Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.
Judge Marvin Arrington could not take it any more: After six years of looking out over his Atlanta courtroom, dealing with “murders, rapes, robberies and home invasions,” he suddenly realized “99.9 percent (of the defendants) were Afro-American.”
So he kicked all the white people out of the court room, then scolded the black defendants: “I simply said to the young people, ‘what in the world are you doing with your lives?’” he told Atlanta television reporter Jaquitta Williams.
Some thought the judge’s actions a bit unusual. But a white Atlanta court visitor explained it thus: “People of color talk more freely among themselves.”
Four years later, there is little sign all that free talking did much good: Over the last two years, Atlanta has been the site of dozens of episodes of black mob violence and lawlessness. Crimes that range from fatal to comical. Dangerous to ridiculous. Many on YouTube.
Unlike most of the victims of the hundreds of episodes of racial mob violence that have erupted in more than 60 cities over the last two years, Zachary Gamble knew his four accused killers.
Gamble was a retired Marine sergeant living in an Atlanta suburb after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. In May, he went to his alleged killer’s home for a birthday party.
Gamble and his killers were using alcohol and drugs when, early in the morning, Gamble became belligerent and was asked to leave.
He had been telling graphic Iraq war stories.
After exchanging a series of “taunting” text messages the Atlanta Journal Constitution said were too graphic too print, Gamble and his alleged killers had a confrontation outside in the parking lot. Soon Gamble was on the ground, with the four-man mob punching and kicking him in the head, leaving him unconscious, said a detective at a preliminary hearing.
Forty minutes later, near dawn, a cab driver called 911 after she ran over the prostrate Gamble. Two weeks later he was dead, his skull fractured in three places – not from the taxi, but from the beating, police said.
The four await trial.
Some mobs even have their own YouTube account to document and brag about the thug life. Such is the case in Atlanta with the “Pittsburgh Jack City Gang 1029.”
A dozen members of the mob are seen on video talking about the “faggot” Brandon White when he was leaving a convenience store. Four of the gang knocked him down, beating, kicking and even slamming him with a tire. All on video with play by play commentary describing the action – as well as their stated intention of driving “faggots” out of their Atlanta neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
White told CNN he did not report the crime until the video went viral “because he did not want to draw attention to himself. He could not even bring himself to watch the video at first, he was so humiliated and embarrassed. The video was released on YouTube and WorldHipHop.com, and was posted on The Smoking Gun.
“I feel I was violated,” White told reporters. “The scars run deeper than anyone will know. The physical pain, I can get over that. My thing is: Who’s to say they won’t come after me again? Who’s to say they won’t kill me?”
Says SmokingGun.com of the group’s videos:
“They brag about stealing necklaces, display gang signs, and refer to themselves as ‘goons.’ One man describes himself as a ‘wild dog,’ while another says, ‘I’m the Tasmanian Devil.’
“The MySpace pages of ‘PBJC’ affiliates include photos of a young man posing with cash and a rifle, a shot of the group’s hangout spot, and images of gang members and mottos.”
Two of the men have been arrested and await trial.
One of Atlanta’s biggest race riots occurred two years ago at Screen on the Green in Piedmont Park, an outdoor movie festival, though you might not know it from following the daily news accounts.
That summer night, a crowd of 15,000 was trying to watch “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” when the violence began.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution said “groups of marauding teens took over the event.”
Atlanta city councilman told the AJC the trouble was “caused by a small group of young kids looking to cause trouble.”
Witnesses at other websites had a less sanitized version of events. They described a chaotic, violent and dangerous scene with several groups of black people – hundreds of men and women – making their way through the crowd, beating, taunting, laughing, robbing, destroying property. A gunshot was reported, but that, like most else that night, did not make it to a police report.
“I was there,” said a poster to the Topics.com Atlanta forum. “There were hundreds of black teens, apparently there to fight. Yelling obscenities, threatening each other, both sexes.”
Despite dozens of witnesses reporting more than 100 assaults, the following day police said they had a record of only one complaint. Most of the victims said there were no police to be seen there.
Several people also report they were victims of anti-”gay” slurs and violence, reported the “gay” newspaper, GA Voice:
Jesse Rhodes, who is openly gay, said what happened last night was an insult to the people of Midtown, including its gay residents. He lives at Post and walked to the park with a group of gay friends. While the fights and rowdy behavior broke out around them as they tried to watch “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” he and his gay friends felt very vulnerable, he said.
“We felt like sitting ducks,” he said. “They were definitely targeting gay people. One of my good friends, who is gay and works at Swinging Richards, got jumped by five people and beat up,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes added that when he was walking out of the park he was called “faggot” and other obscenities and said women at the event were also called lesbians.
“I was called a faggot. There were a couple of fights in front of Blake’s [the gay bar on 10th Street] – it was all pretty pathetic,” he said. “I was verbally discriminated against based on my sexual preference.”
Another “gay” victim of violence that night posted his observations on YouTube:
What happened last night (June 3) at Screen on the Green was not simply “fights” between unruly teens as the local TV stations would like their audiences to believe. These savages went apesh– and hunted down gays and lesbians to attack!
They specifically began targeting member’s of the LGBT community around Blake’s and along 10th St. The local news media is acting as if this were a simple scuffle and that’s totally unacceptable.
Gay people were not the only ones targeted though. All kinds of people, black, white, gay and straight were being randomly punched in the face and people were getting their windows smashed with rocks. It was like a riot in a third world country.
Later, he made the video unavailable to the public.
Despite the attempt from police, public officials and some media outlets to downplay the racial violence, many witnesses came forward to report what they saw:
“Let’s face it. Every person causing a disturbance both on the green during the movie that I saw was black,” said another witness who posted at the Creative Loafing Forum. “Every person kicking cars, breaking windows and running in the middle of the street like a rabid animal was black. Every person who was hanging on the white guy in the jeeps car assaulting him and his passengers was black. It’s not a stereotype. It’s math. 100%. “
Said another: “I live in the neighborhood. It was awful. Droves of thug kids.”
One of the most frequent posters at the Atlanta Topix Forum said race had nothing to do with the disturbance: “And I’ve seen things like this happen several time in my life. almost all have been done by gangs of white kids,” said The Captain. “It’s you dumb fracks that feel the need to harp on the race if it’s not yours.”
The Captain reflects a frequently expressed opinion on many sites that pattern of racial-based violence should not be reported or discussed. And that white people and Asian people do this all the time as well.
Though curiously, those videos rarely make it to YouTube.
Even the AJC was forced to admit the violence was “not unprecedented.” Several news accounts report similar, if smaller scale, violence and harassment at a Screen on the Green showing of National Treasure the week before. Says The AJC:
Lisa Wells, who attended “National Treasure” with a friend from London, said a rowdy group of teens hijacked the event.
“[They] were smoking pot openly,” she said. “When another attendee reported this to police, the female officer radioed for a male officer who took his sweet time to show up.”
After learning they had been reported, the teens became hostile, Wells said.
“One stood up in front of the group who reported her to police and blocked their view from the screen intentionally for about 10 minutes,” she said.
When the second officer arrived, Wells said he chatted briefly with one of the teens, then left.
“The crowd around the teenagers was disgusted,” she said. “Many began to leave. Then the [firecrackers] went off and everyone in the area left quickly.”
Matt Burkhalter, of south Atlanta, compared the atmosphere during the “National Treasure” screening to a bar brawl.
“We left early,” said Burkhalter, 32. “We felt unsafe and uncomfortable.”
As city officials prepared for the film event in 2011, many blamed the choice of action movies for the violence of the year before. So they switched it up and showed “Sixteen Candles,” a coming of age film starring Molly Ringwald.
It did not make much difference. After the movie, directly outside the event area, lots of black people were fighting. Three people were shot.
To most of the local media, the racial aspect was not worth reporting. Except for the plucky Patch. Talking to the Midtown Patch, police spokesman Carols Campos said:
“Preliminary investigation determined that witnesses reported two groups of black males fighting with each other at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th streets after leaving the Screen on the Green event.”
A group of local residents even formed their own Facebook page to “Take Back Screen on the Green. Boycott Until It Is Safe for Everyone.”
Too little, too late: The 2011 was the last year for the event.
If news of violence at Screen on the Green stayed mostly local, the 2011 black mob attack and robbery on two male Delta flight attendants aboard Atlanta’s MARTA train system received national attention.
Dozens of black teens beat and terrorized a train full of MARTA passengers. Some say the doors did not work at a stop, trapping the victims in with the attackers.
No arrests were made in the “Clockwork Orange” style attack.
That could be because black mob violence in the MARTA is now routine. And thanks to YouTube, it’s available for view. Not much to say about the dozen or so videos of mob violence on MARTA over the last three years, other than many of the incidents involve black women.
Among the episodes: (Language and violence warning for the following videos)
As well as:
Also the age-restricted “Crazy girl fights on subway train in Atlanta – YouTube,” “Hood fight on atlanta train part 1 – YouTube,” and “Atlanta Marta bus fight – YouTube,” as well as others.
Even the daughters of the mayor of Atlanta got involved in mob violence last summer. It happened to their escort after he accused a photographer of bothering them. Ten black people beat the mayor’s daughters’ friend into a coma after the confrontation turned physical. Turns out, the photographer had no idea who they were.
Racial violence and lawlessness is also spreading to the campus of Georgia Tech. Over the last year, at least eight students have reported they were robbed and assaulted by two men at gunpoint, usually in search of cell phones and computers.
Four of the robberies happened in the last two weeks. Some happened on the street. Others in a parking structure. Others in a dorm or apartment.
The local television stations and AJC were able to furnish a description of the color of the cars, the color of the gun and the color of the suspects’ clothing. But it was up the Patch, once again, to let the students know what the criminals looked like:
“Both suspects were described as black men in their late teens or early 20s. The man armed with the gun was described as wearing a white t-shirt and red basketball shorts. The other suspect had short dreadlocks, a black hat, khaki tan shorts and a black backpack.”
The same two men are suspected in several of the attacks. No arrests, so far.
“Flash robs” featuring hordes of black people looting retail outlets so prevalent in the rest of the country have taken a peculiar twist in Atlanta.
Over the last two years, several gangs of people have been videotaped in late night smash-and-grab robberies involving cars, jewelry, clothing, liquor and most popularly, hairpieces. All the suspects and the several arrested are black.
A 2010 story estimated the smash and grab losses in Atlanta from the last four years at $2 million.
Not all the racial violence ends poorly for the victims – as the brother of actor and comedian Chris Tucker demonstrated at his Atlanta home in 2010.
When three black people attempted a home invasion robbery on Dexter Tucker’s property, he shot one in the leg and the other two ran off.
All three were arrested. The district attorney announced almost immediately the shooting was justified.
Colin Flaherty is the author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How The Media Ignore It,” @ColinFlaherty.