Dear Decaturish – Sheriff Mann is entitled to due process

Posted by Decaturish.com May 10, 2017

Jeff Mann, DeKalb County Sheriff

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Dear Decaturish,

I have never met Sheriff Jeff Mann of DeKalb County and I do not know him. In addition, I did not vote for him in the last election. Sheriff Jeff Mann was initially elected in July 2014. In 2016, he was reelected.

I do not defend Sheriff Jeff Mann’s behavior. However, I do defend his right to due process.

This is bigger than Jeff Mann. It is about double standards, being treated fairly, and due process. He has not had due process as of yet, but many have stated that he should resign, without all the facts and a chance for Sheriff Jeff Mann to tell his side of the story. I suggest that he get his attorney and a PR person to defend his actions.

I agree the situation does not look good. Less, I should hold my tongue. I will call this like I see it.

I do not believe that race should have anything to do with the outcome. I am glad that Mann was not shot while he was allegedly fleeing police. It is good to know that Sheriff Mann did not receive special treatment and was at least arrested. I believe that everyone should be treated the same and that all our rights protected.  If you or I had done the same thing we would have been arrested and locked up. The only difference is it would probably not have been breaking news.

Sheriff Mann is an elected constitutional officer of the State of Georgia. He has to be held to a high standard of behavior. He is not a part-time sheriff. Why do we keep giving these politicians, police, and preachers’ waivers or accept their excuses for their behavior? I agree that it is premature and a rush to judgment to ask Sheriff Mann to resign before the facts and evidence have been determined and established.

I do not see what his sexual preference or whether he was married has to do with him being at Piedmont Park. The last time I checked, there are all kinds of people that visit Piedmont Park in Atlanta. We have the freedom to go anywhere we desire. This behavior could have been done by a married person, a priest, a congressman, a single person, a prostitute, or a dog.

Again, I do not defend the Sheriff’s behavior. However, I do and I will defend his right to due process. Due process is part of the U.S. Constitution. Let the legal process play out and allow Sheriff Mann due process. It is the American way. Sheriff Mann is an elected official a constitutional officer of the state of Georgia and an American citizen.

What many Americans do not know and may have different experiences in, is that “fleeing from police” is not, by itself, illegal in America, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that in safe neighborhoods, people not suspected of criminal activity can ignore a police officer who approaches them, even to the point of walking away.

I believe that this process should be allowed to play out and that the sheriff be allowed to defend himself in court and not in the media. When one man loses his rights, we all will lose them. Are we the land of the free? Do we believe in liberty and justice for all?

– Ed Williams

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