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Excerpt from the Washington Post
A white Indiana man gave police a novel explanation for why he drew his gun and threatened an unarmed black man before firing a shot: He was trying to help the intoxicated stranger get safely out of the street.
Police didn’t buy it, and now Bryan Oedzes is charged with aggravated discharge of a weapon in the village limits of Flossmoor, Ill., a Chicago suburb.
He is also charged with a hate crime.
Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter told The Washington Post that Oedzes yelled the n-word at the man and said “you don’t belong here” before firing his gun on Aug. 22.
The victim can be seen on surveillance video dropping to the ground at the sight of the gun, Kamleiter said. Later, the man backs away with his hands raised. Then there’s a bright muzzle flash.
The incident occurred outside the Flossmoor Brewery, according to the police report written by a responding officer. The victim, the officer wrote, “informed me he was walking down the west sidewalk by the Village Gift Shop … when a male white subject who was walking southbound down the same sidewalk confronted him and said, ‘You need to get the f— out of here! You don’t belong here!’ ”
The white male, later identified as Oedzes, pulled a gun and pointed it at the man, prompting the victim to ask Oedzes: “What, you going to shoot me?”
“Fearing for his life,” the officer wrote, the victim “turned and ran eastbound toward the Flossmoor Brewery when the offender fired a round from the pistol.” The victim wasn’t injured.
Kamleiter said the victim — who was not named by police — was drunk when he was interviewed. In a second interview, the man told investigators that Oedzes had used a racial slur, calling him the n-word.
Oedzes didn’t return messages left by The Washington Post, but he has defended himself in interviews, telling police and the Chicago Tribune that he was trying to help the man get to safety. “I wanted to make sure he got out of the street and didn’t get hurt,” Oedzes told the Tribune. “Unfortunately, he approached us.”
But, he says, he began to worry about his own safety when the man began to approach. Oedzes told the Tribune that he has multiple sclerosis and wouldn’t be able to physically fight the man. “We were faced with an imminent and serious threat,” he said. “I asked him not to come any nearer, but he kept walking toward me. Once he saw I had a gun, he walked away.”
But Oedzes said he still did not feel safe, because he had to turn his back on the man to cross the street and return to the business where he had been working.
First, the hate crime charge is ridiculous.
Second, I don’t believe Oedzes called the drunk black gentleman a “Nigger.”
Third, I’ve been on the receiving end of Negro menacing that would not appear menacing on a security cam. A few well chosen words and a stare are sometimes menacing. Thus, I believe Oedzes did feel threatened.
Fourth, Oedzes has no criminal record.
Fifth, Oedzes showed bad judgement in attempting to interact with a drunk gentleman of color. His worst lapse in judgement came when he fired his weapon and apparently admitted it to police. He had a right to remain silent.
Twenty years ago the police would have called the firing of the weapon justified, but in today’s politically correct world the police are sometimes prejudiced against white males. This is one of those cases, as far as I’m concerned. It’s just another small chapter in the government’s campaign of white genocide in America.