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

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by chicagofa13, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. chicagofa13

    chicagofa13 New Member

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    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/georgia.pastor.shot/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-...e/pastor-jonathan-paul-ayers-killed-in/637165

    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.
     
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  3. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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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.
     
  4. tlstcb

    tlstcb New Member

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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.
     
  5. Kandi372s

    Kandi372s Member

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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.
     
  6. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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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/articles/2009/09/04/news/top_stories/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.
     
  7. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. LaLaw2000

    LaLaw2000 Louisiana

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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
     
  9. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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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/2009/09/04/ga-pastor-shot-and-killed-in-botched-drug-raid/
     
  11. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

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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.
     
  12. LaLaw2000

    LaLaw2000 Louisiana

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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.
     
  13. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    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....
     
  14. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    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.
     
  15. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    The quote originally came from WSB Radio. But I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    http://wsbradio.com/localnews/2009/09/pastor-gunned-down.html
     
  16. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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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.
     
  17. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    That police officer who was "run over" never even fell down, in fact, it doesn't appear that he even tripped. If he came out of this with more than a bruise, I'll apologize, but looking at the video seems to support the fact that this bump was unintentional and minor.

    I truly hope and pray that the police officer who fired the shots into the passenger compartment of that car is at the very least removed from law enforcement. We don't need rash people with loaded guns out amongst the public!

    I totally agree with you that the undercover officers' explanation (we thought we witnessed a drug deal!) is a lame and inexcusable reason to shoot and kill a young man.
     
  18. 6angels

    6angels New Member

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    As a Officers wife. I hope this police Officer is charged with murder.


    As far as the officer falling down? They don't have to fall down to fear their life. IF they felt he was going to back up and run over him again they are allowed to shoot.However I don't think this was the case in this case.
     
  19. StephanieH

    StephanieH Member

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    This smells bad.

    I tend to lean towards defending the cops..they risk their lives every day to protect us. But this just doesn't make any sense. It will be interesting to see what comes out in the end.

    A few years ago, cops in Kansas City shot a mentally ill man to death in his parent's front yard. The parents had called because they needed the police to help bring their son to the hospital, as his illness was out of control. He was unarmed, but "charged out of the door" and they shot. The family sued, but only to require the police to take classes on what to expect and how to handle people with severe mental illnesses.

    I think sometimes, they get scared and the adrenaline flows. Not an excuse by any stretch, but I am anxious to learn what was going on in their heads when they shot an unarmed minister.
     
  20. LaLaw2000

    LaLaw2000 Louisiana

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    Just checking for any updates today. This is one case I will follow closely.
     
  21. Sal

    Sal New Member

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    This stinks to high heaven! I'm certainly a very law abiding citizen and am glad we have law enforcement but I don't believe they are not capable of doing some very underhanded stuff and then covering for each other. I think to so many of LE the end justifies the means. And as a Christian I pray this pastor was above and beyond reproach in whatever he was doing. Sheesh, cops, pastors, it doesn't matter, does it, as any of them can go wrong. My heart aches for the family and church of this pastor. God bless y'all.
     

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