Residents' anger boils at police

  • Follow Metro

Supporters of Justin Elmore say it doesn't matter if he has a lengthy criminal record or what he might have done to provoke sheriff's deputies Sunday -- they still had no right to shoot him.

"They gonna kill everybody with a record?" said Sha'keela McNair, 22, who identified herself as Mr. Elmore's girlfriend. "They shot him for nothing. He didn't have no gun."

After an accidental fire broke out at an apartment and once again drew police and fire trucks into the housing project Monday, angry residents of Cherry Tree Crossing and surrounding neighborhoods gathered at the place where Mr. Elmore's SUV came to a stop near 15th Street and Carver Drive. It wasn't far from where a throng of people had hurled bottles and rocks at police cars in the hours after the shooting.

"This ain't nothing," Cruz Sharpton, 22, said of the bedlam. "It's just beginning."

It was a sentiment echoed by several people.

They said they don't trust the police, and they're fed up with what they perceive as harassment, racial profiling and a cavalier attitude toward the poor and powerless.

"You've got to figure, these people are close," said Frank Thomas, the executive director of the Augusta-Richmond County Human Relations Commission. "That's their area. Sometimes they don't trust the police, and the police have their job to do."

Friends of Mr. Elmore said he goes by Jed, is a construction worker and has three children -- a 2-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 1 and 6 months.

Ms. McNair said he was shot in his head and chest, and his mother is keeping vigil at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

"I put (the police) at fault for everything that happened," said Ashley Brown, 22, who lives in an apartment near the spot where police cars boxed in Mr. Elmore's SUV on Sunday before the shooting erupted. "They should have done the pursuit better than that."

A few doors down, Tavares Green is still furious, too.

During the shooting, two bullets went into his girlfriend's apartment, whizzing within inches of his 8-month-old son and 8-year-old daughter.

Mr. Green showed a reporter the bullet holes in a glass window and a wood front door, and where they lodged in a Sheetrock wall and hit a stereo speaker.

"They could have shot her in the back," said Mr. Green, a city employee in the roads and bridges division. "My little boy's head could have been bust open."

Mr. Thomas said he was unsure what position the Human Relations Commission will take on the matter.

The city cut the commission from next year's budget, and he's working to close all pending cases so the office can be shut down by the end of February.

Otherwise, he would be involved, Mr. Thomas said, helping to "sift through the smoke" and find out whether police overstepped their bounds.

After the 1998 killing of Alfaigo Davis, a similar incident in which police shot a man they said was trying to run them over, Mr. Thomas called for a police review board, which was rejected by Sheriff Charlie Webster. The two officers were later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Had the review board not been rejected, it might have built up credibility by now and could come in handy, Mr. Thomas said.

"People become emotional when things like that happen," he said. "Maybe they need some help. Maybe they need some kind of counseling."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

CHERRY TREE CROSSING

With 389 apartments and 1,018 residents, Cherry Tree Crossing is the city's largest public housing project, one of 13 federally funded developments providing affordable housing to low-income families and elderly residents. The average household income in Cherry Tree Crossing is $7,917. Apartments there range from one to five bedrooms.

Cherry Tree was formed through the merging of two developments, Sunset Homes and Sunset Homes Extension, constructed in 1940 and 1952. After renovations in the early 1990s, the two parts were renamed Cherry Tree Crossing and Cherry Tree Crossing Extension. They were merged into a single project last year.

The section along Carver Drive, where the shooting occurred Sunday, is part of the newer section constructed in 1952.

For about $600,000 per year, the Augusta Housing Authority contracts with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office to provide 15 extra deputies to patrol housing projects.

The deputies involved in the shooting were part of "housing patrol."

BREAKDOWN OF CHERRY TREE RESIDENTS BY AGE

0-6 years old 301

7-18 years old 302

19 and older 415

BREAKDOWN OF RESIDENTS BY RACE

Black 1,006

White 11

Other 1

Source: Augusta Housing Authority Director of Resident Services Buddy Oldfield

RELATED STORIES

- Sheriff defends deputies

- Residents' anger boils at police

- Shooting recalls 1998 case

PREVIOUS STORIES

- Shooting triggers chaos

- Deputies use caution


Comments (183) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
dani
13
Points
dani 12/16/08 - 11:39 am
0
0
jackfruit..I'm not following

jackfruit..I'm not following you. The article says 2 sons. If one is a year old and the other six months, then she got pregnant again before the 1 year old was even born.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 12/16/08 - 11:40 am
0
0
Or maybe they are by two

Or maybe they are by two different women...

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/16/08 - 11:42 am
0
0
If only Elmore would have

If only Elmore would have just OBEYED it's that simple. It's amazing how so many people downing low income housing, every low income person doesn't live in the projects. It's something to read these post where posters are calling those people animals, scum, etc, mind you they only say this behind a computer screen name and not in the faces of those people. I'm yet praying for those in Cherry Tree Crossing and all the posters including me.

palomino9
0
Points
palomino9 12/16/08 - 12:30 pm
0
0
can you spell 'thugville' ?

can you spell 'thugville' ?

sanders23
0
Points
sanders23 12/16/08 - 12:44 pm
0
0
YESWECAN....thanks for the

YESWECAN....thanks for the thought provoking comments. Lot's of folks don't understand that a some people don't want anything else but that life. I know it sucks and I hate paying for it, but "you can lead a horse to water but can't make them drink"

HippieChick
0
Points
HippieChick 12/16/08 - 01:05 pm
0
0
My guess would be 2 different

My guess would be 2 different baby momma's in order for them to be that close in age.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 12/16/08 - 01:10 pm
0
0
Well I think the these

Well I think the these criminals at Cherry Tree should do the right thing (an altruistic gesture) and kill themselves. If they can't be a part of the solution then they should off themselves as a sacrifice for the rest. It would be the patriotic thang to do-like paying taxes. Everybody should be willing to do their part and if you aren't going to do anything they you might as well be dead. Simple!!!! I know if I were such a sorry loser piece of crap I would kill myself. Who could live with it.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/16/08 - 01:21 pm
0
0
Bizarro are you willing to

Bizarro are you willing to JUST kill yourself?

rufus
2
Points
rufus 12/16/08 - 01:30 pm
0
0
Quick, let's go burn down our

Quick, let's go burn down our ghetto hole. That'll show em

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 12/16/08 - 01:51 pm
0
0
Please let me explain. You

Please let me explain. You have have a 6 month old and a 1 year old at the same time. A child from 12 months old to 24 months old he is considered a year old. Example: Sam is born Jan 2000, mother becomes pregnant again in March 2000 (it happens). She's pregnant for 9 months. Tom is born in Dec 2000. By the time Tom is 6 months old in June of 2001, Sam would be 18 months old or as some people say 1 year old. Hope this explains it.

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 12/16/08 - 01:55 pm
0
0
How many times does it have

How many times does it have to be said that color has not a damn thing to do with it, fruitcake? This is a mentality. This is a culture. This is NOT black culture. This is liberal culture coupled with hedonism and an entitlement-mentality.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/16/08 - 01:55 pm
0
0
The Chronicle needs to start

The Chronicle needs to start CLOSING these discussions like CNN does, CNN is quick to say: Comments for this story have been closed. Hey Augusta Chronicle or Moderator, start doing that, it will lessen the black white rift, it will lessen the I'm black but better than other blacks (Looks over at Signal_Always) and keep confusion down.

sueboo418
37
Points
sueboo418 12/16/08 - 02:08 pm
0
0
Bottom line here is this was

Bottom line here is this was an assault with a deadly weapon, with the weapon being a SUV. He charged at them and could have killed either one of them. They were doing their job and protecting their own lives. If Elmore had nothing to hide then he shouldn't have tried to run from them and none of this would have happened. Hmmmm so who is to blame for all of this???? NOT the cops.

KSL
144820
Points
KSL 12/16/08 - 02:16 pm
0
0
"Supporters of Justin Elmore

"Supporters of Justin Elmore say it doesn't matter if he has a lengthy criminal record or what he might have done to provoke sheriff's deputies Sunday -- they still had no right to shoot him."
"They gonna kill everybody with a record?" said Sha'keela McNair, 22, who identified herself as Mr. Elmore's girlfriend. "They shot him for nothing. He didn't have no gun." NO, HE just had a vehicle he was attempting to use as a weapon and kill or injure a police officer. I guess that's ok with you, Sha'keela!

fish2
0
Points
fish2 12/16/08 - 02:26 pm
0
0
We need to build another

We need to build another dental school!

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/16/08 - 02:30 pm
0
0
Why does everything have to

Why does everything have to be a race issue everytime. And what does this have to do with obama? LoL obama house in chicago was in a rich and well know neighborhood. Not in a project.

SpeaksMyMind
0
Points
SpeaksMyMind 12/16/08 - 02:35 pm
0
0
some of yall need to shut up

some of yall need to shut up seriously!

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 12/16/08 - 02:39 pm
0
0
I'll take a guess and say

I'll take a guess and say SpeaksMyMind is "Sha'keela". "He didn't have no gun"? Yeah, and I have some property with deepwater access in Afghanistan for sale.

gnx
7
Points
gnx 12/16/08 - 02:47 pm
0
0
I think Hepkikyo's 8:26 post

I think Hepkikyo's 8:26 post says it all. Good post and something all those hoodlums in Cherry Tree need to take to heart. RCSD should pull out of that project and let them fully appreciate just how much the police do for them on a daily basis by letting them deal with it on their own without having someone to call for help and then blame when help is given.

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/16/08 - 02:51 pm
0
0
Gnx only problem what if the

Gnx only problem what if the police need their help. What if a crime is commited in that area. The police will need their help to answer questions. So the police or the residents don't need to become bitter.

fedupfedupfedup
0
Points
fedupfedupfedup 12/16/08 - 03:00 pm
0
0
so are tax dollars now going

so are tax dollars now going to be used to clean up the mess the low life residents made of thier project or should they be made to live in the mess they created??????

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/16/08 - 03:04 pm
0
0
Sad situation all around

Sad situation all around really. My family member used to work with Mr. Elmore. If he makes it through. I hope he realizes god has a calling on everybody's life. God will take us in when nobody else will.

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/16/08 - 03:09 pm
0
0
Enoughisenough are tax

Enoughisenough are tax dollars everyday go to bridges to nowhere, a war in iraq where the country didn't even attack us. To detroit for automakers because they didn't want to make fuel efficient cars. To banks all across america. Look at how many of our politicians are in federal prison as we speak. I never understood why some people seem to only care about their tax money. When poor people are the beneficiary. But president bush just gave away 700 billion dollars of your tax money. Thats alot more than a measley couple thousand on a housing project.

GnipGnop1
2
Points
GnipGnop1 12/16/08 - 03:12 pm
0
0
I respect what you say

I respect what you say blackmaleceo, but you have to look at the fact that other people don't riot and burn down their neighborhoods and loot their stores when things don't go thier way. There is a proper way to take action. Shooting at police cars and throwing rocks and bottles will only get some innocent person hurt.

Nay Sayer
0
Points
Nay Sayer 12/16/08 - 03:16 pm
0
0
What the investigators need

What the investigators need to do once the video is released is go through it, find everyone throwing bottles or starting fires, match those faces to see if they're section 8 then KICK THEM OUT! Any criminal activity by a person in section 8 is immediate grounds for dismissal. HAVE FUN BEING HOMELESS!!!

justthefacts
25486
Points
justthefacts 12/16/08 - 03:26 pm
0
0
blackmale, help me out here.

blackmale, help me out here. Once PE Obama becomes Prez he will stop with the bailouts..right? He is totally against the bailouts..right? I am not sure, which party just tried to pass a bailout bill for the Big 3 autos?

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 12/16/08 - 03:31 pm
0
0
jackfruitpaper833: For

jackfruitpaper833: For someone who wants to cut off discussion as "it will lessen the black white rift, it will lessen the I'm black but better than other blacks," you sure do your share of stirring the pot. I find it gratifying that there are some like 'Signal Always' who seems supports what is right and have the positive attitude that will end a lot of the problems we are experiencing.

sneakypete
0
Points
sneakypete 12/16/08 - 03:31 pm
0
0
This is sad. I hate to bring

This is sad. I hate to bring this up, but how often do you see this happen in a mostly white neighborhood? Anywhere in the country, you see this a lot on the news. I cannot remember a case when a white neighborhood did anything like this. Call me what you want,but facts are facts. And for 3 years ,nobody can tell me one black controlled government that is a productive and progressive place to live. You just cant.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11294
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/16/08 - 03:32 pm
0
0
If anyone really believes the

If anyone really believes the police will get answers about crime committed in Cherry Tree from the residents, I want whatever you're drinking!!

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/16/08 - 03:33 pm
0
0
Coldbeerboiledpeanuts have

Coldbeerboiledpeanuts have you lived in sunset before. Or are you just talking as usual.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

City Ink: New board means more work for me

First Mayor-elect Hardie Davis will be sworn in, and the very next day the work will begin. Commissioners will meet and the gavel will fall. It will be a brand new day at City Hall.
Search Augusta jobs