First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of Ahmad Arbery and hope that my intent to shed light does not in any way deepen the family’s grief and mourning but be an instrument to assist in achieving justice and perspective. Every person is born with a purpose in life, no matter how long or brief that life may be, sometimes to achieve a higher purpose.
The purpose may be beyond our understanding and reasoning, which only deepens our pain. However, that purpose may not have been for them to achieve longevity but rather to be the catalyst for the advancement of a cause. In this situation and similar situations, the grand purpose may be to become the straw that stirs the social consciousness and brings about historical change. Yet, for whatever reason, some are chosen to be bona fide crusaders to advance a cause greater than themselves.
All law enforcement and prosecutors should know as part of their mandatory training that the only thing that separates the general public and the police in authority is the police’s ability to arrest for misdemeanor crimes and issue citations within their jurisdiction. In addition, all citizens have the right to make a citizen’s arrest regarding felony crimes, although not recommended and strongly discouraged.
Although that action comes with strong recommendations to avoid making those arrests, encouraged instead to have minimal contact or interference outside of notifying the police. An off-duty policeman’s standard of intervention is not mandatory but only to take a police action that can be as simple as calling the police or reporting their observations.
To make a citizen’s arrest in a felony matter, you must first have intricate knowledge of what constitutes a felony and the various exceptions that should be considered, such as the force continuum. The main exception is you cannot legally shoot anyone over property regardless of the property’s value or the felony status of the theft.
Not only do police know this, but anyone with a concealed carry permit is taught this as part of their CCW training for receiving a certificate and permit. You also cannot instigate a situation and then claim self-defense or being in fear for your life. This information is disseminated by the instructor giving the certificate in a mandatory state-issued handbook educating you on the matter. That is why they have police academies and extensive training to distinguish arrest powers.
Civilians attempting to hold someone forcibly on nonfelonies for them refusing to submit to your curiosity and lack of authority is kidnapping. That person is essentially being kidnapped and not even close to meeting the legal threshold needed for a felony citizen arrest. He had no reason or legal obligation to comply with his own kidnapping or legally comply with someone who had no right to confront him brandishing weapons. Kidnapping is to remove someone and restrict their movements without authority and against their will or consent.
Did this group of self-appointed champions of good know his intent and if he may have been an investor, interested home buyer, had approval, an employee stopping to check, or if he was in fact trespassing? Their knowledge of the law would have to extend to understanding criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, criminal damaging, vandalism, unoccupied structures, petty theft, and grand larceny to start with, in addition to Aubrey’s constitutional rights. He clearly was not carrying stolen property.
None of the above mentioned would grant them the right that they acted upon, especially not being directly affected as owners. Did they notify the contractor for confirmation? What was their authoritative jurisdiction? Did they have the minimal legal corpus delicti to affect an arrest, detain him, or make a voluntary request that required him to submit? What was the evidence of a crime? So now their prima facie probable cause was based on what felony crime they were reasonably sure that he had committed. What authorization did they have to confront Aubrey violently?
Their lack of in-depth investigation required at the very most being warned or advised? Their proliferation of fabricated burglaries in the neighborhood, which went unreported, had nothing to do with this situation since you cannot burglarize a place with no doors, windows, or encasement to prevent or have the expectation of preventing access or entry. If these vigilantes were aware of the others who committed the same atrocity, are they now justified to hunt them down, or how did they confront them?
Were they most likely already aware of others who had done the same, but something differentiated Aubrey from them? Were others disregarded for the same violation and their actions permitted because of their race? If he were white, would they have reacted differently, also overlooking him?
You would expect a veteran law dog to be slicker rather than a principal participant in killing someone over property and not even his property. Also, Aubrey was a gentleman jogging and not using furtive moves, evasive actions revealing a criminal intent, or any urgency resembling fleeing a crime. So, why would it be necessary to confront him in the highest threat pyramid mode instigating a code red situation with weapons?
Armed private citizens can be assumed to be robbers or an assault attempt. The real police must announce who they are loud and clear and advise you of their suspicions when ordering you to comply while in uniform and with a patrol car. Private citizens demanding compliance while their authority is unknown or nonexistent leads to these sorts of issues. That is why citizen arrests are ill-advised unless life is endangered.
What was the vigilante’s declaration that would make Aubrey react in fear for his life from a good old fashion roundup or threat of serious physical harm? The only reason for the weapons display was a projected fear of a deliberate intent to confront him while armed. Even with a numbers advantage while confronting him, why would the cowardly lions go that far if they were that afraid.
They could have just followed him until the real champions of doing good on the city payroll could have arrived. Having a shotgun drawn for a conversation was unnecessary, revealing the fear that they claimed which was their creation. Governed by using the minimal force necessary, what were they afraid of going even beyond police authority, and if they were that afraid, why did they?
In law enforcement, there is a natural progression of how things routinely unfold. But, unfortunately, this would appear outside of that natural progression in the lack of their initial arrest for nearly two months and the appearance of a suspected coverup. The coverup has to stop creating a dangerous atmosphere that significantly damages a portion of the public’s trust in believing that you must abide by the law when applied against you. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t applied for you.
The law must also abide by its own standards when broken against you and applied against another even if they are white. Thus, by law, all the affirmative defenses are useless if you place yourself in harm’s way intentionally, are an instigator in the wrong, or third-party defenses that arise out of lack of right or authority with no obligation or danger except that undertaken and created by you.
They exhibited more authority than the police are allowed, and no one had a problem with that. I guess even the retired law dog forgot that he was retired. There are too many discrepancies and other exculpatory facts unknown to the public revealing misconduct to be defended.
The examination of tapes or radio transmissions between dispatcher and responders, any separate dispatcher tape and log or notes, landline conversations and texts outside the official system, frame by frame scrutiny of the video taken, and visual enhancement to determine specific elements, electronic devices, emails, conversations had and statements made after the fact will definitely expose their criminal intent and any concealment efforts.
Their story is prone to crack under closer scrutiny exposing their true motivation, racist state of mind, past discriminatory beliefs, validating deceptions, and glaring inconsistencies. The law is specific but frequently manipulated and ignored as a matter of principle regarding these incidents on a racial basis and a case of selective enforcement. This has been justice the American way.
Others get off on what we routinely are arrested immediately for or are imprisoned. I guess justice really is blind but seemingly only to the facts. Some are routinely afforded concessions not made available to us, even while merely jogging. Some who would state they are absolutely diametrically opposed to racism and categorically deny their hypocrisy still saw no need for immediate arrest for this cold-blooded murder.
Brazen negligence and dereliction of duty must be punished, accompanied by a firing or resignation in addition to the prosecution of any coverup undertaken. Someone like that, despite personal views, cannot remain in a position of exercising that degree of lack of judgment, regardless of their color.
When will public officials be held accountable as a general deterrent, powerfully demonstrating that the public and other public officials will not tolerate it? The hypocrisy of it all, not to apply a proper and consistent legal application, is obviously stacked to white privilege or law enforcement bias.
Any official coverup is almost as egregious as the crime. It reveals an acceptance and approval for the offender and the offense while a murder did occur. The injustice you cannot feel is revealed by your barbaric inclinations reflected by your inaction. Bigotry unfit for public office and a tacit approval condemning your fitness to serve.
As for the vigilantes, there could not be hatred without a hater, nor could there be a lie without a liar to tell it. When characterized by fear or hate, it reveals the weakness in your mind that cannot be concealed. You absolutely cannot claim to stand your ground or be in fear for your life when you run up on someone trying to put the smackdown and get scared because they didn’t wither.
Why did you initiate a conflict then cry out to the universe of being in fear of your life but not in fear of committing your savagery or bigotry? If some crazed bigot chased you down carrying a shotgun and armed with murderous intent, what are you to then think? You were probably outraged that a courageous Black Man still would not submit and cower in the same fear that you showed while consumed by your racism.
If you were a victim of what you are a practitioner of, imagine the victim’s perspective jogging one minute and life slipping away the next paying your price without proof of a crime because you wanted to be a cowboy. Practitioners of the unspeakable and sympathizers within the system that aligns with you saw no fault in your actions have exposed themselves. They should be prosecuted along with you.
Considering the violation of human dignity after the murder and essentially the abuse of a corpse by violating all human decency to take a trophy picture and video your escapades led to your demise. Reversing the roles and you would be outraged and rampaging for justice but recommend endless tolerance from us.
Now you want to throw a rock and hide your hand? In fear of YOUR life, what about Aubrey having more reason to be in fear for his life while hunted by multiple assailants? Those officials who aligned themselves with your actions have effectively identified themselves as accomplices after the fact to have attempted to aid and abet concealment of a murder. No one can be proud of your lack of courage, lack of human decency, and inferiority complex disguised as vigilantism that proves nothing is beneath you or your supporters.
Devout no doubt in your religion that states thou shall not kill, but still indiscriminate killers because you are entitled, afraid, and think you have a better spoon to be beyond the law. Needing someone to discriminate against to make you feel better about yourself, but the racism and fear remain even when the numbers are disproportionately in your favor and carrying a shotgun. Maybe the answer to curbing this racism is to give you some spinach-like Popeye or a pretend medal like the cowardly lion, perhaps even some decency of character.
Veteran law dog must have forgotten that this is not the 1950’s. But then, I guess at least now you don’t have to worry about the old neighborhood or your house anymore; accommodations will be provided for you and hopefully for life. The contractor or owner of the structure is at home eating dinner while you and your vigilante gang are headed to prison, not realizing that being the neighborhood enforcer was not your role. Now you are being held accountable for your vigilante murder.
Justice and arrest were delayed for over two months. There were repeated refusals before an arrest was made or proper handling of an apparent state murder violation of an unarmed black man, as well as DOJ civil rights hate crime specifications violated. Justice will not be complete until the murder conviction and imprisonment of the three vigilantes.
The dereliction of duty by police, prosecutors, and district attorneys demonstrating beyond bad judgment after the fact to absolve murder need to be identified and exposed. Once exposed, they need to be prosecuted according to the degree of their wrongdoing that undermined their office, positions, legal responsibility, and public trust.
A prevailing national mentality has emerged from the shadows to reflect seething racism seeking to justify and implement alternative interpretations and unlawful applications of law to ignore atrocious crimes and murders against Blacks. Those whose actions have identified themselves to exercise these mentalities with illegal ramifications demonstrate a criminal act that merit prosecution.
Behind the scenes at the highest levels, the Trump presidency, the dog whistle has been issued in a not so discreet or subtle way stating fine people on both sides. But, unfortunately, this dog whistle creates an atmosphere where this racist conduct is encouraged and applauded by the racist puppet master, delighted how the puppets dancing on strings are ignorantly carrying out a racist agenda.
The 2020 election in Georgia revealed resistance to lawful changes that didn’t meet your expectations and ignited extreme opposition to the rule of law. The law is to be upheld when contrary to other’s expectations but disregarded when applied to yours or somehow deemed fraudulent when you are disappointed. The legal process must be equally applied without compromise or variations of compliance by those who enforce it, even if not by those governed by it.
Racist consent no doubt created the atmosphere to draw these bigots out of their vigilante closet. Perhaps politics gassed them up to make America great again by divisive rhetoric, racist tolerance, and assumption of white immunity. Nero, a mad man, was said to have fiddled while Rome burned; he now tweets while America burns and while you will sit in jail. You should have chosen more carefully your actions and your inspiration.
These perpetrators of murder and enablers of these murderers share an overtly appalling commonality which is a blatant mockery of accountability and scorn of prosecution. They are cohorts of the same criminality. That cannot be allowed to go unsanctioned while justice is mutilated to anemic integrity and corrupt contortions.
Vigilante’s actions circumventing the law and standard of justice when committed undermines the legal system for civilized expectations of conduct and due process. Ongoing and collective intent to minimize this murder transforms individual acts of atrocity into unacceptable systemic indulgences in violation of state law, the RICO Act, Consent Decree investigation, and DOJ hate crimes or civil rights violations.
The murder and coverup investigation regarding all participants should leave them subject to the highest degree of legal condemnation. This is mandatory not only for the loss of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery’s life by murder but the integrity of the legal system to be respected and representative for all. If not, the law is respected by none, not those committing atrocities or those refusing to be subjected to them.
Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz