Atlanta Shooting Was Racial

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by William Joyce, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. William Joyce

    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

    Jan 23, 2004
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Revenge on system cited as motive for rampage
    Nichols saw himself as 'soldier on a mission'

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 03/15/05

    Brian G. Nichols considered himself a "soldier on a mission" the day
    he terrorized a courthouse and a city with a gun, according to a law
    enforcement official who witnessed Nichols' first statement to

    The official said Nichols, who was being tried in a rape case when
    Friday's deadly shooting spree occurred, considered himself a wrongly
    accused man in a legal system unfair to African-Americans.

    After his capture Saturday afternoon, Nichols gave a three-hour
    statement to local, federal and state law enforcement agents at FBI
    headquarters in DeKalb County.

    In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the official
    said Nichols described how he had been stewing in jail while awaiting
    retrial on charges that he held his ex-girlfriend hostage and
    sexually assaulted her. The first jury couldn't agree and the judge
    declared a mistrial.

    Nichols said he was angry that many of the inmates around him were
    also black and he wondered how many were innocent.

    "He called it systematic slavery," the law enforcement official
    Nichols didn't feel he was mistreated by deputies at the jail or
    courthouse, the official said. But he also didn't care that the
    deputies he would soon hurt were black. His anger was focused more on
    the legal system than race. And the main target was Superior Court
    Judge Rowland Barnes, who was preparing to resume hearing Nichols'
    rape trial.

    Just before 9 a.m. Friday, Nichols was transported from the Fulton
    County Jail to a holding area of the Fulton County Justice Center
    Tower, a new addition to the Fulton County Courthouse in downtown

    He told officials he felt like a "soldier" when he slammed sheriff's
    Deputy Cynthia Hall to the concrete floor of a courthouse holding

    After knocking Hall unconscious, Nichols told authorities, he
    strolled across a skybridge to the older part of the courthouse
    complex to find Barnes, who was in his courtroom hearing a civil

    Nichols said he first headed to Barnes' chambers, where he herded
    four hostages before entering the courtroom. He opened a private door
    behind Barnes' bench, approached the judge and fired, he told

    Nichols said the attack wasn't personal. In fact, he told authorities
    he thought Barnes had been fair to him during court proceedings.
    Julie Ann Brandau, the judge's court reporter, stood up to check on
    Barnes, and Nichols said he shot her in the head before making his
    escape, the law enforcement official said.

    As Nichols ran from the courthouse, he turned and fired at Deputy
    Hoyt Teasley, who was pursuing him across Martin Luther King Drive,
    the official recounted. Teasley died of his wounds.

    Nichols said his flight took him to a downtown Atlanta garage where
    he carjacked Journal-Constitution reporter Don O'Briant. Nichols told
    police he struck O'Briant, whom he called "a civilian casualty,"
    because the reporter used a racial slur.

    O'Briant said Nichols pistol-whipped him because he refused orders to
    get in the trunk.

    "The only other thing I said besides 'No' is 'Please,' " O'Briant
    said Monday. "When someone has a gun pointed at you, the last thing
    you're going to do is taunt them. All I was trying to do was get

    Nichols eventually made his way by public transit to Lenox Road,
    where he found another carjacking victim, U.S. customs agent David
    Wilhelm, who was working on his house.

    Nichols told police Wilhelm identified himself as a federal agent,
    which prompted him to kill the man.

    The account witnessed by the law enforcement official is similar to
    what Nichols told his last hostage, Ashley Smith, 26. But Smith said
    Nichols told her he didn't want to kill Wilhelm but had to when the
    agent fought back.

    Nichols, who is in Fulton County custody, is expected to appear today
    before a magistrate for a brief hearing. A judge will explain that he
    is being held without bond on the pending rape charges.

    Murder charges in the shooting spree are expected but not today,
    according to Erik Friedly, a spokesman for the Fulton County district
    attorney's office.

Share This Page