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  1. #1
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    GA - Pastor Jonathan Ayers, 28, killed by LE in Toccoa drug sting, 1 Sept 2009

    I didn't see this doing a search on WS, mods please merge if necessary.

    Very interesting, and the video captures part of the incident.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/04/...hot/index.html

    ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A north Georgia pastor was shot to death by police when he struck an officer with his car after he was seen in a vehicle with a drug suspect, authorities told CNN.

    Jonathan Ayers, pastor at Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia, Georgia, died after the incident Tuesday afternoon in the nearby town of Toccoa, Georgia, police said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is looking into the shooting.

    http://news.aol.com/article/pastor-j...ed-in%2F637165

    ATLANTA (Sept. 4) -- Plainclothes officers shot and killed a small-town pastor when the 28-year-old father-to-be resisted efforts to question him about a passenger in his car who was the target of a drug sting, authorities said.

    Jonathan Paul Ayers of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia wasn't targeted in the probe that ended in gunfire at a gas station Tuesday, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said. But drug task-force agents opened fire on him after he tried to avoid them, putting his car in reverse and striking one of the officers.

  2. #2
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    As I watched the video, I noticed that when he put his car into drive, no officer was in front of the car. None of them seemed to be in any danger at that point. Why did the officer shoot into the passenger compartment? It seems to me he could have shot out a tire, or merely gotten the license plate and radioed for back up to stop the car. The officer who was "struck" by the vehicle didn't even fall down, which combined with the little outline of the incident, makes me think that the side of the car actually rubbed against the officer, he wasn't hit by the back bumper.

    The fact that these officers were undercover also makes me wonder if the pastor believed they were LE or if he had doubts.

    This just seems like overkill to me.

  3. #3
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    Looks like murder to me. If some plain clothed men came at me with guns, I would run for my life too. Makes me wonder if the girl was in over her head and went to the pastor for help. They shut him up.

  4. #4
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    I'd try to get away to if someone in plains clothes comes up to me at a gas station and pulls a gun.

  5. #5
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    Jonathan was one of my former students. I can't even describe how floored I am that this happened. He was such a good "kid." He grew into an even better man.
    http://www.thenortheastgeorgian.com/...01topstory.txt
    Please pray for his family, especially his wife Abby, who is pregnant. They were supposed to find out what they were having next week.

    I used to stop at this same convenience store all the time on my way to work. While it isn't in a good neighborhood, the owner was always nice and most people were friendly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kandi372s View Post
    I'd try to get away to if someone in plains clothes comes up to me at a gas station and pulls a gun.
    ITA with you. My first thought would be...cops...yeah right and get the heck out of there. And I would especially think that if I was a pastor and law abiding citizen that cops had no reason to stop.

    There have been a couple of cases like this with off duty or plainclothes cops. Unfortunately the law and juries usually side with LE.
    Last edited by SuziQ; 09-04-2009 at 07:18 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
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    I don't think plainclothes officers always look like they are officers. If they were plainclothes narcotics officers or undercover, then I would get the hell out of there myself if all I saw was guns drawn.

    Something is out of whack with this story. If these guys drove up and jumped out of their vehicle with guns drawn, then how was Jonathan supposed to know who they were? Were they yelling that they were police officers and for Jonathan to come out of the car?

    So much is not known, IMO. Just on what I have read, the officers did not conduct themselves properly.

    JMO
    Thoughts and prayers for the people of Paris and all of France!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaLaw2000 View Post
    I don't think plainclothes officers always look like they are officers. If they were plainclothes narcotics officers or undercover, then I would get the hell out of there myself if all I saw was guns drawn.

    Something is out of whack with this story. If these guys drove up and jumped out of their vehicle with guns drawn, then how was Jonathan supposed to know who they were? Were they yelling that they were police officers and for Jonathan to come out of the car?

    So much is not known, IMO. Just on what I have read, the officers did not conduct themselves properly.

    JMO
    Supposedly they were yelling that they were police. I don't know if any badges were visible, but even at that badges can be bought and anyone can yell out police. In this day and age it's hard to tell who you can trust.

    I just don't understand what there was about the person they were investigating that would cause LE to pull their guns to begin with.

    ETA: was their suspect still even in the car with the pastor? I've seen it reported that she was and reported that he dropped her off somewhere a few minutes earlier.

  9. #9
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    IMO, this person probably has written what the pastor thought was going down at the time. It's too long to copy and paste because of copyright issues. But he basically spells out that the cops appeared to everyone to look like ganbangers. After the pastor was shot he asked EMT's "Who shot him". He didn't know they were cops. Also the first version of events LE tries to pass off does not match the surveillance tape at all. They also tried to claim that Ayer's was observed buying cocaine from the female and yet no drugs were found on Ayer's or in his vehicle.

    (snip)
    Ayers’ brother-in-law, Matt Carpenter, says that this means he did not know the gangbangers were also undercover police officers.
    “I think it scared him,” when the black Cadillac Escalade pulled next to Ayers’ car and two men got out with guns drawn, said Carpenter.
    Carpenter said that’s why he tried to speed away. . . .
    “I’ve rerun it in my mind,” Carpenter said. “He had used an ATM inside, got into his car and then a black Escalade pulled up and [they] jumped out . . . If they ID’d themselves, he couldn’t hear them because his windows were up.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    The Cadillac Escalade is popular among gangbangers of both the ordinary criminal variety and the police variety.

    http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2009...hed-drug-raid/

  10. #10
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    I'd be scared out of my wits if a black Cadillac pulled up next to me and men with guns jumped out.


  11. #11
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    Thank you, SuziQ. I appreciate the article you posted with more of an explanation of what happened.

    If no drugs were found in Jonathan's system, on his person, or in his vehicle, I think it would be safe to say that he was not seen making a drug buy.

    I am normally extremely defensive of LE but just cannot be in this case. What is being said now just does not make sense to me.

    I would like to hear what the female has to say and how she came to be with him. Hopefully more details will come out, but I do not like what I have read so far.

    GB Jonathan's wife and family.
    Thoughts and prayers for the people of Paris and all of France!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandora View Post
    Jonathan was one of my former students. I can't even describe how floored I am that this happened. He was such a good "kid." He grew into an even better man.
    http://www.thenortheastgeorgian.com/...01topstory.txt
    Please pray for his family, especially his wife Abby, who is pregnant. They were supposed to find out what they were having next week.

    I used to stop at this same convenience store all the time on my way to work. While it isn't in a good neighborhood, the owner was always nice and most people were friendly.
    I'm so sorry. Hearing about this made me so angry----it seemed like such an injustice for such a young man to lose his life in this callous way----but learning that his wife is expecting a child really compounds the injustice. How horrible to have her husband, and the baby's daddy taken away forever by an "overzealous" police officer.

    I will pray for Abby. And for you. God bless....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuziQ View Post
    IMO, this person probably has written what the pastor thought was going down at the time. It's too long to copy and paste because of copyright issues. But he basically spells out that the cops appeared to everyone to look like ganbangers. After the pastor was shot he asked EMT's "Who shot him". He didn't know they were cops. Also the first version of events LE tries to pass off does not match the surveillance tape at all. They also tried to claim that Ayer's was observed buying cocaine from the female and yet no drugs were found on Ayer's or in his vehicle.

    (snip)
    Ayers’ brother-in-law, Matt Carpenter, says that this means he did not know the gangbangers were also undercover police officers.
    “I think it scared him,” when the black Cadillac Escalade pulled next to Ayers’ car and two men got out with guns drawn, said Carpenter.
    Carpenter said that’s why he tried to speed away. . . .
    “I’ve rerun it in my mind,” Carpenter said. “He had used an ATM inside, got into his car and then a black Escalade pulled up and [they] jumped out . . . If they ID’d themselves, he couldn’t hear them because his windows were up.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    The Cadillac Escalade is popular among gangbangers of both the ordinary criminal variety and the police variety.

    http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2009...hed-drug-raid/

    Ok, the link is to a blog, and I haven't seen this quote any where else but IF this quote is accurate:

    “He was struggling with the agents. He got back into the car, put the car in drive and started driving toward the other agent who fired two shots in to the automobile,” Stephens County sheriff Randy Shirley told WSB radio. But the store surveillance video shows Ayers was already driving away when what appeared to be gangbangers arrived and blocked his car.


    then I have to wonder why the sheriff's story differs so drastically from what we can see actually happened in the video.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgeaux View Post
    Ok, the link is to a blog, and I haven't seen this quote any where else but IF this quote is accurate:

    “He was struggling with the agents. He got back into the car, put the car in drive and started driving toward the other agent who fired two shots in to the automobile,” Stephens County sheriff Randy Shirley told WSB radio. But the store surveillance video shows Ayers was already driving away when what appeared to be gangbangers arrived and blocked his car.


    then I have to wonder why the sheriff's story differs so drastically from what we can see actually happened in the video.
    The quote originally came from WSB Radio. But I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    http://wsbradio.com/localnews/2009/0...nned-down.html

  15. #15
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    This is so infuriating. Normally I am very pro-LE, and normally I would believe them over just about anyone. However, we have had a few incidents lately in these parts that have, sadly, turned out to be cases where the police have acted over-zealously and then lied afterwards to cover their asses when innocent people died.

    If the police officer who was "run over" was so badly injured that he feared for his life and had to shoot, why was he treated and released from the hospital? (No injuries even listed. Did they give him a band aid for his boo boo?)

    Why do the stories change? We at WS know that that's not a good sign. The truth doesn't change just because the video surveillance doesn't back you up (right Casey?).

    Even if, worst case, Jonathan just got done doing a whole bunch of coke with a hooker, (I'm just playing devil's advocate - I don't think that happened) WHY SHOOT HIM? What in the world would cause them to shoot into the car? Unless they could show that he was fleeing a murder scene or an armed robbery or something, then they had absolutely no cause to use such force. And they haven't even suggested such a thing - only that the women, who wasn't even in the car, was a suspect and that they wanted to ask Jonathan some questions.

    Amy and their baby are in my prayers, along with all of Jonathan's family and friends who must be grieving terribly over this crime. I hope justice is done, and swiftly.

    The only tiny consolation is that the public called BS on this story immediately. In the past it has taken more time for the truth to come out, but in this case no one bought it from the first press release.

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