RIP Bobby Tillman

Today Bobby Tillman is being laid to rest.  Who is Bobby Tillman you ask?  I am sure the majority of you have never heard of him.  To be very honest, until last week, I had never heard of Bobby Tillman.  I had no reason to really.  And right now I wished I never had and I’m sure his family feels the same way.

Bobby Tillman

Bobby Tillman was an 18 year old young man who went to the same high school as #3.  He graduated the year after her.  According to all reports I’ve seen and read Bobby Tillman was a relatively quiet and very sweet young man who would not hurt anyone.  In fact he’d go so far as to not fight back when attacked… and it cost him his life.

Last week in the county I live in a young teenage girl decided to have a party with her parents permission.  According to reports there was no drug activity and no drinking at the party.  Her parents had said she could have about 10 friends over.  I’m not sure whether the parents left or what happened but the party swelled to about 80 attendees.  There were apparently teens all up and down the street and apparently either the parents came home or were already home and noticed how many teens had gathered and asked them to disperse.  The parents asked the teens to leave and they didn’t.

Then allegedly a fight broke out between two girls (over a boy) and was broken up and then another fight broke out in which a female hit a male teen present.  Then the unthinkable happened.  The male teen allegedly told those standing around that he was not about to “hit a girl” because he wasn’t raised like that.  Instead, to retaliate for being hit, he said he was going to jump the next guy to walk by.  The next guy to walk by unfortunately was Bobby Tillman. 

According to eyewitness reports, not only did this young man jump Bobby Tillman, an innocent teen who just happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time, but several others joined in.  They beat this poor boy unmercifully.  They beat this poor 5’6” 120 pound boy to the point that at one point they were not only kicking him but jumping on him.  It was so brutal that it broke one of his ribs which punctured his heart and killed him.  KILLED HIM!  For what?  NOTHING.  He did absolutely nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place in the wrong time.

From this point is where the stories start to diverge and criss cross and implode on one another.  The Douglas County Sheriffs Department was apparently already in route when the fight broke out having been called by the parents after the teens at the party refused to leave.  By the time they arrived it was too late to save him.  They arrested 3 teens that night but word has it that up to 10 people may have participated in the beating.  The most amazing part?  They hauled in 57 people from the party to be questioned about the fight.  NOT ONE tried to break it up.  Of course NOW, after the fact, many are saying they did in fact try to break it up but early word was that they all stood around and watched the beating but did nothing to stop it. 

To make matters worse, NAACP jumped into the melee accusing the sheriff’s department of being racist and of profiling for “hauling in” 57 black teens and young adults for questioning.   Hello??? That is who attended the party.  It was that they were being singled out because they were black.  They were being pulled in to find out who actually KILLED an innocent 18 year old man who had by all accounts done NOTHING wrong.   He was black.  The girl giving the party was black.  The people at the party were black.  The ones accused of killing him were black.  It had nothing to do with profiling or being racist.  It had everything to do with the fact that a young man lay dead because he attended at party that all the people who were questioned attended.

According to the Sheriff, they needed to move quickly lest all the revelers leave and then how in the world were they to round up all these people again for questioning.  Most of these people were not even invited to the party.  They just showed up.  A friend of a friend of a friend.  That’s like trying to randomly gather movie goers who saw a certain movie after the fact to get their opinion on a movie.  How are you gonna find out who was there unless you catch them coming out of the theatre.  Same here.  How were they supposed to find these randon uninvited party goers other than to pick them up right then and there and take them in for questioning.  I commend them for acting quickly.

I am still incensed over this.  Where do kids get off acting like this?  Where does this violence come from?  What gives someone the right to randomly pick an innocent person to pummel to death because the person who actually hit you can’t be hit back?  What gives you the right to hit anyone?  Why not be the bigger person and just walk away period?  Why pick on an innocent person? 

I feel so badly for Bobby Tillman’s family and friends.  I cannot imagine the pain his mother is going through.  She had moved him out here from Los Angeles just a couple of years ago to get him away from the violence out there.  She moved him to what she thought was a safe place to live only to have him randomly beaten to death because he happened to be the next person to walk by.  I can only hope that this opens people’s eyes to the fact that something has to be done to curtail this violence.  I am including a couple of links from the newspaper and television interviews that were done with the suspects. 

If anything good has come of this, they are holding vigils around the county to “Stop the Violence”.  You can read about one of them here.

I’m sorry I couldn’t get this videos to link but if you click them or copy and paste them you should be able to view them.

Picture of Bobby Tillman from his FB

Ironically, on Saturday before attending the party where he would lose his life, Bobby had gone to a play his grandmother had directed at a local church.  The play was about bullying.   R I P Bobby Tillman

NOTE:  Please feel free to repost this or share this on Facebook or Twitter.  We have got to get the word out that this senseless violence has GOT to end.  The world really doesn’t need to lose any more Bobby Tillmans.  Thank you.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to RIP Bobby Tillman

  1. Ron says:

    How utterly sad.

    I too cannot imagine the pain his mother is going through, having lost a child.

    In the past three years, I’ve noticed a HUGE increase in random violence here in Philly (especially amongst our teenagers). In fact, last year we had an incident happened where a group of teens randomly tormented an older gentleman in a subway station until he had a heart attack and died.

    We have what’s called ‘flash gangs’ going on in this city, where teens are walking into malls; destorying property and physically harming those who interfere. It’s gotten to the point where we have policemen patrolling the malls and certain areas of the city 24/7. I won’t even go into malls here.

    Thank you for posting this, Peg. And yes, this SENSELESS violence has GOT to end.


  2. This dreadful story has been all over the CNN News for the last week or more. I don’t understand it at all. There is something with teen boys and violence. I was at a party when I was in high school when a bunch of guys jumped a big kid who walked in. The big guy was about 6″4″ or so and either he had said something (maybe “hi”) to someone’s girlfriend. As soon as the violence started, my girlfriends and I left immediately. In this case, the guy attacked wasn’t seriously hurt, but it could have gone another way too. So, in other words, it’s not new. These were all white kids, so it’s not a black thing either. What ever it is, it sickens me.

    • pegbur7 says:

      This poor kid was NOT a big kid and beings that it was right here in our town scares me. That could have been anyone’s child. The more firghtening thought is that NO ONE tried to help him.

  3. mopatt says:

    Thank you for responding to my earlier post about this incident. I have been sick about this ever since I saw his mother speaking about it on CNN. I just couldn’t shake this one out of my mind. I couldn’t imagine watching someone at a party getting stomped like that and doing nothing. I wish I could say more about this but as a person that was bullied as a child I just don’t have it in me to say anymore, so I honor his life by posting it and hoping that other people will wake up and realize that this didn’t have to happen.

    Once again thank you for reaching out to me.

    • pegbur7 says:

      And thank you for responding. I wrote a post about a month or so ago about bullying and a fellow blogger, Dan Pearce, at Single Dad Laughing wrote a wonderful piece on bullying that mine was in response to.

      I am sorry you were bullied. No one should have to endure bullying and no one deserves to be stomped to death, especially when they have done NOTHING to warrant it.

      • mopatt says:

        I dealt with it the best way that I could. I went to a school early on where I was the only black kid in the school and the other kids didn’t know what to think so they bullied and beat me. I never gave up and I never let that interfere with what I wanted to do in life. I should also point out that I also got bullied at an all black and hispanic school later in life so somtimes it’s not just about race. My mother’s unwavering support is the biggest reason I came out relatively unscathed and can even look back on those years as an ultimately positive experience. However, looking back, I still say that it is an experience that we can all do without. Bullying is not “normal” and should not be treated as such.

        Once again thanks.

      • pegbur7 says:

        You are a very insightful young man. I applaud you for overcoming such adversity rather than letting it control or over rule you.

      • mopatt says:

        Thank you. Like I said before I credit my mother. She raised three remarkable kids on her own and she did it the best way that she could, with laughter and love. She always reminded me that success is the best revenge.

        I never forgot that.

      • pegbur7 says:

        Wonderful lesson. Sounds like she was a remrkable woman.

      • mopatt says:

        She was a remarkable woman. She passed two years ago last week of heart disease and I was with her. She went peacefully. She was literally my best friend. I still tell my friends to this day that I had more in common with my mom than anyone else. She loved holidays and spending time with her kids/grandchildren more than anything else in the world. I miss her more than anything but I know she is in a better place. She was remarkable!

      • pegbur7 says:

        I can tell that through your words. And she obviously raised a remarkable son. I just know she’s so proud.

  4. Carol says:

    It seems to me a disconnect has developed between our actions, reality, a sense of responsibility for our actions, a concern for human life, and humanity. Have we lost the ability to care about our fellow man? Blame it on TV, video games? How about parenting, how about it being the parents’ job to teach their kids about what really matters in this life? I don’t understand, I can’t understand, I will not accept.

  5. SuziCate says:

    this breaks my heart. An absolutely senseless act. so sad for this family.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Peg, This one really gets to me because it is so senseless, a young mans life was taken to prove the point that you were raised not to hit girls, come on now I don’t buy this excuse and that’s all it is as you know.

    I pray for the family and friends of this young man and like you hope this will open the eyes of many to help stop this type of violence.

    • pegbur7 says:

      It has definitely raised awareness and they ahve had several meetings with teens and ministers and local law enforcement so as senseless as it was, maybe it wasn’t totally in vain. That is the best (and that is stretchng it) thing I can see to come out of this. It was still SO uncalled for.

  7. LisaF says:

    A completely senseless act. Vicious and cold. The “apologies” and “condolences” from the accused are hollow. I sincerely hope justice prevails and these child-adults are found guilty and have lots of time to sit in a cell and reflect on exactly what they did.

  8. MFrancis says:

    They need to hand out death penalty for murders might stop the killings.

    • pegbur7 says:

      True. I did see in the paper the other day that they denied bond for the boys that were arrested. That’s at least a step in the right direction. Don’t let them out to do it to someone else!

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