Holy Innocents School

Discussion in 'Georgia In the News' started by gunsmoker, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    A coach at an Episcopal church's school was fired for sending inappropriate (but not illegal) messages to students.
    The School/Church hired a private detective to follow him as he left for the last time.
    He went and bought a gun.
    Private eye called cops.
    Cops pulled coach over.

    (So... Was there reasonable suspicion of a crime at this point? Absent other info, I say NO.)

    But... Turns out they were right. The guy was loading the gun while being pulled-over and he refused to put it down.

    http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/216481547-story
     
  2. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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  3. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    I suspect there is more to this story that we haven't heard. The truth will come out.
     
  4. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    What were the inappropriate comments? why were they considered inappropriate?

    Why was he placed under surveillance?
     
  5. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    I have to agree, gunsmoker. Certainly, an abundance of caution was warranted, but the government inserted themselves into this man's life without any evidence or suspiciion of a crime

    The coach has been charged with reckless conduct and obstruction related to the incident.

    Cover your ass charges by the LEOs involved. I don't think I'll ever be able to take these charges seriously.
     
  6. DKW

    DKW Active Member

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    Please explain how the Gov't inserted themselves in this man's life without evidence and suspicion of a crime?

    The PI called the cops to tell them what he did (buy the gun) and also told the cops why he was following the individual because they wanted to make sure he didn't do anything potentially dangerous (assumption on my part).

    I believe a totality of the circumstances the cops were warranted to stop him and question him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  7. GAfirearmsReference

    GAfirearmsReference Weapons Law Booklet

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    The text of the news report linked in the OP alludes to some kind of threat:

    "In a statement to FOX 5 News, the school said the threat was made by a former employee who was never on campus."

    But I don't understand what kind of threat or by whom. It looks like this story was edited before being published, and that may be important info that was taken out. Did the school's own coach make that threat?
    Apparently not, otherwise they would have called him the coach, not a "former employee." (The coach was just placed on leave, not immediately fired, so the coach would not be a "former employee" at this point).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    From the story:

    That's a mental evaluation, in case anybody is unclear.
     
  9. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    if they were stopping and detaining him for making a threat, I'm totally on board with that. This is not the thought police. The government doesn't interrupt somebody's life based on "potential".

    right. so they probably believed he was a danger to himself or others. Got it.
     
  10. DKW

    DKW Active Member

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    It was the PI who worked for the school (I am assuming the school is private based on the name) who called the police to indicate the individual did something in his eyes suspicious. The Police had no involvement whatsoever until they got the call. So you can't say they didn't have reasonable suspicion on a potential future criminal act.

    The gov't (i.e. police) interrupt somebody's life all the time based on "potential". If someone sees and individual acting suspicious and call the police and tell them what they saw, the police investigate further to either determine what the person was doing was just misconstrued or the person was potentially planning a crime.


    My assumption is the PI told the police;
    1. He was hired by the school to follow this individual because he was just placed on leave (and told the police the reason he was placed on leave) and the school was concerned he may retaliate.
    2. Saw the individual purchase a firearm immediately after getting fired.
    3. Was following the individual as he may be headed back to the school.

    What more justification do you want?
     
  11. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    I feel like a politician on this one because I am of two minds (not two faces however);

    If I were a parent of that school I would be happy the school was proactive. If I were an employee I would be thinking about finding a new employer since they feel comfortable hiring private investigators with regard to personnel matters.
     
  12. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    Right. so to paraphrase, anybody can call the police and report that they are "suspicious", and that gives the government the right to insert themselves. But... based on other info is this thread, I agree that they were probably concerned he was a danger. Which is fine.
     
  13. DKW

    DKW Active Member

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    Happens all the time.

    Like the saying goes "See Something, Say Something"
     
  14. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    A tip from an "informant" is not always enough to justify cops stopping somebody and detaining them and searching them or patting-them down.

    The informant has to have some basis of knowledge, not mere suspicion.

    Do you see the difference between:

    "My company fired this guy for telling dirty jokes at work, and he seemed to take it OK, and mentioned that he would take a week off to clear his head and pursue his hobbies. Then he drove to a sporting goods store and bought a rifle."

    and:

    "My company just fired this guy for theft of a toner cartridge. He didn't take it well and said that the boss was out to get him because he's Irish, and the boss is English. He said his Irish pride wouldn't take this insult without retaliation. He slammed the door on his way out. He went down the street to a pawn and jewelry shop and came out a little while later with a handgun."

    I see a difference.

    Reasonable suspicion as to the second scenario. Not the first.

    If you think that ANYBODY who gets fired should be detained by cops if he goes to a gun store, then aren't you saying it's OK to have a "no guns list" just like the feds have a "no fly list" and anybody who is disciplined from their work ..
    ( or suspended from school, or served divorce papers, or served a summons and complaint in a civil suit)...
    .. should be on that list? Temporarily denied their gun rights, just in case they might be planning some crime?
     
  15. DKW

    DKW Active Member

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    I do too.

    My personal opinion is this case is a lot closer to your 2nd example than the 1st.

    Pretty sure I didn't say anything like that. But when a school hires a PI to investigate an employee for some reason and then is requested to follow that person after they are fired and when he sees something and reports it, I don't think that is mere suspicion in that he has some knowledge about what is going on. Most schools won't hire a PI on a whim when they are about to fire somebody.
     
  16. DKW

    DKW Active Member

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    Let's turn the table on this thing.

    Suppose the PI followed him to the store and saw him buy a gun after being fired (which we will assume was not civil) and then went back to the school and shot up the place and killed several people. How many people on this forum would be saying the PI screwed up and should have called the police before he got to the school?
     
  17. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    Yes, thank you gunsmoker. This is why my wife at the 911 center always asked the callers what were the people with guns doing, besides carrying them in a holster :)
     
  18. jlw253

    jlw253 Member

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    This is where my son goes to school and my daughter graduated recently.

    My son spent the hour barricaded in a classroom and behind a turned-over table.

    On many prior occasions, the teacher in question had publicly disclosed personal issues with depression. The school community had been supportive.

    Prior to leaving campus, the teacher did have an uncharacteristic outburst in plain view of at least one student. At some point after leaving campus, the teacher did call the school and did make threats.

    Once detained, the teacher was "transported by ambulance to a medical facility where [the teacher] will be evaluated for 72 hours".

    I personally think the school handled the situation well. Knowing this individual, I can't imagine the teacher harming students or other staff but could see a possibility of suicide. I'm shocked and heartbroken that it came to this but I am hopeful that the teacher will benefit from the treatment / counseling being made available.
     
  19. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    As an unemployed person his health insurance will run out and then that treatment will stop.
     
  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat Member

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    How about just expressing concern for the school's safety and having officers stationed at the entrances in case he shows up? I get the concern over what he MAY do, but not sure I agree that they should have tracked him down to "investigate"