Monday, April 07, 2008

New Orleans

This appeared in the news recently. I remember when it hit the news 4 years ago. Yes, I was working downtown at that point. I remember that a similiar inicident almost happened right in front of me in downtown Athens less than a week later, and I was relieved when things didn't play out the way that they did that night in New Orleans.

So my stance on the subject? Let's look at the facts, first:

Jones was drunk...twice the legal limit, in fact. He was denied entry to a bar, reportedly because of a dresscode violation. He sucker punched one of the doormen with a closed fist. He resisted arrest.

My conclusion? His death was a direct result of his decision to go out, get drunk and fight. How should a doorman be held responsible for his death when physically attacked by a drunken stranger?

He shouldn't. Plain and simple. Did Jones deserve to die? Absolutely not. I can't begin to try to expain the door policies at Razoo because I'm not familiar with them. I wasn't there when it happened and I've never worked at a bar in New Orleans.

But what I can draw from is my own experience. And my own experience is this. The customers are out to get drunk. The bar employees are there to do their job, make their money, and go home. Who do you normally believe? The drunk or the sober kid?

It sounds sad, and it's a shame. I truly believe that. A human life should never be lost because of bar scene bullshit, but it happens sometimes. Alcohol makes people do dumb things, and when you throw in a few variables here and there, sometimes people get hurt or get killed.

I can only imagine Jones' family and friends frustration, and it may be hard to believe that the person that's not around to stand up for themselves possibly could have not made the best decisions that night, and those decisions may have ultimately led to their death, but facts are facts. I can imagine they want someone to blame, and they feel it couldn't be their son, their friend, or their boyfriend who's ultimately responsible for actions that may not be becoming of them. But sometimes people make mistakes. Sometimes people make mistakes that cost them their life. And I feel bad that Levon Jones did that while he was under the influence of alcohol, but he did.

And it's not the bouncers fault.


At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the story. Sounds like he was asphyxiated.

I don't know the details, but on your blog haven't you talked about choking someone until they become unconscious? Maybe that's what they were doing, choking him out and they ended up suffocating him. That would have to be at least manslaughter, maybe worse. Maybe choking is a bad tactic to use to try to control someone, although a door person certainly doesn't have the skills, the tools or the discretion to use those tools available to a police officer so I don't know what else you could do. Maybe just throw him outside and then let the cops handle it.

New Orleans is a shitty town. Maybe that's why that hurricane was sent to kick their ass.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this entry. Just wanted to say that I admire you for not having killed anyone yet. I am 33 now, but I was once a 19 year old punk at UGA trying to sneak into the bars. I never fucked with the doormen by taunting or threatening them, because frankly, I am a small guy and I didn't have a hankering for an ass-whooping. However, I remember how you guys were treated by my contemporaries.

As a 33 year old man now, I doubt I would have the restraint to refrain from beating the ever-living shit out of some rich, suburban Atlanta 20 year old little puke who is cussing me out because I won't let him break the law.

My hat is off to you.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

The case would be the nearly the same if the folks who were holding him down were police officers. But the officers would have far more sympathy from the public.

And that ain't sayin' a lot.


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