10,000 signatures reached
To: Florida State Attorney Bill Gladson
#JusticeforAJOwens: Tell States Attorney Bill Gladson to charge Susan Lorincz with 2nd degree murder
If Ajike "AJ" Owens were white, she would be alive today. On Friday, June 2, 2023, AJ, a devoted and loving mother of four, was tragically and unjustifiably murdered in an attempt to protect her children from racism and violence. Her family is demanding accountability for her stolen life from her killer, Susan Lorincz, as well as Marion County, Florida, and a system that continues to devalue Black life.
(1) We demand a thorough investigation and grand jury process that delivers appropriate charges, including second-degree murder against Susan Lorincz, as she demonstrated a reckless and depraved heart in the killing of AJ Owens.
(2) The repeal of Stand Your Ground laws. We believe that “Shoot First” laws like Stand Your Ground helped create the permissive gun culture that led Susan Lorincz to believe she could shoot and kill AJ Owens without punishment.
We know AJ did what any mother would do if their child was in distress. But instead of a conversation, she was met with a bullet through a CLOSED door. Susan Lorincz has been charged with manslaughter-but manslaughter is not enough: there’s a big difference between a life sentence and only 24 months. Only a second-degree murder charge reflects Susan Lorincz reckless and depraved actions in shooting AJ to death in front of her children. We must ensure that the State Attorney’s office charges and indict AJ’s killer, Susan Lorincz, with direct consideration of the crime’s impact on the victim, family and community. At least two of AJ’s young children witnessed the murder, furthering the trauma of gun violence in our communities. Sign the petition below to demand justice for AJ, her four children and loved ones.
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Visit JusticeForAJOwens.org now.
Why is this important?
We demand a second-degree murder charge be brought against Susan Lorincz
What we know:
(1) Susan Lorincz shot recklessly through her front door, with no regard for who was on the other side, including the children she had previously attacked. This should be reflected in the DA’s charges against Lorincz.
(2) Before Susan Lorincz shot and killed AJ Owens, she threw an object at young children. This is clear and reckless malice against children and should be reflected in the DA’s charges against Lorincz.
(3) Mounting accusations from AJ’s own children and neighbors indicate a pattern and history of bullying, racial slurs, and antagonism toward neighborhood children, even as they played nearby on land not owned by Susan Lorincz. The DA’s should consider Lorincz' hateful behavior in the charges leveled against her.
We demand the repeal of Stand Your Ground laws in Florida.
What we know:
(1) According to Sheriff Billy Woods, Susan Lorincz attempted to invoke Stand Your Ground immediately after shooting AJ Owens to death.
(2) While there has yet to be a legal determination as to the application of Stand Your Ground in the killing of AJ Owens, Susan Lorincz’s belief that should could be defended under this statute represents the creation of a dangerous culture where residents shoot first and ask questions later.
(3) Across the country, Stand Your Ground Laws are correlated with an increase in gun violence and racist attacks. These laws are associated with an increase of 700 additional homicides a year across the country.
(4) Stand Your Ground & Shoot First laws put Black people in more danger: In Stand Your Ground states, White shooters are FIVE times more likely to be deemed “justified” when shooting Black victims than the reverse.
AJ’s children were playing in a field next to one of the buildings in their housing complex, when one of the neighbors, allegedly the shooter, yelled at the children. The woman, who is white, is accused of calling the children racial slurs and ordering them to get off property that was not hers. After seeing her children in distress, AJ knocked on her neighbor’s door to understand what happened. AJ was shot through her neighbor's CLOSED door.
We cannot overlook the fact that AJ was murdered just 60 miles from where George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. While Stand Your Ground remains the law of the land in Florida and nothing prohibits Susan Lorincz from relying on the oppressive law as a defense, we must continue to push for its repeal. How many Black lives have been lost and murders justified by Stand Your Ground?
In 2023, we witnessed the shooting of Ralph Yarl and the killing of Kaylin Gillis. In both instances Stand Your Ground emboldened individuals to use unnecessary violent and unjustifiable force in the name of self-defense. In Stand Your Ground states, white shooters are FIVE times more likely to be deemed “justified” when shooting Black victims than the reverse.
It’s undeniable: Stand Your Ground & Shoot First laws put more Black people in danger! We must stand against this injustice or more Black people will die!