There are two significant issues surrounding the events of October 4, 1993. The first has to do with what was described as “an attitude” of the dead police officer, Roger Motley.
The Outpost of Freedom has always endeavored to present the truth, or at least as close to the truth as possible. Sometimes, information is not available. Speculation information from uninformed sources misinformation and, half-truths can result form the unavailability of accurate information.
Lynda Lyon had described Roger Motley as a “bad cop”. She had described him as a “cop with an attitude”, which she based upon the fact that with nearly two decades on the Opelika Police Department, he had been “kicked” off of the streets due to his abusive treatment of people. After all, you would wonder why a police officer with 18 years of experience would find himself in the “supply room” doing administrative work.
Compounding this was the fact that the Court, during both George & Lynda’s trials, refused to allow the introduction of Motley’s personnel file into evidence.
Now, based upon some of the stories I have covered (Florida Common Law Court Trial The Death of Michael Hill and others) it is not unusual for the extension of government known as “The Court” to protect another extensions of government (Law Enforcement Officers).
Recently, I was contacted by Juanita Motley, widow of the dead policeman. I had, in the past, been told by other reporters that she would not interview with me, but I found her to be open, and willing to answer my questions.
I asked her about Roger Motley, in light of what Lynda had said about him. I was curious as to why he had been assigned to the supply room, if he were not a “bad cop”. Her answer (portions of which are included, below) was plausible and is not inconsistent with the facts that are known.
Consequently, I am posting this information with the intention of allowing a more complete understanding of what might be the truth regarding Roger Motley.
Personally, I am inclined to believe what Juanita has said. I don’t know if there are any omissions to the story. Only opening Motley’s personnel file will answer, conclusively, this question. Barring that, it is, in my estimation, important that both sides be heard.
Following is a portion of the communication from Juanita Motley:
Roger was with the with the police department for 18 years…. The transfer to Administration came because Roger had tried to help break up a fight in the jail and was thrown against an open cell door. Because of this incident, he had to have back surgery. After his surgery, he returned to active " street duty”…
The position in administration was a lateral move. He was a Sergeant in detectives and the Administration position was a Sergeant. He was offered the transfer and decided to take the position because he continued to have back problems and believed it would be a better position for him and better for the department. As Administration Sergeant, Roger was in charge of the Identification Section, the Jail, over-all building Maintenance and the " Supplies"
… I questioned the fact that they did not allow the personnel file to be entered during the trials. I was told that it had no bearing on the case. In hind sight, I wish they had allowed it to be brought in. Although, Lynda insisted that Roger was a bad cop, there was no evidence to substantiate her claim. There was nothing negative in it except for the one incident when he was written up because of a traffic accident where he pulled out from a side street and didn"t see an oncoming car. The damage to the police car was minimal but he was at fault.
… There were also some comments about Roger not having a Vest on. There was a good reason for that. Roger always wore his vest to work. A couple of days prior to the incident, the police department hired a new officer. Because this new officer was " on the street" and Roger was in Administration, Roger volunteered to give the new officer his bullet proof vest (until they got some in) because they did not have any extras.
As I said, I have no reason to dispute what Juanita Motley has provided as an explanation of why Roger Motley, with 18 years on the force, ended up in the supply room.
Now, we come to that other “issue” that I mentioned. The Founders, in their desire to prohibit the government from becoming despotic, provided that only the people, through the Grand Jury Process, could issue an arrest warrant (Article V, in Amendment to the Constitution – “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury,…”). This position was upheld in the Supreme Court Decision, John Bad Elk vs. United States [177 U.S. 529 (1900)], which said, “" ...where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What might be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.” And, in defining a lawful arrest, the Court said, “" an arrest made with a defective warrant or one issued without affidavit or one that fails to allege a crime is without jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested may resist arrest and break away. If the arresting officer is killed by one who is resisting, the killing will be no more than involuntary manslaughter.”
What Mrs. Motley said, which prompts this discussion, is:
… I know that the police are trained to place their hand on the holster during an arrest and (right or wrong) I"m sure Roger did that. But he did not return fire at George until several shots had been fired and he was hit at least once. In 18 years of police work Roger had NEVER had to fire his gun.
When I was young, I was taught that you only draw a gun if you intend to use it. Have you ever wondered why a policeman would draw his gun? Unless, of course, he intended to use it.
Now, why would someone WANT to use a gun on a person if all the other person did was drive a car without a license? Or, even, as was alleged, that he had beaten his child?
Now, from the standpoint of the other person – If he sees the officer place his hand on a gun, should he respond to defend his life, or, hope that the officer won’t shoot him?
To answer those who would claim that policemen never shoot an innocent person – you have failed to follow the all too frequent newspaper articles which explain how hundreds of unarmed people are shot, every year, either by accident or a misassumption on the part of the officer.
Perhaps this was a legitimate concern of the Founders. After all, the word “Liberty” was far more important to them than “Freedom”. Liberty, quite simply, as defined in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary – the words as understood by the Founders, is “Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.”
Perhaps the fault lies more with a system that relies on restraint of its Citizenry to conduct its business. Even more so when that system arms its enforcement officers, teaches them to use the subtle intimidation of the hand on the holster, and fails to explain to them the constraints imposed on them by the Constitution.
Unfortunately, in the incident we are discussing, Roger Motley died. Nine years later, Lynda Lyon died. In both deaths, there were those who grieved – and suffered a loss. The government, however, with no remorse, at all, intends to execute George Sibley in November.
Freedom and Liberty die very slowly – almost imperceptibly. But, when the government ignores the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States (in the John Bad Elk decision), Freedom, and Liberty surely die.