Billy Cowart, UAW Worker, CCW carrier: Not Guilty, Back Pay, Back to Work

Billy Cowart, UAW Worker, CCW carrier: Not Guilty, Back Pay, Back to Work
Billy Cowart, UAW Worker, CCW carrier: Not Guilty, Back Pay, Back to Work

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- On 3 June, 2016 Billy Cowart, a concealed carry permit holder and UAW worker at Ford's assembly plant, was attacked and sucker punched in the parking lot of Union Hall 551, by Jeff Bacon, as shown in surveillance video. Cowart was staggered several steps back. As Bacon advanced, Cowart drew his self defense firearm, and fired, wounding Bacon and another UAW leader, Aaron Straker. Both Bacon and Straker had recently been elected to leadership positions at the Chicago Ford Assembly plant.

Cowart left the scene. He had just defended himself against a UAW leader, and had wounded two UAW officials. He was in the parking lot of a Union Hall. Leaving likely seemed the wisest course.  The news coverage portrayed the situation as one where people were arguing, then a crazed gunman shot two of them. That is not what the video shows. From chicagotribune.com:

About 9:52 p.m. Friday, three men were in a parking lot by the union hall, located at 13550 S. Torrence Ave., when they began to argue with each other, police said over the weekend. During the argument, one of the men, who police have identified as Cowart, pulled out a gun and shot at the other two, ages 40 and 44. Both were shot in the leg. Cowart then fled the scene, police said.

 An industry publication only wrote that he had been arrested and was awaiting trial. From autonews.com:

In June, two UAW local officials who represent workers at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant were wounded outside the Local 551 union hall. William Cowart, 50, was arrested and charged with eight counts of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

In the video, you can see the union official going straight to Cowart, then sucker punching him. Cowart is staggered. He shoots toward the ground as the Union leader comes toward him again. The union leader has been reported as being intoxicated.

Here is the video of the shooting:

Billy Cowart pleaded with both Ford Company officials and with Union representatives that he had acted in self defense. The Union sided with the Union leaders. Ford fired Cowart.

It took two years for Cowart to get a trial. The first judge was removed from the case, pending a prosecution of the judge. The judge was found not guilty, but Cowart's case was delayed. Finally another judge viewed the surveillance video. He dismissed all charges. But Cowart had used his savings to survive and pay for his defense. His union wanted nothing to do with him. He had been at the Ford plant for nearly two decades. He sued to get his job, back pay, and seniority back. Three years after the attack, an arbitrator gave him his job, seniority, and 12 months back pay.  From cbslocal.com:

The second judge reviewed the surveillance video from the night of the shooting and said the victim, who was intoxicated and seen sucker punching Cowart in the face, was clearly the aggressor.

The judge ruled that Cowart was legally defending himself.

“Now, here we are today, 12 counts all dismissed,” said Cowart’s attorney, Irena Stephanovski.

Cowart had been exonerated but was still out of a job.

“Ford didn’t want to have anything to do with me,” he said.

So, he filed a grievance in January and finally won this week. An arbitrator ruled that Ford fired him without just cause and he should be reinstated with no loss of seniority and a year of back pay.

What will Cowart face on the job, now that he has wounded two Union officials, been fired, out of work for three years, and has forced the company not only to take him back, but reinstate seniority and pay him a years lost wages?

Perhaps he is nearing retirement. Cowart says he wants to be a role model to his 19-year-old son. He does not want his son to believe he did anything wrong.

Many people have been killed as the result of one punch. We have not been told why the union official sucker punched Cowart.

Punching someone can be a deadly attack.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 48
    Leave a Reply

    Please Login to comment
    19 Comment threads
    29 Thread replies
    0 Followers
     
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    39 Comment authors
    HenryWellingtonTim CowardUnion man1TrueUAW Recent comment authors
      Subscribe  
    Notify of
    TrueUAW
    Guest
    TrueUAW

    Court date delay so that Bacon can be re elected in another questionable election

    AJ Hartl
    Guest
    AJ Hartl

    WOW, I have now heard the craziest thing ever! Leadership is not easy and if you can’t take the Damm bullshit from the rank and file get the hell out of the office. Freaking UAW anyway just heard they are screwing up most of north America. In bed with G.M. and trying to represent health care worker’s . To those of you who are so anti Union you need to wake the [email protected]$!k up and smell the sewer gas thats rotting your brains out. If we stood strong and together we wouldn’t be drinking lead based water and and working… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    This happened in Chicago, at a union hall and there is maybe no worse place in the country. We know Chicago legal system is upside down and backwards, look at the gay actor that staged his assault. They are still trying to figure out what to do with the crooked outcome of that. Democrats running anything is a pure clown show.

    circle8
    Guest
    circle8

    Mr. Billy Cowart should sue the union, ford and the two scumbags that brought all of this on him.

    circle8
    Guest
    circle8

    This proves that UNION OFFICIALS are A-holes and crooks. If the leaders are bad then the organization has a hell of a time being clean and straight.

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Remember – With a dismissal, which Cowart got, the question of the defendant’s guilt never gets tried. As such, a case that is dismissed can sometimes be re-filed in the future. On the other hand, an acquittal cannot be re-filed in the future. He needs to get a court order that declares the dismissal was due to no guilt!

    Henry
    Guest
    Henry

    That’s not necessarily true. It depends on how the case was dismissed. If the case was dismissed “with prejudice” then it can never be tried again. It’s over forever. If the case was dismissed “without prejudice”, then it can be tried again. If a judge dismisses with prejudice, that’s basically saying that there wasn’t enough evedince to even bring it to trial. It’s even better than a “not guilty” verdict, because in order to get a not guilty verdict, there has to be enough evidence to bring the case to trial. The dismissal with prejudice is essentially saying the defendant… Read more »

    Oldvet
    Guest
    Oldvet

    One of my biggest gripes about being a union member , a portion of my dues went directly to the DNC no choice . I could request return there of but all of the forms and hassle made it not worth the effort , and I would have to do that every year .

    Todd Anderson
    Guest
    Todd Anderson

    That is not all true. Prior to the Citizens United SCOTUS case, unions could not use dues money for political purposes. Any and ALL money used for political purposes had to come through a PAC that was voluntarily contributed to. This is an indisputable fact. Now, after that aforementioned court case, unions as well as corporations can use money for polical purposes.

    Lee
    Guest
    Lee

    In this scenario, it is likely that either Ford or the union will retaliate against him. That is when the big bucks are available.

    They do not say whether the arbitration was mandatory or not.

    Todd Anderson
    Guest
    Todd Anderson

    Arbitration is the final step of the grievance procedure. It’s use is outlined in all CBAs if applicable.

    TIM COWARD
    Guest
    TIM COWARD

    I was a part of that union there at the time of the incident…trust and believe he did the right thing…they were gang related and they carried themselves as such…if he had not defended himself he would have gotten a beat down …im glad he did…very questionable group of officials in chicago assenbly

    The other Jim
    Guest
    The other Jim

    If Ford would not allow Cowart back to work, why did the Arbitrator only grant 1 year of back-pay? Information missing or is the Arbitrator biased and in favor of the rich company and management?

    Craig Chadderdon
    Guest
    Craig Chadderdon

    Most UAW rules… DO NOT ALLOW FIREARMS ON ANY OF THERE PROOERTY. Discharge is A usual discipline if caught with one.

    Charles Valenzuela
    Guest
    Charles Valenzuela

    Article says it happened in the parking lot of a Union Hall. Not the Ford Plant. Is the Union Hall and parking lot Ford Property? Fuck Ford and their union thuggery anyway.

    erik
    Guest
    erik

    no problems with unions except they back the demorats .this poor man has been put through the ringer because two drunk asses attacked him .what happened to him was wrong ,the settlement was wrong and now he has to return back to a hostile work environment the only brite side to this story is he did not go to prison ,did not loose his home ,was not killed and people will think twice before fucking with him .

    Union man1
    Guest
    Union man1

    I agree with you that he is lucky to have kept his life in order somewhat but he should sue both the UAW and Ford. Those two Union officials are the kind we need to get rid of. I am a union supporter but I see there are so many problems with the Union right now it is hard to gain support from the public. It would help if the company and the union would hold officials accountable for their actions but they just want to cover everything up. And as far as the Union’s voting for Democrats, that’s because… Read more »

    Jay Wolf
    Guest
    Jay Wolf

    Parking lots are exempt from bans. CCW can carry in any parking lot.
    Typical chicago union thugs got what they had coming to them.

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Doesn’t really matter what the UAW rules are regarding firearms on their property, all they can do if you are carrying is to ask you to leave or to put the weapon in your vehicle. If they discharge you, that is a violation of your second amendment right. Of course, in a leftist shitcago courtroom, you’re likely to lose that battle.

    Phillyed
    Guest
    Phillyed

    He should sue the union for non-representation….

    Robert Lucas
    Guest
    Robert Lucas

    And the additional 12 months of lost wages/legal fees with interest…

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    Notice nothing was said about whether the union prick was charged and convicted of assault. And I’m curious how Cowart could be charged with 8 counts of attempted murder, when he clearly only shot at two people! It also isn’t clear how many times he shot, did he shoot once and hit both guys or did he shoot twice? And shooting them in the leg is clearly not attempted murder, maybe assault with a deadly weapon. Still no reason for EIGHT counts of attempted murder. I’m curious about who will pay all of his attorney fees since the charges were… Read more »

    Ron
    Guest
    Ron

    Ever hear of ‘collusion’ ?
    R 1

    R. C.
    Guest
    R. C.

    A little bit of background: Someone told the elected union official that Billy was across the parking lot talking shit about him. He was drunk and ran over to Billy, yelled something, and hit him. His buddy, also a union official, was right behind him. Billy was now faced by two attackers. He drew and fired ONE shot. He hit the guy who punched him, in the leg, the round continued through and also struck the second man in tbe leg. He intentionally aimed low, in self defence, even though in most cases when faced by two or more attackers… Read more »

    Rattlerjake
    Guest
    Rattlerjake

    I’m curious how Cowart could be charged with 8 counts of attempted murder, when he clearly only shot at two people! And shooting them in the leg is clearly not attempted murder, maybe assault with a deadly weapon. Still no reason for EIGHT counts of attempted murder.

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    Bacon and Straker needs to go court for attacking the Cowart, and for the games they were playing. They represent leaders of UAW . They set up a POOR EXAMPLE OF UAW LEADERSHIP for Ford. And should be ashamed of themselves ……FOR LIEING …..SO WHAT IF YOU MADE A MISTAKE, YOU REPENT TO GOD AND APOLOGIZE TO COWART TELL THE TRUTH TO PUBLIC. LIVE A LIFE OF TRUTH AND FORGIVENESS AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE BLESSED. YOU ARE CURSED WITH A CURSE! AND satan is liar. YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD NOT THE devil!!! In the video,… Read more »

    Wellington
    Guest
    Wellington

    ALL THOSE INVOLVED NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN AND MAKE JESUS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR! AND ALL OF US GIVING OUR OPINIONS NEED TO MAKE SURE WHEN GOD LIFTS UP THE COVER WE ARE NOT JUDGING ONE ANOTHER. JUDGEMENT IS SIN!! AND SIN STEALS HEALTH, FINANCES AND GOOD THINGS COMING OUR WAY (BLESSINGS) FORGIVE! AND THOSE INVOLVED , THEY APOLOGIZE FOR THEIR ACTIONS! WHAT GOOD COMES OUT OF STRIFE AND GRUDGES? NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EARTH HAS NO SORROWS THAT HEAVEN CAN’T HEAL!!! THE WORLD NEEDS LOVE AND FORGIVENESS. WITHOUT LOVE AND FORGIVENESS ,satan gains due to Our Lack of knowledge!! We will… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    UAW officials physically attacked a member? At this point it doesn’t surprise me. Only worse private organizations in America are the DNC and AFT.

    Rock
    Guest
    Rock

    Zackley, the unions back the assholes and ignore the good workers, that is a FACT. Been a member of both the AFL-CIO and the UAW… BOTH covered the assholes that in ALL other workers opinions SHOULD have been shit canned, I saw it happen quite a few times. After the plant shut down i swore to NEVER be in a union again, DONE. I have worked in a non union business now for 29 years, and have had ZERO problem, have health insurance and make good money. AND i am not screwed out of dues to protect the ASSHOLES !… Read more »

    Kyle Putnam
    Guest
    Kyle Putnam

    you forgot the MEA.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    When did we get to the point that two retards, namely D.MARTIN and Todd Anderson, would make the absolutely asinine and moronic statements that they did? First of all, the lesson Mr. Cowart was trying to teach his son was standing up for what is right no matter who is telling you to just stay down. Todd in his grand display of stupidity forgot a few things. 1. Cowart was approached from and attacked from behind. 2. He was already dazed from the first blow, and turning saw more than one individual approaching him. 3. when the closest one continued… Read more »

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    Correction, meant to write “More than one attacker”

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    I knew someone who was involved in a disagreement over a trivial matter. He got sucker punched on the side of his head. Or that’s what he thought had happened. It wasn’t until another person said he was bleeding that he realized that he had a cut from the top of his ear to under his jawline on that side of his head. It was 3/4″ deep at the deepest point. The point being you may not know just how bad you have been injured from a “punch.” In the instance above the wound was caused by a single edged… Read more »

    D. MARTIN
    Guest
    D. MARTIN

    Yeah be a man and sucker punch him back… or shoot him.

    Todd Anderson
    Guest
    Todd Anderson

    When did we get to the point of needing to pull a gun when you’re punched? Be a man and fight with your fists……like the other guy did.

    John smith
    Guest
    John smith

    Why did the other man sucker punch him? He should’ve fought him like a man not sucker punch him like a coward.

    Ouida Winston
    Guest
    Ouida Winston

    Explain how he was going to fight 3 men?? Did your read the article??

    MikeRoss
    Guest
    MikeRoss

    Seriously? Let yourself be beaten to death to prove your ‘manhood?’ The ‘other guy’ was no man, he was a coward who attacked without warning or provocation.

    Calvin Blumhorst
    Guest
    Calvin Blumhorst

    Yeah, “Be a man and fight with your fists” is not really good advice for a person who’s been dazed or knocked down with a sucker punch and sees multiple attackers coming for him or is being pummeled MMA style by a young thug slamming his head into the sidewalk. Also terrible advice for anyone with arthritic hands, very limited mobility and a heart condition. In the words of a popular meme, I carry because I’m too old to run or fight and too young to die.

    roger
    Guest
    roger

    there is only one in a fight : WIN or you may end up DEAD !

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @TA, “When … ” you ask. Long before the gun was invented. Here is a better question, What manner of idiot would give up their self defense civil right, just to live up to your flawed notions of manliness?

    JoeUSooner
    Guest
    JoeUSooner

    Wild Bill, I doubt that AmmoLand would allow an accurate answer to your question regarding “what manner of idiot?” I don’t think we’re permitted to use that kind of language… are we?

    Carrie McSpurmguzzler
    Guest
    Carrie McSpurmguzzler

    I’m too old to take a punch from anyone. Never bring a fist to a gunfight — you’ll just get a posthumous Darwin Award and my lawyer will clean up the mess.

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    one on one might be reasonable. But when the attackers come on in a coordinated superioroty of force due to numbers, all bets are off. Willie did the right thing. At fifty something, he had ten years on his attackers, and likely was not as agile or strong as the union thugs were. He was completely justified in his use of lethal force. I’ll bet he could practice on cardboard cutouts for months and still not be able to repeat his “two fer” shot.. one round hitting both assailants. At that point in time, I am certain he needed that… Read more »

    Tim Coward
    Guest
    Tim Coward

    When you are not from chicago
    When you are attacked by a man that 280lbs
    When that man have his boy following him
    When you are hit so hard…thats the only thing you can do
    When you feel like you safety is in danger
    When you are blind sided by an attack
    FYI…Billy was known for being able to handle a weapon…if he wanted to he could have injured the both of them severely

    Reason
    Guest
    Reason

    Off for 3 years and only gets 1 year back pay? He needs to sue the “victim” for the remaining 2 years plus all costs of fighting the charges and the cost of getting the job and back pay. Plus punitive just for being an azz.

    Guesty McGuesterson
    Guest
    Guesty McGuesterson

    Well, now that he’s been cleared, he has legal standing to explore doing exactly that.

    Reason
    Guest
    Reason

    Off for 3 years and only gets 1 year back pay? He needs to sue the “victim” for the remaining 2 years plus all costs of fighting the charges and the cost of getting the job and back pay. Plus punitive just for being an ass.