An excellent piece by Radley Balko on the murder of a man by authorities in Georgia:
The police were trailing Barrett at the time. But instead of apprehending her at the motel, they instead followed Ayers, the stranger they’d just seen give her a ride and hand her some cash.
Ayers then pulled into a nearby gas station to withdraw money from an ATM. Shortly after he got back into his car, a black Escalade tore into the parking lot. Three officers, all undercover, got out of the vehicle and pointed their guns at Ayers. The pastor, understandably, attempted to escape. As he pulled out of the station, Ayers grazed Officer Oxner with his car. Officer Billy Shane Harrison then opened fire, shooting Ayers in the stomach. (You can watch surveillance video of the altercation here.) Ayers continued to drive, fleeing the parking lot for about a thousand yards before eventually crashing his car. He died at the hospital.
Ayers’ last words to his family and medical staff were that he thought he was being robbed. The police found no illicit drugs in his car, and there was no trace of any illegal substance in his body.
If the story ended there, it would merely be enough to boil your blood. These officers jumped from an SUV waving their guns commando-style over a possible $50 drug transaction. Worse, the man they pounced upon wasn’t the target of their investigation.
The police claimed they announced themselves, but it isn’t difficult to see how Ayers—or anyone else—might have been confused in the commotion. It was a hot, late summer Georgia afternoon. Ayers likely had his windows up and his air conditioning on. The officers were undercover, dressed in shabby clothes and ski-mask caps. The badges they had hanging from their necks, seen in this photo, were far from conspicuous.
Read the whole thing. Ayers was a minister who was driving home one of his congregation (who happened to be a drug suspect), and the cops gunned him down in broad daylight.
If Reason would stick to stories like this, think how good they would be. Instead, we get nonsense about fish pedicures (not kidding), Matt Welch’s war on public employees who probably earn half of what he makes (but provide multiple times the benefit), and whatever steaming piles of bullshit the Koch brothers and the Freedomworks goons want McSuderman and Gillespie to push. Think how useful it would be to have an actual high-profile libertarian magazine pushing against the Obama administration on issues of detainment and other areas in which the Obama team is either moving too slowly or happy with the status quo.
Instead, we get just another outlet for the wingnut wurlitzer to play the same old tunes. But then again, you gotta pay the bills.