After publishing my last post, I got a question regarding my use of the term assassination. I appreciate questions. They require an explanation and a further definition of a term. The question also got me thinking perhaps my understanding of the word was either different from my use and I should revise, or completely incorrect. So I looked it up in Merriam Webster to check myself. As a result, I’m going to use this post to further explain my use of the term and how I would assert the current events happening around the city play into my use of that term. I’d also like to further emphasize this is entirely MY opinion, and not that of Peach Pundit as a whole.

Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines it:



as·​sas·​si·​na·​tion ə-ˌsa-sə-ˈnā-shən 


Synonyms of assassination

: murder by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons : the act or an instance of assassinating someone (such as a prominent political leader)

the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

an assassination attempt

In medieval days, assassination by poisoning was common enough to alarm many a king, and protection was sought in the form of prayers, food tasters and science.

The New York Times

: treacherous destruction of a person’s reputation

character assassination

In my discussion about the term, I actually defined it in terms of the police action that was used to kill Manuel “Tortuguita” Teran, the ensuing martyrdom of Tortugita, and the private autopsy results available at the time. IMHO, the dictionary definition underlines these things and the recent events more boldly.

My framing of the event involves my knowledge of APD’s use of body cameras. Body cameras are required to be used by the APD. They cannot be turned off remotely, but they can be used to see directly to the ground from the tower in the sky, so to speak, at 180 Peachtree, the VIC, as it was referred to in my Citizens’ Police Academy class. Like my classmates and any Citizens’ Police Academy students, I’ve also sat in the room where the Troopers and the APD, among other jurisdictions, sit as they watch from on high. The now Police Chief Schierbaum took great pride in asserting that the only people in that room are folks who bring something to work with or assist the APD as they move through whatever they’re coordinating from that location. He also assured our class that the cameras could not be turned off remotely to hide what happens in an interaction with an officer.

For these reasons, there is no doubt in my mind the choice of using State Troopers to enter the forest in the “clearing” that killed Tortugita and injured a Trooper was (again in my humble opinion) strategically chosen with the knowledge that whatever happened there could be hidden. 

I’ll leave the legislators at the Gold Dome to debate why we have accepted this lack of body cameras on Troopers, but it is my opinion that this choice of sending the Troopers in versus Atlanta’s own folks in blue makes this an assassination. 

It is my opinion that all of the folks who were there went in with the knowledge that killing protestors might occur and they were ok with that. They went in loaded to bear and the 13 bullets from various guns tell us all that they were prepared to kill.

But a Trooper was shot, Lora? 

Why yes- and thanks to no body camera footage, we’ll never know who shot first. 

I will also add that the Trooper still walks the earth, thankfully. I have prayed for his health and his family’s safety. Tortugita doesn’t and their body had 13 bullets to ensure they didn’t breathe again.

I don’t assume that anyone protesting in the forest that day wanted to be a martyr, but now we have one and the rising protests following this assassination and calling the Troopers in to quell those protests make this martyrdom solidified. It also motivated one member of the CSAC committee (remember the one that had some semblance of oversight on the area and the one that removed a vocal critic?) to resign. Another member is contesting the land disturbance permit “…because the project would violate a state limit on sediment runoff and because its lease gives an inaccurately large number for the amount of green space set aside.” (h/t to John Ruch who has been reporting on this since the beginning. 

Finally, I’d like to discuss the Merriam-Webster definition. You know, the political message part.

You may notice in the linked article above how the CSAC members were asked to share a message of how the protestors are “outside agitators” and their actions were exaggerated to hype up the danger to police. I believe this applies to the second definition as provided for Merriam-Webster, referring to character assassination. Labeling protestors as outsiders is a classic tactic of othering-separating those who are part of a group (Georgians/ Atlantans, in this case) versus those who are not. Don’t believe me about the unquestioning nature of CSAC- read the committee member’s words. 

She said that she, Taylor and Ponitz were the only members who seemed to have “interested curiosity and not just kind of like nodding our heads and saying, ‘Sure, everything’s fine,’ or asking deeper questions. I think all the [other] members are super bought into it and want to get it moved along, regardless of what changes. I think they’re just sort of like, the police and fire people should get whatever they want, and it’s fine.”

I assert that the killing of any of those protestors was to send a political message that Atlanta/ Georgia will not tolerate protests. And when necessary, we will send in state Troopers without body cameras to kill them to ensure the APF’s money-making scheme can move forward without delay. Further, the political message is that in Georgia, we will charge protestors with domestic terrorism charges so that the GBI can investigate them without any need to answer questions to the public.

It is my further personal opinion that when the Mayor expressed his sympathy for the Trooper via Twitter and not Tortugita, he was sending a message. Originally, I thought it was a mistake of his communications team to not express empathy for both. I can’t see it as unintentional now though. That message was further underlined by the fact that SWAT teams descended again on the forest during the press conference of Tortugita’s family calling upon the GBI to answer questions about Tortugita’s death

Disrespect to the dead is something most Southerners don’t do. Where I come from we still pull over for funerals and my husband removes his hat.

This recent “clearing” wasn’t coincidental either. 

This is the militarization of our police in Georgia. This is the state having so much power, it can kill its own people, and have no accountability. In my humble opinion, Tortugita’s death was a political message that Georgia is ok with the state killing its own as a sacrifice on the altar of “backing the blue”. And to further emphasize this point, our legislators are empowering the GBI to now handle these investigations and as a result, no questions are being answered. 

And what about the forest itself? 

Oh yeah, they’re draping it to ensure no one can see in. 

“Reports from the forest today describe a large privacy screen being placed to hide future destruction from public view.  The reason for this privacy screen is unclear, but it serves as a stark visual reminder for how the city engaged in this whole process without public access.” -Atlanta Press Collective. 

This wasn’t a random killing. This was strategically planned to send a political message. The communication around it from Mayor Dickens’ comments to the CSAC members’ media coaching, and now the “clearing” of the forest during the family’s press conference illustrate how intentional the messaging around this is. 

This didn’t just happen. The question for me now is, is Georgia ok with this?

One Reply to “Assassination”

  1. You lost me a few posts back when you used the made-up word “Latinx.” It’s stupid virtue signaling rejected by a super majority of Hispanics when polled on it.

    You clearly don’t understand the word “assassination,” either, but merely bend the term to confirm your priors.

    The dude effed around and found out, then his smelly companions torched cars & shot fireworks at cops.

    But that reality doesn’t fit your narrative.

    On the bright side, good to see you’ve discovered that 300-word paragraphs are cumbersome.

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