Will there be lessons learned from Trayvon Martin?

A young African-American male is shot and killed outside a residence by an armed security officer. Is this George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin all over again?

Apparently not, even though it was a few days after the Florida shooting that has rocked the nation.

In this Atlanta-area incident, two officers working security at an apartment complex walked several hundred yards off the property to check on an altercation. One armed officer claims he was threatened by an 18-year-old African-American male, and shot him. Both security officers were African-American. Does that take away issues of race?

More problematic is that the officers were armed, but no one can say whether they should have been armed. In Arkansas, you worked security armed only if you are licensed to do so, and the client for which you are providing security, contracts for it. You don’t work armed because you want to, or because it’s not safe. It’s a contractual relationship.

And as another security company owner pointed out, you don’t leave your post to check out something happening off your property. As a security officer, you don’t have responsibility for another property not under contract for your security. There are times to be a good witness, but this doesn’t look like one of those times. (TDH)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Security guard who shot unarmed teen had expired weapons permit

By Christian Boone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

7:12 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The security guard who left his post late Saturday night to investigate a “suspicious vehicle” and ended up shooting an unarmed teen had an expired weapons permit, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

Ervin Jefferson, 18, was with his mother and sister when the family pulled into their driveway off Pleasantwood Drive and noticed two vehicles parked in front. Inside one car were four females out to settle a score with Jefferson’s 17-year-old sister, Precious, DeKalb County police said.

Jefferson’s mother, Candy Grimes, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution her son went over to investigate. Within seconds, he was felled by a single gunshot to the torso by Curtis Scott, who claimed Jefferson approached him in an aggressive manner.

DeKalb Public Safety Director William Miller said the 18-year-old “possibly threatened to kill” the guard.

Scott has not been charged in the shooting, but police are still investigating.

Among other unanswered questions: Why did Scott, accompanied by fellow security guard Gary Jackson, feel compelled to leave The Village at Wesley Chapel Apartments to investigate a car parked several hundred yards away?

Scott and Jackson work for Shepperson Security & Escort, Kennesaw. Shepperson officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Ben Maner, owner of Guardian Protection Services in Atlanta, said, “I tell my people if they’re on the property to stay on the property. Unless it’s something like a murder or rape, it’s not your place to intervene. That’s not your job.”

Maner said it was also unusual for the guards to be armed, considering where they worked. Usually, he said, if apartment complexes feel the need for armed security, they’ll look to law enforcement personnel, offering them a rent-free residency in exchange for protecting the property.

It’s unclear whether The Village at Wesley Chapel wanted armed guards. A leasing officer referred questions to Jamco Properties, the property manager. Officials with Jamco have not responded to repeated calls seeking comment.

Shepperson, which hired Scott and Jackson, has a current state license to operate. But according to the Secretary of State’s Office, there is no record of Jackson, 26, being certified to work as a guard.

The two men have been released from DeKalb jail, where they were being held on charges of impersonating a police officer. Scott and Jackson illegally detained the young women in the  “suspicious vehicle,” police said.

Jefferson’s stepfather, Bobby Hubbard Jr., 35, was also arrested. He was charged with reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police said he fired at the guards after Jefferson was shot.

Jefferson’s mother said her son’s funeral is set for Saturday, and she hopes by then police will charge Scott in his death.

“He was just trying to protect his sister,” Grimes said, “and they killed him for it.”

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