Where do you stand?

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It's time for Augustans to choose sides when it comes to crime.

When the shooting of an alleged drug dealer in a stolen SUV that is ramming police cars and driving at officers sparks a near riot, as it did Sunday evening, something is drastically wrong.

And it's not with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The 30, and perhaps up to 50, officers who responded to the rock-and-bottle-throwing crowd at the Cherry Tree Crossing housing project Sunday showed unbelievable restraint. The crowd's insults and projectiles were returned by the deputies with stoicism and professionalism and a patience the crowd neither deserved nor perhaps expected. Despite the fact that the bottles and rocks endangered the officers.

Thank the heavens none of them was hurt.

According to Sheriff Ronnie Strength, video evidence will show that the stolen SUV believed to be toting drugs and weapons was sandwiched by two patrol cars before the officer in front exited his vehicle. The SUV drove backward into the other patrol car, endangering the officer there, then drove at the officer in front, who fired through the car's windshield and, when the car drove at him, through the passenger window as he jumped to avoid being hit. Suspect Justin Leonard Elmore, 23 was gravely wounded.

Instead of thanking the officers for cleaning up the streets and making things safer in the housing project, or expressing concern for the officers' well-being, an angry crowd of 200 or more confronted officers and tried to injure them for their trouble.

Something is seriously wrong.

If some folks think it's OK to run drugs or guns in stolen cars up and down the streets, that's their problem. The rest of us aren't going to put up with it. And rather than hurling rocks and brickbats at the Richmond County deputies for doing a dangerous job and handling themselves with dignity under duress, we should all be thanking Sheriff Strength's men and women today.

This knee-jerk reaction that says police are always wrong and every ne'er-do-well who runs afoul of them is an innocent who's had his civil rights violated just won't play anymore. And it's going to create an unlivable city if it's allowed to continue.

You can't say "knee-jerk" without saying "jerk." And there were some big-time jerks fighting against law and order Sunday evening in Augusta.

We stand with the men and women who are risking their health, safety and lives trying to take back the night and clean up the streets and protect our children from the destructive pollution of illegal narcotics and guns.

Where do you stand?

Comments (102) Add comment
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Eaglewing
0
Points
Eaglewing 12/16/08 - 02:40 am
0
0
I agree with the writer. It

I agree with the writer. It is a sad commentary on the times when law and order is no longer tolerated by the citizens of the community. I to applaud the professionalism displayed by the RCSD. It is time that we as citzens take back the streets and nieghborhoods from those who terrorize and have us live in fear.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 12/16/08 - 03:37 am
0
0
Those who imply that a

Those who imply that a majority of the residents of Cherry Tree Crossing stood literally and figuratively with the small number of thugs who set fires, threw projectiles and fired shots during the recent troubles there paint with a brush broadened by an ignorance of the size of that resident population and the fear inhabiting the hearts of the men, women and children who comprise it.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 12/16/08 - 05:45 am
0
0
I would agree with Craig.

I would agree with Craig. However, a strong stand must be taken against those living in free housing provided by tax payers for such disrespect for the laws of our area and those sworn to protect and enforce them. This commuinty owes the officers and the entire Sheriff's Office an open apology to the media and the preachers and all of the other law abiding citizens and community activists need to agressively and verbally show their support for ridding the community of criminals who would outwardly challange and endanger those who are paid to protect and serve.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 12/16/08 - 06:30 am
0
0
I say build a barb wire fence

I say build a barb wire fence around the place and let them go at each other. If they want to live among drugs and violence, let them, just keep it contained in their little ghetto world.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 12/16/08 - 06:44 am
0
0
Hill:Just stay on the hill

Hill:Just stay on the hill and ignore the rest of the world. On the video it looked like most folks were just rubbernecking (as most folks seem to do). When shots rang out they ran to their homes. You can't judge a whole group of people by the actions of a few.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 12/16/08 - 06:53 am
0
0
Having watched the video of

Having watched the video of the crowd, it would seem appropriate to have Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto" as background music.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/16/08 - 07:00 am
0
0
Interview, blood test and

Interview, blood test and fingerprint each person receiving government subsidy. Separate the law abiding from the ner-do-wells and protect the "innocent". The trouble will be in a more confined space and the other subsidized won't be in nearly as much danger. (the same number will be subsidized)

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 12/16/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
Think about how many of the

Think about how many of the children from Cherry Tree (and other housing projects) are attending our public schools. God bless these kids, but many of them bring their lack of civility into the halls of our schools. Generational poverty must be illeviated and education must prevail. I'm willing to participate rather than condemn; however, it's going to take strong leadership to accomplish this awesome task.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9167
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/16/08 - 07:18 am
0
0
Use the video to identify the

Use the video to identify the bottle and brick throwers and lock them up with the rest of the saggy pants losers!

shivas
2
Points
shivas 12/16/08 - 08:03 am
0
0
Now that's an awful brave

Now that's an awful brave stance AC. It's like saying we support feeding children. This response by certain individuals is not appropriate, but certainly not the riot that the AC wishes would have occurred. It shows me we have come a long way.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 12/16/08 - 08:26 am
0
0
Just think your tax dollars

Just think your tax dollars go and support these low lifes with no respect for the law. One could assume they support crime rather than law enforcement. If they have video can they now arrest those in the crowd who hurled bottles with the identification. No that won't happen. But if the police were to invade the site in protest then all hell would break lose-double standard. I guess it is like illegal immigration-the laws don't matter.

Riverman1
86972
Points
Riverman1 12/16/08 - 08:26 am
0
0
I in no way condone the

I in no way condone the rioting and am not accusing these officers of anything. They both have excellent records, but it does bring to mind the Alfaigo Davis shooting. Deputies Nicholas Capobianco and Gary Clark Jr. who killed Davis had extensive discplinary actions against them before that shooting. They both later left the department. Capobianco later shot another officer accidentally and after being released from the department took a squad car joy riding with kids in it. His later conduct brings into question anything he said about the Davis shooting. This is one of the reasons the crowd doesn't trust the police account of what happened this time.

justus4
105
Points
justus4 12/16/08 - 08:36 am
0
0
The Chronicle's Staff is not
Unpublished

The Chronicle's Staff is not credible on matters of race and neither is law enforcement. The story is that an American citizen was shot and killed by the police without being given a trial. EXAMPLE: Let's say these events happened to a white woman because she backed her vehicle in the general direction of a police officer and a minority officer shot her. The all-white media would approach the story a bit different. They would start with the Constitition, then get her family on national TV, then research the officer's file (especially if a minority) then use police department errors to gain a legal advantage, and ultimately make the white victim, a real victim. In this case, because he is a brotha, his rap sheet is important to whites (they need false justification) and previous arrest are critical to sounding more dangerous. Well, if "we" look at the rap sheet on this country and its treatment of minorities, our government has failed miserably and these events demonstrates why many believe that not much has changed. When such events happen to a caucasain, by a minority officer, and the all-white media & all-white community act similarly, nothing really have cahnged.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 12/16/08 - 08:47 am
0
0
If we as citizens are

If we as citizens are expected to take a stand so are our police, courts and media. We need the support of at least these three agencies to take this stand & reclaim the night. If we call to report a crime the police must follow up, the courts must render harsh sentences to the repeat offenders, and the media must forget any liberal bias & forget all this bs about poor Johnny wasn't given the same opportunities as the rest of us. The next thing to occur is these criminals must be ostracised from any type og government assistance. If caught living with someone who receives government assistance a 2nd time, that person looses all assistance. Crime should not pay. Then jails must be viewed differently and prisoners should be made to work to pay restitution for their crimes, free attorneys, incurred medical expenses & court costs. Coddling them has not worked.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 12/16/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
justus4 just take the time

justus4 just take the time for once in your minimal usage of your mental status to understand that this is not about race but about a criminal who was trying his level best to harm or kill a police officer...Run along now and let's see if you can possibly think for one minute without racial "crap" oozing from every pore of you little body...

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 12/16/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
You definitely have brain

You definitely have brain damage justus or are just the most racist human being on earth. There are constitutional venues of protest but violent rioting isn't it. I gather you support this criminal activity and feel it justified. Your comments support you are an unethical criminal thug-and a racist.

JesusIsComing
2
Points
JesusIsComing 12/16/08 - 08:52 am
0
0
My son was among the police

My son was among the police called to quell this mob. When police and firemen are shot at or have bottles thrown at them for simply doing their job it is a problem. How quickly will these heroes respond when a true emergency happens in this neighborhood? Their response times will be slowed by the precautions they will have to take and the same people who threw the bottles and shot their weapons will be complaining because they did not get the same response as a "white" neighborhood would get.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 12/16/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
And folks like justus will be

And folks like justus will be the first to benefit from these harsher policies but he will contine to cry foul against the white man. Just another example of how we have to drag some folks every inch of the way to a better life. How sad!

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 12/16/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
Being a sorry, unethical,

Being a sorry, unethical, lazy, useless individual with a penchant for anarchy has nothing to do with race-it is all about "character". Which obviously these people have none.

Lobosolo
5
Points
Lobosolo 12/16/08 - 09:04 am
0
0
How Orwellian, PT. Let's put

How Orwellian, PT. Let's put all the nuisance subsidy takers on the same. We'll line up the oil people, and agribusiness, now we can throw in the bankers and insurance sharks, maybe the auto guys, too. You won't have to look to hard to find some real criminals amongst them. Man, you like to generalize and stereotype, don't you? I believe you've pulled even with your contemporary P-Christian134 in the judgment department. Have you EVER walked in someone else's shoes?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 12/16/08 - 09:10 am
0
0
I think we need to build

I think we need to build these slums on the edge of the county and make them self policing. It is avaliable for all people to live there temporarily but if you live there it is at your own risk. That way they people living there wouldn't have to worry about police brutality and the citizens would get a true TEMPORARY housing project that is removed from civilized society and the people living there would surely want to get out.

Riverman1
86972
Points
Riverman1 12/16/08 - 09:13 am
0
0
Question, Sheriff Strength

Question, Sheriff Strength put out lots of info at the news conference yesterday, but he said he didn't know if Officer Hodge, the black officer, had fired or not. Strenght doesn't even know that? Is it possible that Hodge did not see the threat as Ortiz did and did not think it necessary to kill the man? Something is not right with Strength saying he doesn't know if Hodge fired.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/16/08 - 09:26 am
0
0
Great comparison lobosolo,

Great comparison lobosolo, subsidy people and people earning their own way because of personal effort and responsibility. All I'm saying, if the subsidized are feeding at the government trough, they should have to toe the line. Narrow parameters make the subsidy less attractive. It also makes it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff. Have I ever tried being a government subsidized? No. Would that make me more of a person in your eyes? Would that seem like one of my goals?

Tujeez
0
Points
Tujeez 12/16/08 - 09:40 am
0
0
A half a dozoen grenade

A half a dozoen grenade simulators would have EASILY dispersed that crowd. If they return, drop a few mortars into the mix. Militants obviously only understand military tactics. These people think that no matter what they do, they are entitled to be handled with kid gloves. Society has enough problems without letting these Free loading procreators suck up all of its resources. I guess Elmore was the local kingpin turned Ghetto Santa Claus, too bad, get your trinkets elsewhere. Guess his girlfriend will have to get a new Sugar Pappa. So much for the Pedi's and Mani's and new hairdos. Now she know what the rest of the hood live like. It's all good. The new kid is probably already on the block consoling the poor distraught junkies. The Government should mandate that all forties be made in aluminum cans, it's alot harder to throw them very far. Less chance of broken glass cutting someones foot. The Black Panthers is a Militant Organization, like Al-Qaida, both should recieve Terrorist designation and be met with the same military resistance. Send the seal teams in with Snipers to eliminate the Terrorist Threat. No Survivors and No Prisoners, we don't need another GITMO.

Tujeez
0
Points
Tujeez 12/16/08 - 09:45 am
0
0
Riverman1, If Hodge was in

Riverman1, If Hodge was in his vecicle, then he had a line of defense between himself and the SUV, so he would have viewed the threat differently. If he were in a position to have hit Ortiz with friendly fire, then he would have held fire. Ortiz was on foot, the SUV put his life in jeopardy coming at him, he fired appropriately.

Lobosolo
5
Points
Lobosolo 12/16/08 - 09:51 am
0
0
Personal effort and

Personal effort and responsibility from the one's I mentioned? That's a good one! What might make you a better person in anyone's eyes would be you opening your own. It will be hard to overcome the self-righteousness and smug-ridden personna, but stranger things have happened. All of you bottom-feeders are so satisfied with yourselves. You pass judgment on things you know nothing of personally. Get outside a little, PT, and take P-Christian with you. Open up your eyes and take in life from a different point of view. You seem to have more intelligence than most of the knuckle-draggers that live on these posts. You REALLY would be a better person for it.

curly123053
4962
Points
curly123053 12/16/08 - 09:53 am
0
0
Thank God I do not live in

Thank God I do not live in Augusta-Richmond County ! It seems that everything good and or bad that happens is caused by race. To me what happened at these apartments had nothing to do with black vs. white, but about wrong vs. right.
If this is the mentality of the people of the county you don't ever have to worry about me moving there. If the law abiding citizens of Richmond County outnumber the hoodlums it is time they spoke up in support of right over wrong.

palomino9
0
Points
palomino9 12/16/08 - 09:57 am
0
0
just a bunch of thugs living

just a bunch of thugs living up to their reputations

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
9167
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/16/08 - 10:47 am
0
0
I'll stand on the side of Law

I'll stand on the side of Law Enforcement, with a shotgun in my hands if necessary! I refuse to be run over or taken advantage of by a drug dealing or drug using felon or felon wanna be!

JohnQPublic
5
Points
JohnQPublic 12/16/08 - 11:29 am
0
0
We are not living by the "law

We are not living by the "law of the street" or by the drug dealers "self-made laws". Like it or not, the drug dealers are governed by the same laws as we are. We cannot allow the subculture of drug dealers, no matter who they are or what color they are, to take over our streets and dictate to law abiding citizens. Also, the time and purpose of "the projects" is over. All projects need to be closed. They have become a haven for drug dealers and welfare scammers and should all be closed. To the folks who live in Cherry Tree Crossing: You cannot decide to be protected by the police one minute and riot against them when it suits you! You cannot have it both ways!

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