In Oklahoma, funeral services were held Friday for Khalid Jabara, a Lebanese-American man police say was shot dead by his next-door neighbor in a possible hate crime. Police say Stanley Majors will be charged with first-degree murder. Majors has harassed the Jabara family for years. The August 12 killing came less than a year after Majors was arrested and jailed for hitting Jabara’s mother with his car while she was jogging. At the time, the mother, Haifa Jabara, already had a restraining order against Majors, after he had threatened and harassed her. But eight months later, Majors was released on $60,000 bond even though Tulsa County prosecutors called him "a substantial risk to the public.” For more, we speak with Khalid’s brother and sister, Rami Jabara and Victoria Jabara Williams.
AMY GOODMAN: In Oklahoma, funeral services were held Friday for Khalid Jabara, a Lebanese-American man police say was shot dead by his next-door neighbor in a possible hate crime. Police say Stanley Majors will be charged with first-degree murder. The August 12th killing came less than a year after Majors was arrested and jailed for hitting Jabara’s mother with his car while she was jogging. At the time, the mother, Haifa Jabara, already had a restraining order against Majors, after he threatened and harassed her. Majors served eight months in jail, but was then released on $60,000 bond even though Tulsa County prosecutors called him, quote, "a substantial risk to the public," unquote.
The Jabara family says Majors had harassed them for years, calling them racial slurs. The Jabaras are Orthodox Christian immigrants from Lebanon, which they fled in the '80s. Victoria Jabara Williams, Khalid's sister, wrote on Facebook, "My family lived in fear of this man and his hatred for years. Yet in May, not even one year after he ran over our mother and despite our repeated protests, he was released from jail with no conditions on his bond—no ankle monitor, no drug/alcohol testing, nothing," unquote. Shortly before he was shot, Khalid Jabara called 911 to report his neighbor had a gun.
KHALID JABARA: The old man was driving off, and I caught him, and I asked him, "What’s going on?" He said—he was bruising me up. He hit me with the—his end of the—his [inaudible]—
911 DISPATCHER: Here, let me—hold on, sir. I’m going to get you over to the non-emergency line, OK? So you can tell them.
KHALID JABARA: This is an emergency.
911 DISPATCHER: Is he already gone?
KHALID JABARA: This is an—this is an emergency. So, the old man left. The other person was—he told me that he hit him with the gun and fired it three times somewhere in the house. So—
911 DISPATCHER: Somebody fired a gun into your neighbor’s house?
KHALID JABARA: In his—yeah, in his own house. The old man told me, when he was leaving—he said he was going to—I told him he should go [inaudible]—
911 DISPATCHER: Did you hear any gunshots?
KHALID JABARA: The noise that I heard on my window was like tuck, tuck. It was not a knock. I don’t know what it was. But I don’t—it’s really not me—I’m not really saying that—if I heard it or not, because I didn’t—I didn’t hear—I can never—
911 DISPATCHER: Do you think it was at the 9332 South 85th East Avenue where this happened?
KHALID JABARA: Yes.
911 DISPATCHER: And was this guy white, black or Indian?
KHALID JABARA: All right, so the person next door is white.
AMY GOODMAN: Police responded to Khalid Jabara’s call, but left without speaking to Stanley Majors. Soon after Khalid was shot, his father, Mounah Jabara, called 911 to report what happened.
911 DISPATCHER: 911. Do you need police, fire or medical?
MOUNAH JABARA: Yes, no, this is—I need to talk to the police. Somebody shot my son.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. He has been shot?
MOUNAH JABARA: Yes, yes, and he’s on the floor. Our neighbor. 9328 South 85th East Avenue.
911 DISPATCHER: How many minutes ago did this happen?
MOUNAH JABARA: Just now. Just now. In front of me.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. The guy who shot the gun, was he white, black, Indian or Hispanic?
MOUNAH JABARA: Yes, yeah. No, no. White, white. He’s the next-door neighbor.
911 DISPATCHER: How old is he, if you had to guess?
MOUNAH JABARA: Just a next-door neighbor.
911 DISPATCHER: How old is he, if you had to guess?
MOUNAH JABARA: Maybe 60, 65.
911 DISPATCHER: What color shirt and pants is he wearing?
MOUNAH JABARA: I don’t know. I can’t say; I can’t see. He’s still—my son is on the floor. I can’t go, because he—I’m afraid shots will be [inaudible]—
911 DISPATCHER: OK.
MOUNAH JABARA: 9328 South 85th.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. You didn’t see what color shirt and pants he was wearing?
MOUNAH JABARA: No, no, ma’am. He is there. He is here, in the next-door neighbor. I did hear—I did not go out.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. Do you know what kind of gun he has?
MOUNAH JABARA: I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. I heard the shots, and I heard the shots. I’m afraid he will come now, actually. I—
911 DISPATCHER: OK. What—how many gunshots were fired?
MOUNAH JABARA: Three, three. He is on the floor, my son.
911 DISPATCHER: Where was he shot at? Where was he shot at?
MOUNAH JABARA: He shot him! He shot him! He shot him!
911 DISPATCHER: Did he shoot him outside or inside the house?
MOUNAH JABARA: I am [inaudible].
NEIGHBOR: Stay inside!
MOUNAH JABARA: Yes. Where he did shot you? Where did he shot you? OK. Let me call the ambulance.
911 DISPATCHER: I have an ambulance and everyone en route to you, OK?
MOUNAH JABARA: He shot him! He shot him!
911 DISPATCHER: Just stay on the phone.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Mounah Jabara, moments after his son Khalid was shot dead in front of his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’re going now to Tulsa, where we’re joined by Khalid’s brother and sister, Rami Jabara and Victoria Jabara Williams.
I welcome you both to Democracy Now! My condolences on the death of your brother. Victoria, can you describe the history of what took place? This didn’t just happen in one moment.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: No, it definitely was a progression of events. And it seemed like every time my family and I would contact either police or the authorities, as we were supposed to do, you know, over the last several years, Stanley Majors would just retaliate and stronger. And so, you know, over the last four—I think four years or so, you know, from violating two protective orders—obviously, one of them being hitting my mom, while she was walking, with his car—and to the most recent incident where he killed my brother, you know, it’s just been, you know, pretty—pretty traumatic over those years, especially since we were—we did everything we were supposed to do.
AMY GOODMAN: Again, Rami, my condolences, all of our condolences to you and your family. When did you first meet Stanley Majors, your next-door neighbor?
RAMI JABARA: I think he came around maybe in 2012. I actually don’t think I’ve officially met him face to face. You know, we tried to avoid him, especially, as my sister was saying, as the insults and remarks and racist comments began; you know, we just thought like we need to stay away from this particular neighbor.
AMY GOODMAN: What would he say?
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: You know, he’s yelled racial slurs at us, at my mom and dad and my brother, because they all reside in my parents’ house, and so they’re there all the time.
RAMI JABARA: Like—
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: So, "dirty Arabs," "dirty Lebanese," "Muslims," even though my family is Orthodox Christian. You know, he’s yelled racial slurs at neighbors, as well. We have our family friend and—you know, was mowing our lawn, and he’s African-American. He’s yelled racial slurs at him, as he was mowing our lawn.
RAMI JABARA: Just unprovoked.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Just, yeah, completely unprovoked.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what happened when you filed your first complaint against Stanley Majors?
RAMI JABARA: Well, so, as my sister said, it was kind of a slow progression of comments and racist remarks. And in—you know, my mom was like, "What can we do to, you know, help protect ourselves?" And we told her that, you know, she can file a protective order against him. And in, I believe, November 2013, that was—that was completed.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
RAMI JABARA: We got a protective order against him. My mom did.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: I should say that, during that time, he was coming on our property and like taking pictures of our house and of my parents. And so, I think that was kind of that final like, OK, this guy is going to come onto our property, so we need to, you know—
RAMI JABARA: Making obscure phone calls, sending very strange letters to my sister and my uncle.
AMY GOODMAN: You had a productive order when he ran over your mother?
RAMI JABARA: Correct.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Correct. And that was the second violation.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, violation? So, he is arrested, and he’s jailed, and he’s not tried? He is held for eight months and then released?
RAMI JABARA: Well, so, there was a first violation of protective order in March 2015.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: On Easter.
RAMI JABARA: And that involved him making his usual racist remarks, I think, being belligerent and drunk, while we had a family gathering over Easter. So that was violation number one. And he—you know, as most criminal defendants, he would have several hearings, supposedly leading up to a trial. But he continually did not show up to his hearings. And eventually, the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest, which is common when a defendant does not show up to their required hearings. So that was violation number one. In September 2015, that was violation number two, when he ran over our mother, leaving her for dead in the street.
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: And that’s when he went to jail. But he was never tried, because—
RAMI JABARA: So—
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
RAMI JABARA: He was—as with many defendants, they have the option to set bond. And over—after we had discussed with the district attorney, basically saying this guy cannot be out on the streets, he needs to be held without bond, and they did follow our instructions. And for eight months, he was held without bond.
AMY GOODMAN: And then?
RAMI JABARA: And then, in May of 2015—
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: ’16.
RAMI JABARA: 2016, I’m sorry, we get—we were checking the status of the case, as we normally do, as it is slowly leading up to a supposed trial. And we realize that, on a routine hearing, where a new criminal defense attorney entered his appearance on Majors’ behalf, there was an oral motion made to reconsider bond, and the judge granted it, without our knowledge, basically without objection from the District Attorney’s Office.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, he was released.
RAMI JABARA: He was released, without—
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Without conditions.
RAMI JABARA: Without any actual, you know, conditions on his release, of course, but without any resolution of the prior incidents.
AMY GOODMAN: And how soon after he was released did he kill Khalid?
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: So, I think, beginning of June, they had the emergency hearing where they increased the bond. And then he made bail. So, June to August 12th.
AMY GOODMAN: And what happened? What did you understand? Were you, either of you, there on August 12?
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: My brother Rami lives in Dallas, and I live in Tulsa. And so, my mom called. I was at a friend’s house with my daughter. She said, you know, "Khalid’s been shot. You have to go to the hospital. Khalid’s been shot. They won’t let me leave, because it’s a crime scene." And at that time, I don’t know how—what information she got, but she made it seem that like he got hit in the leg, and he was going to be OK. So, I rushed to the hospital. And, you know, obviously, they told us he had—he died. And I met my parents—my husband and I met my parents at—they were staying in a secure area next to the—our house, while the detectives were there, on Friday night. And so I met them there. And it was, you know, I think, a four- or five-hour pursuit of Majors. And they never were able to get into his house, because they never got a warrant.
AMY GOODMAN: And Khalid—Khalid had called, right before Majors shot him dead, and said, "He has a gun. Please come." And the police came and left?
VICTORIA JABARA WILLIAMS: Yeah. So, we’re still waiting for the police report, but it looks like my brother Khalid called twice to call the police, once when he learned he had a gun. He said he heard some knocking on his door or on a window, and he went out, and Stanley Majors’s spouse, his husband, was driving away. And he said, "He has a gun. He hit me with the gun." And so, my brother called my mom, who was not home at the time. He said, "Don’t come home, because we learned he had a gun." And so they called 911. My brother called 911 the first time, saying he heard some knocking. I don’t know; I haven’t read the police report. I don’t know if he called when he heard the knocking the first time, and then he called again when he learned he had a gun, but he called twice, and the police came out once. And they said that they knocked on Stanley Majors’ door. They couldn’t go in. They couldn’t do anything, despite my brother’s plea and explaining the story. And then, the police left. And then, eight minutes later, my brother was shot.