Pubdate: Thu, 15 Oct 2009
Source: Toccoa Record, The (GA)
Copyright: 2009 The Toccoa Record
Author: Randolph C. Williams


I will suspend my judgment in regards to the justification, motive or
legality of the shooting of Reverend Ayers as best I can and until I
am satisfied that I have all the evidence I can gather.

That being said I respectfully request that Sheriff Shirley perform an
immediate and complete review of all departmental policy regarding the
use of force and the apprehension and detainment of suspects,
particularly where the public and other innocents may be endangered.

I also ask for the immediate disbandment of the NCIS team. Please let
uniformed officers deal with the low-level dealers and street criminals!

Clearly there was no reason that Reverend Ayers could not have been
safely followed, and if he was not responding to the undercover
officers he could have been easily stopped by a uniformed cruiser.

The Toccoa Police Department is only one block away. The behavior of 
these officers was
at best unprofessional and reckless.

They looked like a rogue group of vigilantes from the Wild West, not
Peace Officers in a civil society. These officers needlessly
endangered the public.

They are not "agents", they are small town deputies, and clearly they
are not trained or experienced in what they are doing.

I should know. My line of work in real estate has unfortunately placed
me in the proximity of criminals and their activities on several
occasions. I have and will put my own life in harms way to help remove
dangerous individuals from my community.

I was once deputized by then Detective Randy Shirley and led a GBI
agent into an apartment to help take down crack dealers in our
community. I have been deputized by and worked with the Dekalb Co.
Police and the FBI.

I have had the honor to watch the world famous Dekalb Red Dog squad in
action. I can testify that they never apprehended a suspect when a
member of the public happened onto the scene, they let them walk. Yet
they earned national acclaim for their effectiveness.

My wife and I left the Atlanta area in 1990 to get away from the
shooting war between the Jamaican Posse and the Law. Our sleepy little
village of Stone Mountain was routinely awakened by the sounds of
rapid-fire gunshot strings.

I can't tell you what it's like having helicopters with searchlights
seemingly hovering over your backyard. Gathering your loved ones into
a bedroom and standing guard with a pistol for an hour or more. Not
knowing who or what might break through your door. It was terrifying.

Now I find myself worried about my own Sheriff's department.

I know this is irrational, but now when I see a Sheriff's cruiser I
can't help feeling nervous. What if I'm the next one innocently caught
in the company of the wrong person at the wrong time? What if my door
is kicked in the middle of the night because my address got mixed up
with someone else's? I ran from Stone Mountain, I will run no further!
And least I be thought a bigot against the law let me remind the
reader that I was the one who wrote a letter of commendation for
Deputy Larry Rudeseal and Sheriff Sorrells which ran in this paper in
November of 2002.

I have been a great fan and supporter of my sheriffs department. I
would back my deputies up, anytime anywhere. So rest assured I have no
ax to grind here, and I voted for Randy. I liked his ideas.

I have faith that District Attorney Rickman, the GBI and Sheriff
Shirley will do their jobs. I am sure that any warranted criminal
charges will be duly filed and aggressively pursued in a court of law.
That is not why I am writing this letter.

But for our community's future I do leave you gentle reader with these
questions: When does the apprehension of some low-level criminal
justify the death of an innocent soul?

Whether a saint or a beggar when does a human life loose it's value,
it's sacredness? What happened to the judicial philosophy that it is
better to let a guilty man walk free than to imprison an innocent man?

And now the alleged criminal is walking free on our streets while
Reverend Ayers is forever beyond our reach. Where is the justice in

Randolph C Williams

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