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Georgia Baptist pastor killed in botched drug sting
Associated Baptist Press ^ | Sept 4th, 2009 | Bob Allen

Posted on 09/05/2009 7:35:34 AM PDT by bamahead

LAVONIA, Ga. (ABP) -- Members of a Southern Baptist church in Northeast Georgia want answers about the police-shooting death of their 29-year-old pastor in a drug-sting operation gone wrong.

Jonathan Ayers, pastor of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia, Ga., died during the night of Sept. 1, hours after being shot by undercover police officers outside a gas station where he had just gotten money from an ATM machine.

The Stephens County Sheriff's Office initially identified the shooting victim as a suspect involved in a drug transaction. Later officials clarified that drug enforcement agents were not investigating Ayers, but a woman who was riding in his car whom he had dropped off moments earlier.

Officials said the officers didn't know who Ayers was and wanted to talk to him. They were in plain clothes, but they claim they wore badges around their necks and identified themselves as police when they asked him to open his car door. Instead, they say, Ayers put the car in reverse and fled, striking one officer and causing minor injuries.

Police fired at the fleeing vehicle. One bullet struck Ayers in the abdomen. He managed to drive away but crashed about a half mile away. Police found him conscious and alert, but he died several hours later after surgery.

Police said after striking the officer, Ayers drove his car toward another officer in a "threatening manner." Friends and family believe Ayers thought the men were going to rob him and that he got scared and tried to run away.

Police have not identified the woman, who is charged with selling cocaine. Ayers' sister, Rebecca Floyd, said her younger brother was known to help strangers.

"I could bet my life on it that he did not know her," Floyd told television station WYFF News 4. "I could bet my life on it, because that's the kind of person he was. He was a good Christian man…. His goal was to lead souls to Christ."

Roger Shirley, a member of Shoal Creek, told the Anderson, S.C., Independent Mail that Ayers had led 18 people to Christ and baptized 12 in the little more than a year since he became pastor of the struggling congregation, founded in 1789. Shirley said he believed the pastor was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ayers had recently started a blog, where he described having "three loves in my life: Jesus Christ, my wife, Abby, and the Church." The couple's first baby is due in February.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting. The officers involved are on administrative leave with pay.

Ayers' brother-in-law, Matt Carpenter, told AccessNorthGa.com that the family was first informed Ayers died in a traffic accident, and then that he had been shot. Hours later, they learned he died in an officer-involved shooting.

A surveillance video shows Ayers calmly entering the store a few minutes before the shooting. A black Cadillac Escalade SUV pulls up next to a gas pump beside his car. A man jumps out before it comes to a complete stop. Ayers attempts to drive away, as officers chase after and fire shots at the car.

Ayers' funeral service is scheduled at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4, at Shoal Creek Baptist Church.


TOPICS: Local News; Religion
KEYWORDS: donutwatch; georgia; jbt; jbts; lping; pastor; streetganginblue; thugswithbadges; unionthugs; wod
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Another FR Thread on this HERE.

1 posted on 09/05/2009 7:35:35 AM PDT by bamahead
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; Allerious; ...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
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2 posted on 09/05/2009 7:36:05 AM PDT by bamahead (Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding. -- B.H. Liddell Hart)
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To: bamahead

I don’t care what they have on a string around their necks, I probably wouldn’t submit to anyone not in uniform.


3 posted on 09/05/2009 7:42:41 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: bamahead
Small town law enforcement:

You don't want Barney, Goober, and Gomer on a "sting" SWAT team.....especially if Andy is out of town.

4 posted on 09/05/2009 7:47:41 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Maybe that’s what this guy thought.


5 posted on 09/05/2009 7:47:52 AM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: capt. norm

Exactly right. Daylight donuts was closed, so they had to go hassle the locals. And they wonder why people today hate cops.


6 posted on 09/05/2009 7:49:51 AM PDT by Concho (Tell all parents to keep their children home from school on Sept 8.)
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To: bamahead

Useless trivia dept: Lavonia Ga. is the hometown of Otto Price, Christian music producer, bassist, most notably with DC Talk during their peak.


7 posted on 09/05/2009 7:50:00 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: bamahead
Cops pissing on the Constitution!!!
8 posted on 09/05/2009 7:50:38 AM PDT by org.whodat (Vote: Chuck De Vore in 2012.)
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To: capt. norm

There is something odd about small towns having undercover SWAT teams.


9 posted on 09/05/2009 7:51:02 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Too many of these incidents gone bad involve non-uniformed officers, unmarked cars etc.


10 posted on 09/05/2009 7:51:28 AM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: bamahead
http://www.ajc.com/video?bcpid=1659825399&bclid=1716449804&bctid=36838592001

From the grainy video...the agents looked like masked men who could easily have been attempting a car jacking.

Also from the video, one of the agents is definiately limping after the Pastor's car backs up and wheels around.

I believe the pastor thought he was being robbed and tried to get away. The agents did not know that he was a pastor and thought he had backed over one of them in an attempt to flee and so opened fire.

RIP Pastor, God keep your soul and comfort your family, your wife and unborn child, your family, friends, and congregation. What a horrible mistake and set of circumstances.

11 posted on 09/05/2009 7:52:03 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: AD from SpringBay
There is something odd about small towns having undercover SWAT teams.

Unless they are armed ONLY with these:

...and even then, there should be some adult supervision and they should have passed a course on the proper use of them.

We don't want one of them injured, complaining "I was cleaning it and it went off by accident".

12 posted on 09/05/2009 8:01:46 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: bamahead

Once police departments were allowed to classify vehicles as “deadly weapons”, they were legally justified in shooting anybody who so much as moves (points) a moving vehicle in their direction. The really scary part is that it seems the modern cop *WANTS* to use deadly force as soon as the standard of plausible justification has been met.That’s why it has become standard procedure to kill a persons dogs during the execution of a search warrant.


13 posted on 09/05/2009 8:02:50 AM PDT by TruthBeforeAll (Honesty is like a knife... Used without love, it can do a lot of harm.)
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To: Cold Heart

When they come running up yelling and pointing guns like a bunch of barbarians how can you know they are cops?


14 posted on 09/05/2009 8:07:52 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
I don’t care what they have on a string around their necks, I probably wouldn’t submit to anyone not in uniform.

If the officers are doing their duty in the 'War on Drugs', they ought to be in uniform.

Gitmo is full of enemy combatants-- who weren't wearing uniforms.

15 posted on 09/05/2009 8:11:46 AM PDT by IncPen (The Liberal's Reward is Self-Disgust)
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To: bamahead

If he was black or Muslim, then there would be race riots!

But since he is a white male Christian, the media will look the other way.


16 posted on 09/05/2009 8:12:57 AM PDT by RatsDawg (At least we don't have to worry about riding in Ted Kennedy's car anymore...)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

“When they come running up yelling and pointing guns like a bunch of barbarians how can you know they are cops?”

Because they are Federally licensed thugs, as compared to the more common freelance thugs.


17 posted on 09/05/2009 8:16:22 AM PDT by RAO1125 (Neoconservatism:Failed. Socialism:Failing (again). Next up: Libertarianism)
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To: bamahead

Seems to me that our country needs a secret society that welds out justice in cases like this, since our justice department is unable or unwilling to deal with it.


18 posted on 09/05/2009 8:17:53 AM PDT by babygene
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To: bamahead

Ok, to be factual I would like to see all reports internal and external from the Police, County Sheriff and State Justice Departments, before I condemn those that shot him then charging them with murder...from what I saw there is no excuse for these officers or anyone that works with them to do what I saw on the tape. This almost looks like an ambush or Car Jacking.

And one more thing regarding, “...striking one officer and causing minor injuries.” Again from what I saw, either these two Stupid Clowns for cops are frig’n morons or a couple of fairies that deserved to be given the death penalty just on the lie of minor injuries...now you mean Officer Escalade was dented when they let the car roll into the street, this is the reason to kill someone.

Further, since when does playing Thugsky and Chump entitle two POS to Shaft someone under the color of law.


19 posted on 09/05/2009 8:18:45 AM PDT by ntmxx (I am not so sure about this misdirection!)
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To: bamahead

And the war on drugs claims another victim


20 posted on 09/05/2009 8:25:11 AM PDT by slumber1
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To: bamahead

Can’t a pastor just hang out and snort coke with his whore in peace anymore?


21 posted on 09/05/2009 8:25:39 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Jeff Head

The police “story” was that the two officer identified themselves and tried to talk to Ayers, and then Ayers fled.

But the video clearly shows that the cops had their guns out before Ayers fled, and that the one cop was running behind his car with a gun drawn before Ayers backed over him.

SO there is no way they were already talking to him BEFORE the confrontation started.


22 posted on 09/05/2009 8:29:34 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: AD from SpringBay

There is something odd about having unmarked cars with non-uniformed police officers assigned the job of questioning people.

First, it leads to accidents like this. Second, what’s the point of being undercover if you supposedly are going to jump out of your car with badges and yelling “police”? That will blow your cover.

They had the guy’s car and license plate, they should have phoned it in an had a marked car pull him over for questioning. Or they could have driven after him and pulled him over with their siren, which would make it more clear they were cops.


23 posted on 09/05/2009 8:33:06 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: babygene

The problem I have with that suggestion is that, while it is horrible what happened to the man, and it was wrong, I’m not sure that the cops acted with malice, that they intended to kill someone without provocation, or that they deserve to die for their error.

IN fact, I doubt the cops had criminal intent here, they just made some bad choices. They probably did think they were in danger. Doesn’t excuse them, but it means they shouldn’t be put to death for their actions.


24 posted on 09/05/2009 8:35:40 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Lancey Howard

I was wondering what he was doing there to begin with. I hope it was outreach but my cynical side is winning this one.


25 posted on 09/05/2009 8:36:14 AM PDT by bethelgrad (Chaplain serving my beloved Marine Corps in Iraq)
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To: Lancey Howard

There is no evidence that this man had anything to do with the woman he gave a ride to. He was a young married man with a pregnant wife.

There isn’t even any evidence given that the woman was actually a criminal — only that the police had interest in her.

It helps to at least try to learn some facts before impugning a dead man’s character.


26 posted on 09/05/2009 8:37:21 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT

I think the cops ID’s the girl in the car and presumed the Pastor had something to do with it...then he backed up (justifiably, IMHO) to try and get away from what he thought were carjackers or thiefs, and they opened fire on him when one of theirs was bumped, or had his foot run over by the car.


27 posted on 09/05/2009 8:38:05 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
Yea, when you watch these SWAT training exercises on TV, they all come running in the room, yelling & screaming unintelligible mumbo-jumbo after smashing the door down.

I would describe myself as “law & order”, but these SWAT tactics need to be seriously examined. If these guys want to play assault troops, then they should enlist and head to Afghanistan.

In this instance, who would be likely to assume that armed men jumping out of an Escalade would be police? In an Escalade? Yea, right. Who usually drives Escalades?

28 posted on 09/05/2009 8:39:07 AM PDT by BwanaNdege
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To: All

Since all cops are evil and and presumed guilty,I suppose it is absurd to suggest that someone transporting a coke dealer and who goes to such links to evade capture might in fact be the guilty party.

The logic expressed on this thread seems to be- if anyone tries to arrest you, if they claim to be police run then down or shoot them because they are probably not; if they show you badges run them down or shoot them because the badges are probably fake. Why stop there, the uniforms can be fakes, patrol cars could be props, maybe its not even a real police station.

What really confuses me is that I love the FreeRepublic and its posters, I find the site to be a beacon and refuge of rationality,facts and common sense on an internet full of BS, except when it comes to police arrests or raids gone bad and then FR seams to morph into a paranoid anti-law enforcement rants, every encounter between police and citizens is immediately seen as another “Ruby Ridge”.
It may turn out to be as you all speculate, a case of gross police misconduct, but at the moment you have not anything like sufficient evidence to support that conclusion.


29 posted on 09/05/2009 8:40:03 AM PDT by Jonah Johansen ("Coming soon to a neighborhood near you")
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To: Lancey Howard

“Can’t a pastor just hang out and snort coke with his whore in peace anymore?”

I am in awe of your perception and wit.


30 posted on 09/05/2009 8:42:53 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Never were abilities so much below mediocrity so well rewarded - John Randolph)
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To: slumber1

His wife was 16 weeks pregnant. I hate cops more and more everyday.


31 posted on 09/05/2009 8:43:10 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (Evil-Mongering Angry Mobster)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...
...drug enforcement agents were not investigating Ayers, but a woman who was riding in his car whom he had dropped off moments earlier... the officers... were in plain clothes, but... wore badges around their necks and identified themselves as police when they asked him to open his car door. Instead, they say, Ayers put the car in reverse and fled, striking one officer and causing minor injuries.
IOW, Obama will be calling them, and everyone else in the dep't, stupid, very soon now.
32 posted on 09/05/2009 8:43:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Lancey Howard

FULH.


33 posted on 09/05/2009 8:43:59 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (Evil-Mongering Angry Mobster)
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To: babygene

The problem in this country is TOO MANY secret societies running things.


34 posted on 09/05/2009 8:50:02 AM PDT by RAO1125 (Neoconservatism:Failed. Socialism:Failing (again). Next up: Libertarianism)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: bamahead

The pastor is just more collateral damage in the war on drugs.


36 posted on 09/05/2009 8:57:56 AM PDT by SUSSA
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To: Jeff Head
The cops could have taken him into custody while he was walking into or out of the store. They didn't have to wait until he was in his car and exiting the parking lot. I might have reacted the same way if two guys jumped out of an Escalade pointing guns at me and screaming. Is this the proper way to approach an innocent citizen you just want to ask questions?
37 posted on 09/05/2009 9:00:06 AM PDT by peeps36 (Democrats Don't Need No Stinking Input From You Little People)
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To: bethelgrad

“I was wondering what he was doing there to begin with. I hope it was outreach but my cynical side is winning this one.”

He was at a gas station in a town of less than 2000 residents, what do you consider suspicious about that?


38 posted on 09/05/2009 9:02:50 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Never were abilities so much below mediocrity so well rewarded - John Randolph)
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To: Lancey Howard
Can’t a pastor just hang out and snort coke with his whore in peace anymore?

Good question...& he deserves to get shot for that alone. Next story, move along!

39 posted on 09/05/2009 9:05:40 AM PDT by ChrisInAR (The Tenth Amendment is still the Supreme Law of the Land, folks -- start enforcing it for a CHANGE!)
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To: bamahead
Don't forget that there is an certain pic that proves its usefulness once again thanx to this story:


40 posted on 09/05/2009 9:14:44 AM PDT by ChrisInAR (The Tenth Amendment is still the Supreme Law of the Land, folks -- start enforcing it for a CHANGE!)
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To: Lancey Howard

In before the LOL.


41 posted on 09/05/2009 9:16:26 AM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: BwanaNdege; Squantos; Travis McGee
who would be likely to assume that armed men jumping out of an Escalade would be police

I would lay good money that men with guns jumping out of an Escalade didn't have my best interests at heart.

Why didn't they pick up the woman when got out of the car?

Did they call in the car plates to see who was the driver?

Why wait for him to get in car?

42 posted on 09/05/2009 9:20:56 AM PDT by razorback-bert (We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.)
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To: Jonah Johansen

“I suppose it is absurd to suggest that someone transporting a coke dealer and who goes to such links to evade capture might in fact be the guilty party”

Yet your logic is impeccable, the evidence that the pastor is guilty (he knew his passenger was a drug dealer and that the people confronting him were police, not armed assailants) is irrefutable.


43 posted on 09/05/2009 9:21:12 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Never were abilities so much below mediocrity so well rewarded - John Randolph)
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To: SUSSA

“The pastor is just more collateral damage in the war on drugs.”

The most insidious part of the war on drugs is the transfer of assets to police agencies (cash is often confiscated with no charges filled), wonder where that Cadilac Escalade came from. Many police departments are beginning to behave like gangs and I sometimes wonder if all of the cop shows actually influence their behavior.


44 posted on 09/05/2009 9:33:55 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Never were abilities so much below mediocrity so well rewarded - John Randolph)
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To: Jonah Johansen
Since all cops are evil and and presumed guilty,I suppose it is absurd to suggest that someone transporting a coke dealer and who goes to such links to evade capture might in fact be the guilty party.

1)Since they had gone to the trouble of identifying the woman with the pastor as a "coke dealer", how much harder could it have been to identify a small town pastor when you have access to his vehicle's license tag number?

2)How did they know that he knew her to be a coke dealer?

Woe be it to our society when someone is held to account for the transgressions of any stranded motorist or hitchhiker they offer assistance to.

3)"Links" to evade capture?

So let me get this straight... If immediately after using an ATM, two guys in civilian clothes jump out of a vehicle that can best be described as the "thug vehicle of choice" and start running towards me with weapons drawn, I should hang around and submit to whatever they demand because they just MIGHT be cops?

Strange, but on nearly every thread of this nature, we are treated to a lecture by some bootlicker on how we should consider how cops, TRAINED cops, are required to make split second judgment calls in life or death situations. Now, a young, small town PREACHER who is completely oblivious to any danger is supposed to react in a split second to being surprised by multiple armed attackers without resorting to the "fight or flight" instinct?

Now we hold unarmed preachers to a higher standard than trained, armed police officers?

Amazing.

45 posted on 09/05/2009 9:43:55 AM PDT by PalmettoMason ("an empty limousine pulled up in front of the White House, and Barack Obama got out")
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To: bamahead
When the victim was being treated before he died, he was asking who shot him. He did know they were cops.

Why did the cops have to shoot him to get him to stop, when they could easily followed him and stopped him later with a marked cop car?

I disagree that the cop life was in danger after watching the video. This is a made-up excuse by the cop to justify your shooting the guy dead! And to save your a$$!

46 posted on 09/05/2009 9:48:35 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide
He did know they were cops = He did not know they were cops.
47 posted on 09/05/2009 9:52:33 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: CharlesWayneCT

“IN fact, I doubt the cops had criminal intent here, they just made some bad choices. They probably did think they were in danger. Doesn’t excuse them, but it means they shouldn’t be put to death for their actions.”

First of all, Intent has nothing to do with it, just as it wouldn’t if you “made a mistake” and shot someone.

Second, I didn’t suggest anyone should be “put to death”.


48 posted on 09/05/2009 9:58:16 AM PDT by babygene
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To: Concho
And they wonder why people today hate cops.

It used to be that a police officer was an honorable profession.

These days, they're not far removed from the thugs they're supposed to be arresting.

49 posted on 09/05/2009 10:02:35 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: bamahead

New preacher.


50 posted on 09/05/2009 10:11:33 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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