Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 2009
Source: Toccoa Record, The (GA)
Copyright: 2009 The Toccoa Record
Author: Tim Hendricks


Like many others in Toccoa, I waited for the outcome of the Jonathan
Ayers case. After hearing nothing for so long and willing to give
benefit of the doubt, the recent thorough write-up of the Grand Jury
results certainly shed light on events.

Jonathan Ayers certainly exercised risky and poor judgment associating
himself with Kayla Barrett. It is also very understandable that the
way the circumstances played out, Jonathan put himself in a position
to appear involved.

However, shooting to kill a man that never produced a weapon in a
crowded gas station at an intersection was, no doubt, very poor police
work. This is even more apparent in that the Toccoa Police station is
a block and a half away, and even shooting the tires out would have
been risky at a gas station.

The officer that he thought was hit by Jonathan's car had to tell his
partner to stop shooting after he himself was hit by shrapnel.

Also, apparently, the Grand Jury was "coached" prior to hearing the
case that essentially, due to a law that could be made to apply in
this case, would mean that basically, it would go nowhere. Even if
Jonathan's family pursued a civil case and paid expensive legal fees,
what could they hope to gain by this letter of the law?

Jonathan could have been any of us, our children, our friends, or
anyone that just needed to learn from their mistakes and get another
chance in this life. Instead, he is dead, and the officer doing the
shooting is apparently still in police work, free and clear. It is
appalling that something of this magnitude could be so flippantly
swept under the rug.

I'm sure I speak for several others, that at the very least, as long
as a hair-trigger public employee such as Billy Shane Harrison is
allowed to carry a gun and work on any police force except behind a
desk, I am worried.

Why should people be content to have a society in which public
officials paid to protect the citizens' safety are allowed to be judge
and jury and not held responsible for their actions in such a small
time case as this?

Tim Hendricks

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