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 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.
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.