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Georgia Pastor, Father-to-Be Killed in Drug Sting
Fox News/AP ^ | September 4, 2009 | N/A

Posted on 09/04/2009 3:13:57 AM PDT by thecabal

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.

Bankhead said agents approached Ayers after he dropped a woman off at a store in downtown Toccoa, which is about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta. The passenger was the person being investigated by the task force.

A grainy surveillance video from a nearby store shows two drug task-force agents emerge from a black SUV before Ayers' small car backs up. The two men fire into the passenger side of Ayers' car, and then it takes off with the agents running behind it, the video posted on WNEG-TV in Toccoa shows. The station owner would not release the video to The Associated Press.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ayers; donutwatch; georgia; jbt; jbts; pastor; streetganginblue; thugswithbadges; wod
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So were the drug cops in uniform? I would be trying to get away from a couple of guys jumping out of a black SUV wielding guns, if they weren't recognizable as cops. Sounds real fishy.
1 posted on 09/04/2009 3:13:57 AM PDT by thecabal
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To: thecabal

Sounds like an awful stiff price to pay for dropping a suspected druggie off at a store - didn’t know it carried the death penalty.


2 posted on 09/04/2009 3:17:37 AM PDT by WorkerbeeCitizen (The only time I want a Republican reaching across the aisle is to smack a liberal.)
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To: thecabal
resisted efforts to question him

Worthy of the death penalty? I would say no. As a person who has a CCW I must justify every defensive action I take with a gun. Wonder how it would be if these same rules were applied to law enforcement?
3 posted on 09/04/2009 3:19:12 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (If guns cause crime, then all of mine are defective!)
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To: thecabal

4 posted on 09/04/2009 3:26:10 AM PDT by WVKayaker (Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C Clarke)
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To: Red in Blue PA
"As a person who has a CCW I must justify every defensive action I take with a gun. Wonder how it would be if these same rules were applied to law enforcement?"

Is it your view:

That this incident is over?

That the officers can just file their reports and go home and that they don't have to justify their actions?

That there won't be a criminal investigation, lawsuits, and depositions stretching out for years?

5 posted on 09/04/2009 3:33:32 AM PDT by Enterprise (When they come for your guns and ammo, give them the ammo first.)
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To: thecabal

From what I have heard here locally, they were not in uniform. That got me wondering as well. But, the woman that was with this guy, and their connections, is not at all clear. There may be a whole lot more to this story.


6 posted on 09/04/2009 3:36:59 AM PDT by doodad
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To: doodad
There may be a whole lot more to this story.

Of that, I am certain.

7 posted on 09/04/2009 3:38:23 AM PDT by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: thecabal
him about a passenger in his car who was the target of a drug sting, authorities said.

A "drug sting" and no drugs were found? Yea right.

8 posted on 09/04/2009 3:51:24 AM PDT by sausageseller (http://coolblue.typepad.com/the_cool_blue_blog/)
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To: thecabal

A grainy surveillance video from a nearby store shows two drug task-force agents emerge from a black SUV before Ayers’ small car backs up.

Before the car backs up?
The first part of the story is they shot him because he backed intoone trying todrive away.
If the viseo does show them firing before the car started to move these guys are toast..


9 posted on 09/04/2009 4:04:58 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Proud to have made Communist Leader Obama's hit list at flag@whitehouse.gov)
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To: thecabal

This does sound fishy to me as well. There is every reason to consider that this pastor was helping the woman and when confronted by plainclothes men wielding handguns, he might have become afraid and ran. The gas station owner told Fox News Atlanta that he had no idea that the men were police. However, you just never know. It is a story worth following, although it may be one that is never followed up on.


10 posted on 09/04/2009 4:06:18 AM PDT by sueuprising
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To: Enterprise
"That this incident is over?"
for the priest it is.....
11 posted on 09/04/2009 4:15:34 AM PDT by joe fonebone (When you ask God for help, sometimes he sends the Marines.)
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To: thecabal

When I first saw the video I thought the bad guys were in the Avalanche / Escalade. I don’t blame the kid for running.


12 posted on 09/04/2009 4:17:01 AM PDT by naturalized
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To: thecabal
Plainclothes officers

They weren't in uniform.

This man was murdered in broad daylight for attempting to escape from two strange men with guns.

13 posted on 09/04/2009 4:29:15 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: agere_contra

Nothing new. Nothing new at all. And not the last time either. So it goes.


14 posted on 09/04/2009 4:42:58 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: thecabal
So were the drug cops in uniform? I would be trying to get away from a couple of guys jumping out of a black SUV wielding guns, if they weren't recognizable as cops. Sounds real fishy.

I agree.

15 posted on 09/04/2009 4:49:23 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: thecabal

A link to the video might help a few posters (but of course, the usual crowd can make up their minds without video OR reading the story:

http://www.ajc.com/video?bcpid=1659825399&bclid=1716449804&bctid=36838592001


16 posted on 09/04/2009 5:00:03 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: PAR35

From what I could see of the video it did appear that he hit one of the plain clothes cops as he was backing up.

The question remains though, is why the cop was behind the car in the first place.


17 posted on 09/04/2009 5:19:40 AM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: thecabal
Yes sir + No sir = alive, unbeaten, unarrested.

I don't care how wrong the cop on the street is, I'm going to take it up (alive, unbeaten, maybe unarrested) with his boss, after the fact.

18 posted on 09/04/2009 5:22:15 AM PDT by Feckless (The oath I took said "...all enemies, foreign and domestic".)
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To: PAR35

Thanks for the link. Those guys are toast...............


19 posted on 09/04/2009 5:22:32 AM PDT by Red Badger (The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money...M. Thatcher)
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To: Bigh4u2

It appears they were firing BEFORE that “hit”............


20 posted on 09/04/2009 5:23:16 AM PDT by Red Badger (The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples' money...M. Thatcher)
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To: Feckless

Two guys in street clothes, with guns, jump out of a vehicle and come at you and you’d assume they were cops?


21 posted on 09/04/2009 5:32:26 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: WorkerbeeCitizen

It’s sad that a good man had to die - but it’s dangerous to hang out with drug addicts and criminals. Even for men of the cloth...


22 posted on 09/04/2009 5:34:21 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." - - Adam Smith)
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To: WorkerbeeCitizen
I believe it was trying to drive off and striking one of the officers with his car that carried the death sentence.

Maybe the person of interest was just a gay masseuse with meth amphetamines and he was just going to throw it away. ;)

23 posted on 09/04/2009 5:34:50 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be redistributed?)
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To: Red Badger

I didn’t see it all that clearly.

You may be right. I’ll check it again.


24 posted on 09/04/2009 5:37:14 AM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Red in Blue PA

This is a really bad situation. The whole thing was caught on security cameras. If understand correctly the victim NEVER made a threatening gesture of any sort. He was backing away when shot.

Some cops are probably going to jail for a long, long time.


25 posted on 09/04/2009 5:47:07 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
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To: thecabal

Better reporting including a video of the shooting of the pastor (left) HERE.

A northeast Georgia pastor has died after being shot by agents from a multi-county drug task force.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead said 28-year-old Jonathan Paul Ayers, pastor of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia, was not the target of the sting operation but a woman in his car was under investigation.

The shooting occurred after Ayers dropped the woman off at a store in downtown Toccoa Tuesday afternoon.

Bankhead said agents approached Ayers for questioning but the pastor tried to avoid them, putting his car in reverse before he struck one of the agents.

Bankhead said an agent shot at the car and Ayers suffered a gunshot wound to the torso. The cause of his death was pending the results of an autopsy.

The woman was charged with cocaine possession and distribution.

Ayers’ brother-in-law Matt Carpenter talked with News Channel 7’s coverage partners at the “Independent Mail’ and said the pastor had nothing to do with drugs.

“Any question of his character, particularly involving something like drugs, is just ridiculous,” he said. Ayers’ wife is 4 months pregnant with their first child.

The ‘Independent Mail’ also published Ayers’ last blog entry. Before his last blog entry, Ayers had posted a two-part article on “Ten Things I Can’t Believe.”

His list began with this entry: “I can’t believe that Jesus would choose me. I never deserved it! I can’t believe that He would love me and want me!”

The list included this entry:

“I can’t believe that I am going to (be) a dad. … I want to apologize to the whole world because this kids going to be one messed up, Jesus loving, church going, Georgia fan if there has ever been one. I pray and hope that is at least for the first two things!”

Ayers’ funeral is planned for 2 p.m. Friday at Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia. Strickland Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. To read more on this story, click here.

26 posted on 09/04/2009 5:51:43 AM PDT by Zakeet (I get wee-wee'd over ObamaCare)
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To: GOPJ

Someone should have informed Jesus about that.


27 posted on 09/04/2009 5:59:44 AM PDT by Politicalmom (Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -- James Madison)
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To: thecabal
After watching the video, I will bet anything that the young man thought he was being carjacked!
28 posted on 09/04/2009 6:01:49 AM PDT by Niteranger68 (Barack Obama - The wrong man, at the wrong time, for the wrong country.)
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To: Niteranger68

I just viewed the video . . this is murder by the police, who were not in uniform.

Bloody, stinking, murder.


29 posted on 09/04/2009 6:03:23 AM PDT by steven33442
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To: Feckless

those two cops look like thugs....jumping out in street clothes holding guns? I’d run too....who wants to stay and get shot?


30 posted on 09/04/2009 6:05:50 AM PDT by tioga
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To: Zakeet

When the paramedics were treating him at the scene, he was asking who it was that had shot him? He had no idea it was cops.


31 posted on 09/04/2009 6:08:27 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: GOPJ

I watched it several times. It was hard to make out the exact sequence of events. I am not ready to pass judgment on either one at this time.

It will be interesting to follow the story.


32 posted on 09/04/2009 6:09:10 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights (Green will NEVER be the color of 9/11.)
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To: thecabal
Ga. pastor shot, killed by undercover police

Ayers used an ATM at a Shell convenience store around 2:30 p.m. and the officers, who were in plain clothes, jumped out of a moving vehicle as Ayers was backing out of the parking lot.

33 posted on 09/04/2009 6:20:03 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: Protect the Bill of Rights
Family, store owner wonder if preacher knew the men who shot him were officers

Before he died Wednesday, with bullet wounds to his liver, pastor Jonathan Ayers asked paramedics who shot him.

“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.”

The store owner, Joe Joseph, said he didn’t know the agents were law enforcement officers and it looked like they were firing at each other.

34 posted on 09/04/2009 6:28:03 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: thecabal

Jonathan Paul Ayers, 28, and his wife, Abby,

35 posted on 09/04/2009 6:34:33 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: Feckless
I don't care how wrong the cop on the street is, I'm going to take it up (alive, unbeaten, maybe unarrested) with his boss, after the fact.

Until I'm fully aware and clearly certain the individual in plain clothes and weilding a gun is an officer of the law, all bets are off.

36 posted on 09/04/2009 6:36:51 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (The townhalls were going great until the oPods showed up.)
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To: thecabal

More info here: http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/090409/new_489412755.shtml


37 posted on 09/04/2009 6:37:55 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: GOPJ

Amazing Jesus lived as long as he did, what with the company he kept.


38 posted on 09/04/2009 6:46:38 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: All
6 weeks ago, in Albuquerque, NM, I had a gas station incident.

We filled up and then, when I started the car I had no guages ( all electronic). I pulled into the farthest bay and opened the hood to check fuses and connections.......my mistake.

I wound up, blocking myself from the store front. A old chevy van pulled in, the driver went inside.

The passenger yells at me that he wants a "dollar' for gas, who borrows a dollar for gas.

I told him I had my own problems today and could not spare anything., This guy says "That cadillac has made you a smart ass, we will take what you have."

I slam the fuse box & hood back down and head for the drivers seat, my wife is in the store so I am going to go get her.

Both of my dogs a mean old dalmation / grey hound and a bull dog that loves everyone popped out of the window and stopped this guy.

When I slammed the fuse box down it sparked and reconnected everything, I got my wife in the car and headed down the road..........the one thing I wanted was space.

My point is I can understand why some one would bug out of a gas station.

39 posted on 09/04/2009 6:56:39 AM PDT by Kakaze (Exterminate Islamofacism and apologize for nothing.....except not doing it sooner!)
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To: Wolfie
Sorry - but Jesus wasn't a "soft touch" for lowlifes.

He brought them up - he didn't hang with them in dens of iniquity. That said, ministers assist those who seek salvation. As they should.

But, do you think that's what these drug addicts were doing at the time of this death?

40 posted on 09/04/2009 7:02:30 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." - - Adam Smith)
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To: Politicalmom; Wolfie

Robin of Berkeley: ... So the Left detests us because,

We unveil everything they're hiding from, all the cold, cruel facts of life that render them helpless: that in the grand scheme of things, human beings are quite small; that none of us can or should play God; and that there are consequences for cruel or evil behavior.

And perhaps most of all, we trigger in their memory banks those excruciatingly vulnerable moments when the bubble burst, the truth broke through, and they were forced to look reality squarely in the face....

The 'minister' was not God... he needs to deal with evil in a rational setting.

41 posted on 09/04/2009 7:09:30 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." - - Adam Smith)
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To: GOPJ

Uh, what?

Are you calling the pastor a drug addict? He was dropping a woman off somewhere. Hardly sounds like a reason for execution by cop.


42 posted on 09/04/2009 7:14:19 AM PDT by Politicalmom (Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -- James Madison)
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To: GOPJ

What is the matter with you? There is no evidence he knew anything about drugs being involved, if he did, maybe he was trying to help the woman. Maybe someone just asked him to give her a ride. Maybe she attended a church event, and had no way to get home.

He sounds like a wonderful man, from his own writings. You may think he’s stupid, but I doubt that the Lord has the same opinion.


43 posted on 09/04/2009 7:16:58 AM PDT by Politicalmom (Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -- James Madison)
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To: thecabal
This looks like manslaughter - or at the least, criminally negligent homicide. Nobody (including the dead man) knew two threatening guys in civilian clothes with guns drawn and running toward an innocent man in his car were cops.

Trying to escape is a natural reaction in this situation. Alternatively, if the pastor had a CCW and drawn a weapon in fear for his life, he would have been shot down like a mad dog.

These idiot cops should never had been issued weapons. They should have stayed home watching COPS shows imagining they were real cops!

44 posted on 09/04/2009 7:32:29 AM PDT by Gritty (With Obama, we've crossed the line from civil politics to civil war disguised as politics-Alan Keyes)
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To: thecabal

Condolences to this pastor’s family and congregation. I see no clear justification for this public execution of a citizen by plainclothes police.


45 posted on 09/04/2009 8:42:55 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: DJ MacWoW

Windows up means the A/C was on. I do not doubt he may not have heard.

I have watched the video frame by frame and I have a couple of questions. My questions are not meant to cast doubt on the actions of the cops. These are the situations that I try not to make a judgement one way or another because I fear tarnishing the reputation of anyone unfairly.

If I am reading it correctly, he dropped the woman off and went to the Shell station and used an ATM. I am wondering why they did not simply follow him and pull him using flashing lights. Was there any backup in the area?

Did they run his plates? If he was the registered owner of the vhicle, did they run a record check?

A couple of versions:


Sheriff Randy Shirley said that officers had been involved in an undercover drug sting at an unnamed establishment in Toccoa. He said the target of the sting was a passenger in Ayers’ car. Shirley said Ayers dropped the woman off and went to the Shell station. He said the officers followed Ayers there
(http://www.wyff4.com/news/20690809/detail.html)

and

The agents were assigned to a task force that investigates drug cases in Stephens, Habersham and Rabun Counties. Ayers caught their attention because he was with a woman who twice sold drugs to the officers, said Bankhead.

“What they saw was indicative of drug transaction,” Bankhead said. “They didn’t know the guy. They followed him to the convenience store and tried to arrest him.”
(http://www.ajc.com/news/family-130662.html)


It’s going to be interesting to follow.


46 posted on 09/04/2009 10:13:54 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights (Green will NEVER be the color of 9/11.)
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To: thecabal

It occurs to me that at some point officers involved in the “DRUG WAR” would ask themselves if it is justifiable to shoot and kill someone “not under investigation” after approaching him in plainclothes in an unmarked SUV at a gas station.

Perhaps they might consider a less dramatic and dangerous way of approaching people, like when they are walking out of the store, or after they have driven onto the road, and doing a felony stop. At least in this methods the victim would have been aware that it was cops after him and not just two thugs and a black SUV.

But hey, if “getting drugs off the streets” is more important than the life of a 28 year old pastor and father-to-be, then these “cops” behaved according to plan.


47 posted on 09/04/2009 11:12:33 AM PDT by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Enterprise
“That the officers can just file their reports and go home and that they don't have to justify their actions?”

Yeah. That's how it is. Cops get away with murder all the time.

48 posted on 09/04/2009 11:39:19 AM PDT by monday
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To: Feckless
“Yes sir + No sir = alive, unbeaten, unarrested. “

These guys were in plain clothes. How would you know they were cops? Could have been car jackers or kidnapers in which case your advice could very well leave you dead.

49 posted on 09/04/2009 11:47:53 AM PDT by monday
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To: monday
"Cops get away with murder all the time."

I know of a cop who is doing 25 years for murder. It was one of those times a cop didn't get away with it.

50 posted on 09/04/2009 12:11:24 PM PDT by Enterprise (When they come for your guns and ammo, give them the ammo first.)
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