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Did accused Midtown shooter target victims for being white?

Court documents show that race may have played a role in last summer's triple-shooting rampage in Midtown that left one woman dead and another paralyzed.

Forty-five days after neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., a special prosecutor charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder on Wednesday.

This is what thousands of protestors across the country had been demanding for weeks as the racially charged case has captivated the nation. Zimmerman, who has a white father and Hispanic mother, has said he acted in self-defense during the confrontation with Martin.

This explanation has been scoffed at by protesters, such as the hundreds who rallied in Los Angeles on Monday, many carrying signs that read, "It's more than a march. It's a movement."

But what about Brittany Watts and Lauren Garcia?

They of course are the victims of the in Midtown where police say Nkosi Thandiwe shot and killed in the Crescent Avenue parking garage before stealing her car. While fleeing, Thandiwe allegedly shot two more women, including Garcia, who was left paralyzed with spinal cord injuries.

The other woman, Tiffany Ferenczy, was shot in the leg. Watts was white, as are Garcia and Ferenczy.

Thandiwe, who is black, was formally charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, gun possession and other charges last October. He remains in Fulton County jail without bond. There is a motions hearing slated for later this month and his lawyers have asked the court for a mental evaluation.

Last week, Garcia and Ferenczy, along with Brian Watts, whose young wife was killed that mid-summer afternoon, all filed separate lawsuits against Allied Barton Security Services and the owners of the building in Fulton County Superior Court. Allied Barton employed Thandiwe as a security guard at the building and the complaints claim negligence on the part of the company.

And then on Monday, Channel 2 Action News reported that after examining the 43-page lawsuit, it appears that race may have played a role in the triple-shooting rampage.

According to Channel 2, the lawsuit says the accused shooter “demonstrated an intensely negative attitude toward another race, which was unnamed.”

The news outlet went on to report that weeks before the shooting, Thandiwe had been involved in an altercation with a building visitor, as Channel 2 said he “assailed a visiting courier with racial epithets and had to be physically restrained by company personnel from striking and causing harm to visitors.”

And yet, this news item more or less just slipped under the radar. Certainly so when compared to the nation-wide frenzy that is ongoing surrounding the case in Florida.

Where is the outrage from the white community regarding this deadly shooting that could turn out to be the result of a moment of racial hate?

Are white people too apathetic to protest about the brutal slaying of this 26-year-old woman? Are whites too scared about being labeled a racist to protest the senseless shooting of a 22-year-old woman who has been left paralyzed from the waist down?

Why has the killing of teenage boy in Florida caused so much outrage across our country, yet so long ago it became yesterday’s news that for unexplained reasons a young woman in Midtown was gunned down while walking to her car?

Daniel Gilmore April 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Race may have indeed played a factor in the Midtown shooting as it appears to have in the Martin shooting, but thats not why people became upset over FL the case. The reason that people were upset over what happened in the Martin shooting was because Zimmerman was not arrested right away & it seemed like there was a case of gross negligence occurring on behalf of the Sanford PD. Last time I checked, the man involved with the Midtown shooting last year was arrested almost immediately; Atlanta PD didnt arrive at the scene and say "Whelp, everything here looks kosher" and let him go on his way. If that had been the case, then people would have been rightly upset. But as it stands, the APD did its job and justice should follow in that case. People tend to get less exacerbated about the tragedy of crimes when they know that their justice system is working for them to make things better. Racism is sadly still a stain upon our society. And yes, it still occasionally manifests itself in the motivations from crimes that occur across our country, on all sides of the racial spectrum. But for you to suggest that there is something wrong with the national outrage that occurred in light of the failures of the Sanford PD to do its job properly in protecting society in comparison to the response that was shown when the APD actually did the right thing is at best a gross misinterpretation of the facts surrounding both cases and at worse a sad attempt to play the "white victim" card
Alli April 12, 2012 at 06:50 PM
The Zimmerman case was self defense period!! This senseless tradegy occurred because he hated white people. BIG difference!
Hunt Archbold (Editor) April 12, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Daniel, I did not suggest at all that there was something wrong with the national outrage that occurred surrounding the Martin tragedy. But you make some other good points. Thanks for chiming in.
Eddie April 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Dude: ask yourself why you have not seen this angle covered in a newspaper, magazine, or reputable blog. Why have other writers not written this story, or why would editors at those publications have killed such a story? Or not even killed it but laughed at the pitch and probably noted it in a mental HR file. I get that you're not up to speed with race studies, and that's okay--I sympathize with that. But if you're going to write articles for Atlanta, of all places, you need to educate yourself about that stuff or find a position under an editor. You shouldn't be the boss if you're writing stuff like this. This post is appalling and will be the last one I read on Patch; removed the feed from my reader.
Nicholas Stix April 13, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Daniel Gilmore: Show evidence, as opposed to baseless, racist talking points that the Sanford PD failed “to do its job properly in protecting society.” You can’t. That you would set the Sanford case as morally equivalent to Nkosi Thandiwe’s racist spree shooting and murder of Brittney Watts, is a morally obscene misrepresentation of the facts. Unlike Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman committed no crime. He has been charged with Murder Two solely out of Gov. Rick Scott’s fear of black race riots, riots which will come, no matter what he does. Nicholas Stix
Nicholas Stix April 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Eddie, Other writers and “reputable blogs,” including my own (Nicholas Stix, Uncensored), Stuff Black People Don’t Like, and View from the Right, have covered this shooting spree as a set of racially motivated crimes, now joined by WSBTV. What you meant is that no lying, pc blogs, which refuse to acknowledge any black-on-white crime as racially motivated, have covered it in said matter. Well, of course! Your racism is matched by your arrogance. P.S. To other readers: When Eddie speaks condescendingly of the writer not being “up to speed with race studies,” he is referring to racist, pseudo-scholarly agitprop which promotes fictions such as the racial profiling myth, disparate impact, and the notion that it is impossible for blacks to be racist.
Nicholas Stix April 13, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Be strong, Mr. Archibold. You are confronted by forces that care nothing for facts, logic, or principles. They operate based solely on the will to power. Thus, you must match their will, while refusing to match their dishonesty, and seek to reach honest readers. They are out there.
Hunt Archbold (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Well, I admittedly didn’t quite knock the ball out of the park with this. What I was aiming to do here was point out a couple of facts surrounding the Midtown shooting. The first was that it had been reported this week that through court documents it appeared that race may have played a role in the senseless Midtown tragedy. Had you heard or read of that prior to reading it here? I was thinking the Channel 2 report had slipped through the cracks, hence I was aggregating this interesting bit of news for our Midtown community. Despite that TV report, it seemed barely anyone had noticed or were alarmed about it. It was almost like “ho-hum, we knew that.” Hence the questions to as to whether people were apathetic or worried about being pegged a racist for discussing this heinous crime. I could not find anyone commenting on it, but I do know people in Midtown talk about this case in private circles. Just like they talk about the overall crime problem here, especially in the neighborhoods of Midtown and Home Park. Black on white and black on black crimes continue to be a pressing issue for these communities. We are not a newspaper, magazine, or blog, but we are a community website where people can come to discuss issues of concern. The continuing crime issue here, whether it be a deadly shooting in the middle of the day, or an AK-47 robbery at the corner of 10th and Piedmont in the middle of the night, are certainly worth discussing.
Hunt Archbold (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The related point I was trying to convey was asking why the Midtown shooting had not been publicly discussed more here. Friends of the accused shooter describe him has an intelligent, college-educated man who was gentle at heart. Yet in the middle of a busy workday in the heart of Midtown, he allegedly targeted a young woman and is charged with killing her for as yet unexplained reasons. Now, this site has reported on a few stories surrounding the case in Florida, mostly with its correlation to “Georgia’s Stand Your Ground” law. That case has struck a cord in America…the Midtown case doesn’t even draw a public whisper locally. Hence, I attempted to loosely tie the two crimes, but in hindsight this may not have been called for. I thought Daniel made some solid points with regards to comparing how the Sanford and Atlanta police departments handled the situation and I regret not making similar points in the article. But I certainly did not suggest that there was something wrong with the national outrage over the Martin case, and having been born and raised in intown Atlanta, I’m more than aware of race studies with regards to our city and country. If I had to do again, I probably would’ve just stuck with the Midtown incident. But I don’t regret putting this elephant in the room out there for discussion. So I didn’t hit a home run, but I’m definitely going to keep stepping back up to the plate. As always, thanks for reading and commenting on Midtown Patch
Marc Acampora April 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I suspect that white people are not too apathetic to protest the brutal slaying of a woman nor are they afraid of being labeled racist by protesting a shooting. The fact is that protesting a shooting is a ridiculous, pointless gesture. Why protest against the actions of a deranged moron sitting in a jail cell? I generally agree with Daniel Gilmore's point in that protests arise when justice is not served, whether that be true in the Florida case or not, not withstanding. I do think the Florida case is a media circus and a race-baiter feeding frenzy. But, the point is, folks, black and white, protest not against criminals but against authorities if they believe they are not doing their jobs.
Chris Murphy April 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I'd agree with Marc. Remember the summer of pink flamingos standing in for Shirley F. and Pennington?

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