23 April 2007

Hundreds March Demanding Justice In Police Execution of Ron Pettaway

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On Saturday morning, hundreds gathered at Atlanta's Frozen Palace Bar, where an unarmed Black man, Ron Pettaway, was shot in the back of the head by police on April 15. His brother Roy was also shot in the back in the same police attack. Ron Pettaway was among a dozed people killed by area police in the last year, including a 92 year-old Black woman shot to death in a botched police raid. Atlanta Journal Constitution, cited at Pettaway Website

The Rev. Markel Hutchins, who organized the Pettaway March, said,

"The family of Ron Pettaway has made a determination that they are the last family to go through this. We are going to call for a major march in the city of Atlanta. We are going to shut this city down to make them stop killing our young men." AJC at Pettaway Website

Vivian Moore, President of the Dekalb NAACP, organized a witness debriefing session, saying, "We cannot allow our people to be killed without action." AJC

Ron Pettaway has been executed by police and none of us will let American forget it, particularly since any one of us could be next. The Pettway family has set up a Ron Pettaway website to publicize the case and build public pressure for justice, including a compendium of the media attention the case has received thus far. And now his friends in Florida and Georgia are speaking out:

In response to the new Ron Pettaway March and Funeral Blog that I started to notify Ron's community of the march and funeral arrangements, and to organize Blacks to protest Ron's execution, Tiffanie Sweetman-Delacruz said:

"My name is Tiffanie Sweetman-Delacruz. Ron and Roy are long time friends of mine. Ron was my best friend since childhood. We were inseparable until he moved away to Atlanta. But we never lost touch. He was the most caring, funny, and outrageous person I have ever known. Justice WILL be given to him and his family. We are putting together a vigil in his memory here in Pensacola, FL, the town where he grew up. The date is not exact. But we are hoping for the beginning of May. He will never be forgotten. He will always be loved and missed dearly. God speed. We love you Ron." Ron Pettaway Justice March Blog

Loni at SoulPhotoNet.com, a Black blog in the area, also vowed that Ron's community would seek justice for Ron's execution by police, saying:

"I don't think the family will let this rest and I plan on being at every rally, march or whatever it takes to ensure that justice is done. The family is being represented by the Cochran Law Firm and a march is being planned. Ron was more than just a friend to me he was like family and he was special and the type of person you would and will never forget. A great person was lost on April 15, 2007." SoulPhotoNet.com

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19 April 2007

Maps to Ron Pettaway March and Funeral, Saturday, April 21, 2007

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Ron Pettaway (born 04/21/1980 and executed by Fulton County police on 04/15/2007), and Roy Pettaway, shot while attempting to defend his brother. See Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Map to College Park, Georgia

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

Roy Pettaway, brother of the man executed, who was released from Grady Tuesday, has already hired a lawyer as his family completes funeral arrangements for his brother. A 10 a.m. service is scheduled for Saturday at Liveoak Baptist Church, 2601 Flat Shoals Road, in College Park on what would have been Ron Pettaway's 27th birthday.

The Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights activist and Pettaway family spokesman, said there will be a march from the Frozen Palace to a church on Old National where the funeral will be held.

A special section in the church's sanctuary, Hutchins added, will be set aside for the families of other metro Atlantans allegedly victimized by police.

Afrosphere members now call upon Afrosphere members and readers who live in the Atlanta area, or anywhere in Georgia, to attend the march from the Frozen Palace in College Park, GA to the Live Oak Baptist Church where the funeral will be held. The funeral itself will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., on what would have been Ron's 27th birthday.

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Map of March Route, Saturday, April 12, 2007.

Here are printable directions to the march and funeral.

Jennifer & Scott Morgan have left a new comment on your post "The Afrosphere and Police "Excess Force":

This is such a tragic situation. The family just wants justice and answers. A web site, http://ronpettaway.com, has been set up for the family. The community is outraged by this crime. Ron Pettaway was NOT a violent man. He was quite the contrary. He was a respectable business man, neighbor and loving fiancé'. His smile entered the room before he did.

"Before he was executed, Ron and his wife Lisa ran a Floor Doctor carpet cleaning franchise in Marietta/Powder Springs Georgia, business listed as a member of the Powder Springs (GA) Business Association."

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Driving Directions to the March, Saturday April 21, 2007.

The Powder Springs Business Association, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, SixCities.com and SSMorgan Enterprises, Inc have set up a Memorial Fund at RBC Centura Bank for his family and fiancé' Lisa Sayer. Ron and Lisa own a carpet cleaning company in Marietta/Powder Springs called the Floor Doctor, Inc. He will be greatly missed.

The Pettaway family has called on Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to intervene.

The family of two unarmed brothers shot by Fulton County police after a bar fight called on Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency for the numerous police-involved shootings that have happened recently in metro Atlanta.

"It is your responsibility...as governor of this state, to intervene," read the letter signed by the Rev. Markel Hutchins, spokesman for the Petteway family.

"We call on you to form a blue-ribbon panel to proffer substantive changes in public policy relative to how we train and regulate Georgia peace officers," Hutchins said. Examiner.Com

This Afrosphere blog expresses its profound sympathies to the Pettways and invites the Pettways to join the Afrosphere's Black Accused Support Groups (BASG), which is a national union of the blogs set up for Black people seeking justice from the American criminal (in)justice system. Black Accused Support Groups blogs are interlinked across America to provide support, lay advice and information to Black accuseds, victims of criminal system injustice, their families, friends and communities. When Blacks demand justice, we speak not as isolated individuals; we speak as "One Nation Under and AfroSpear."

We can only hope and pray that justice will be served and additional innocent lives are not lost due to the Police and "loose" firing.

Roy Pettaway, Ron's brother that was also shot, was released from Grady Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, April 17. He is recovering at home with his family.

"There is no justification for police to wound and shoot two unarmed men," the Rev. Markel Hutchins, a Pettaway family spokesman, said at a news conference while flanked by members of Pettaway's immediate family. "It's nothing short of murder. These young people were shot for no reason."

Dennis said the dispute began when Ron Pettaway told her another bar patron looked like dreadlocked rap star Lil Wayne. The patron took offense to the description, and the two men fought inside the club, Dennis said.

Bar security ushered the men outside, Dennis said, and when they returned, both were calm. Fulton police arrived a short time later and took Ron Pettaway outside, Dennis said. Neither Dennis nor other witnesses know what sparked the shooting.

Fulton County police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents spent several hours at the bar Monday afternoon talking to witnesses and looking for evidence. Pettaway's father, Roy Pettaway Jr., watched from a parking lot across the street.

Hutchins, the family spokesman, promised additional action, including public protests, to deal with a climate in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in which, he said, "police officers are now shooting first and asking questions later."

Hutchins said the Pettaway shootings are another example of excessive police force by metro Atlanta police. Twelve people were shot by police in DeKalb County last year alone. Fulton County police last shot a person to death in June 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution

The service will be held at:

Live Oak Baptist Church
2601 Flat Shoals Road
Atlanta, GA 30349

Clearly, the family and community are already organizing victims of police abuse. If you live in the Atlanta area or anywhere in Georgia, please go to the march and funeral and show that Blacks all over America are concerned with the needless execution of Blacks, no matter who does the shooting.