomb for a confrontation before he is seen hitting the ground.

The accused man’s defense team has filed court documets indicating Edgecomb says Cleereman called him the N-word and threatened his life before Edgecomb shot him in the forehead. The defense also says Jason Cleereman possessed a pocket knife at the time of the altercation and that he was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol. Edgecomb is expected to testify Cleereman reached for his pockets just prior to being shot by Edgecomb.

Edgecomb left the scene and wasn’t found until six months later near…



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