A few days ago Georgia pastor Jonathan Ayers became collateral damage in the War On Drugs. The fact that he was a pastor with a pregnant wife provided the hook that got the story so much attention, but is mostly irrelevant to the story itself.
From the video:
- it appears Ayers had started to back out
- a SUV dashes up and two people bail out of it
- Ayers stopped briefly (I’m assuming because it looked like the SUV might continue into his path)
- Ayers resumed backing up, making what appears to me to be a typical, if rushed, “V” or “Y” back up and go forward turn to exit the parking lot
- the two people are running around the car, chasing it
- meanwhile, the SUV, doors open, rolls slowly through the parking lot, looking like it will roll out into the street traffic
I don’t know about you, but if I were in that situation — convenience store, goons with guns bailing out of a SUV and yelling at me — I’d try to get the hell out of Dodge too.
The gist of the original story is that the authorities were following a woman who allegedly was a drug dealer and prostitute. Ayers was seen dropping her off at another store. They followed Ayers from that point, stopped him at the store, identified themselves, and wanted to question him about the woman. Ayers resisted, got in his car, hit one officer with it and tried to run down the other one, who then shot him.
Now watch the video again.
In any case, it was “interesting” to watch the various spins and interpretations come out (follow the Google News search link above) … and how some of the stories got “revised” after the video became available. Now, of course, the authorities say that there is some other issue from left field that no one else knows about, not involving drugs, that will shed new light on the case (whenever, ifever they decide to reveal it).
First, although I don’t particularly care for a surveillance-based society (because you know it will be abused), I’m glad there is a video of this.
Second, I was amazed at the number of comments that immediately condemned the “pastor”, some in particular because he was a pastor: he was definitely buying drugs; he was definitely buying sex; and my favorite 19th-century remark, a married man should not be alone in a car with any woman besides his wife. Oh, and you should always politely obey whenever non-uniformed armed thugs tell you to stop, because it should be obvious they are the police, right? You should just know that. As if innocence would protect you.
Third, a smaller number of comments along the lines that the police can do no wrong, it’s ok to jump immediately to lethal force at the slightest provocation, that while there can be bad “pastors” (in fact, most of them are hypocrites), there can’t be any bad “cops”.
Most, however, are more reasonable — I’m just mentioning the extremes.
But really, what frustrates me to no end, and what provoked me to make this blog post, is that “The Real Truth” will never be known beyond at most a handful of people. Honestly, I don’t care (in a sense) whether Jonathan Ayers was a pure as driven snow or was a closet crack-head and pervert. I have this OCD-level desire for the truth to be known, and all the rumors, speculations, and misinterpretations just drive me crazy. Independent of that, I’m angered that the WoD leads to cowboy events like this one, and the subsequent CYA and misinformation. Arrrrgh!
Yet here I am, doing the same thing: offering my speculation without anything to back it up. However, it’s easy to follow the link above, do your own research, and form your own opinion.
That’s the bottom line, and probably always has been: only a few ever know “The Real Truth“, day-to-day truth is relative, and mostly it’s just opinion rather than fact.
image: François Lemoyne, Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, Wikipedia