Two Neighborhood Watchmen Charged In Atlanta As Prosecutors Avoid Repeat of Trayvon Martin Outrage
Two neighborhood watchmen, Robert and son Brandon Canoles, are under arrest for holding up a couple, the Kalonjis, for supposedly breaking into a foreclosed home in Atlanta. Following the national attention on the Trayvon Martin case, prosecutors are paying special attention to neighborhood watchmen across the country that are trying to prevent crime on their own streets.
The details of this case are very intriguing. Jean-Joseph Kalonji and Angelica Kalonji were following their realtor's advice when they drove to the home that their son, Bruno, had just bought to change the locks. The house had been vacant for over half a year so when neighborhood watchmen, Robert Canoles and son Brandon Canoles, heard noises coming from the home, they immediately grabbed their guns and sprung into action.
The Canoles held up the Kalonjis, while they waited for police to arrive to take care of the situation. When police finally did arrive, they arrested the Kalonjis because they did not have any information proving their son had just bought the property. The police then thanked the Canoles for doing a good job in handling the situation.
Now less than a week later, the Canoles are in jail being held without bond. They are charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal trespass because of the "good job" they did in handling the situation.
This is a direct result of the outcry of the Trayvon Martin case. I believe the prosecution of the Canoles is being done in order to allow the Newton County Sheriff's Office to save face in light of the Martin case. This case makes it clear that any action taken by anyone other than the police is criminal. What makes this case so interesting though is that the police showed up and sided with the Canoles! Yet that is not good enough. Newton County does not want to attract the kind of attention Samford Florida did so they are being overzealous in their response to this case.
I am interested in seeing how this plays out. What do you think? Is Newton County being overzealous in their prosecution of the Canoles who responding police officers praised for their action? Is this a result of the Trayvon Martin case or is the connection between the two cases unrelated in anyway?