A PUBLIC STATEMENT REGARDING THE PUBLIC STATEMENT MADE BY PHOENIX JONES
“The surest way for the wicked to prevail is for enough virtuous men to remain silent–lest they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” –Unattributed
“The sleep of reason breeds monsters.” –Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
PHOENIX JONES I’d like to make a public statement addressing the ‘news release’ posted earlier today by the district attorney Peter S. Holmes: first of all, no surprise that I was not charged with a crime as I did not commit one.
PHANTOM ZERO Ben Fodor was not charged with a crime because the individuals who he allegedly pepper sprayed did not step forward and left the area before they could be contacted by the police. Had those people stepped forward or statements had been taken, it is likely there would have been a criminal (and possibly civil) trail. Just because there was insufficient evidence to build a case does not mean that there was no wrong doing.
PHOENIX JONES Holmes claims I am a ‘deeply misguided individual.’ my concern about that statement is if I am ‘misguided’ while out on the streets of Seattle protecting people from violent assaults.
PHANTOM ZERO Holmes is free to think or say whatever he wishes. It’s his first Amendment right. His opinion might be informed by the fact that he is a District Attorney. Ben Fodor is also free to refute those claims, or if he is feeling particularily litigous, sue for slander or libel.
PHOENIX JONES ..would a ‘guided’ person just keep walking and allow someone to be kicked repeatedly in the head?
PHANTOM ZERO First, in the stabilized footage, there is evidence there is a fight. There is no evidence that someone is being kicked on the ground.
Second, a person might try to disperse a crowd without escalating the situation. Announce the police have been called. Stand, without weapons, as a witness. Perhaps by stating a camera is present, and also stating said individuals will turning the footage over to police, that those individuals are going to face police prosecution. Standard pratice for citizens should be: “observe and report.”
Third, a loud sound or a bright light, which is disconcerting and might evoke a fear response, might be a better stimulus to use than pepper spray, which is a pain response. Adrenalized (and possibly drunk) individuals tend to respond to pain stimulus by either fleeing or fighting–favoring fighting.
PHOENIX JONES He goes on to encourage legislature to pass a law about using large cans of pepper spray. Pepper spray is defined as a self defense tool and is very hard to use offensively,
PHANTOM ZERO If a person is actively seeking out trouble, or if they are purposely interposing themselves to escalate the situation to get police involved, that is an offensive, not defensive, undertaking.
A stiletto heel usually isn’t defined as a weapon, but can still be used offensively.
A shield is, by definition, defensive, but can be used offensively.
People have varied responses to pepper spray, and some people can have fatal reactions. In prisons some, whenever a guard uses pepper spray, it is mandatory report must be filed and that documentation reviewed to make sure that the use of force was not excessive, unwarranted, or an abuse of power, a medical professional must be present and that individual must immediately be tended to checked for an averse reaction and to make sure it is non-fatal, and the use of pepper spray is only warranted in situations where there is a threat of imminent and unavoidable harm.
There is no rational reason to carry a bulk of pepper spray unless you fear assault from an exceedingly large mob of people, and brandishing such weaponry can be considered threatening.
Self-defense is just that. Defending one’s self. Self-defense does not apply when attacking others. That’s called assault. That’s not defensive. That’s offensive.
PHOENIX JONES In the statement, they accuse me of having a vigilante alter ego. I have been very clear from the beginning that I am not a vigilante
PHANTOM ZERO I could be very clear that I am a Christmas elf, but that does not mean I am by my own subjective assessment.
PHOENIX JONES What I do is when I see someone in the offense of a violent crime and I detain them until the official police arrive, who have taken a public oath to serve and protect and follow the legal procedures that have been voted for by the citizens.
PHANTOM ZERO Any self-appointed person who undertakes law enforcement in their community without legal authority, as by avenging a crime, is a vigilante.
PHOENIX JONES Holmes was careful to point out that I am ‘not a hero’. I believe that the victims on the street I have saved from being car jacked, bus jacked, assaulted, the people who have needed medical attention, and the 39,827 other people here on this page alone support what I do on a daily basis
PHANTOM ZERO Public opinion, popularity, or a myriad of good deeds does not give you special status of exemption from the law. When you are in violation of the law, you suffer the consequences–and while Ben Fodor’s character and other good deeds may be taken into account–it does not automatically grant a free pass.
PHOENIX JONES A hero can be defined as a lot of different things
PHANTOM ZERO “Hero” is a word. Claiming it for one’s self does about as much as claiming one’s self a Christmas elf.
PHOENIX JONES the good part of this is that district attorney Holmes is familiar with the law and came to the proper conclusion that I did not break the law.
PHANTOM ZERO Holmes didn’t push forward because the people Ben Fodor allegedly pepper sprayed didn’t step forward and there was insufficient evidence.
PHOENIX JONES However, what troubles me is that he wants to change the good Samaritan law that currently protects the citizens rights to interject themselves into situations where other people are being harmed and they need to know that they will not receive legal retribution for doing what is morally right. This in also an important day for activists and superhero alike as our way of life was being challenged.
PHANTOM ZERO Broad laws must be altered to cater to specific circumstances because of the lowest common denominator–the actions of a few who are irresponsible, or worse, abuse, distort, and corrupt the letter of the law.
In this case, Ben Fodor is the lowest common denominator.
If Ben Fodor feared for how the changes in this law will effect the citizens, understand that the result of his own actions are solely to blame, and the result this has on incidental bystanders, concerned citizens in his local community doing legitimate community watches, and/or other Real Life Superheroes rests solely and squarely on his own shoulders.
I find the sudden and unexpected convergence a bit disquieting, considering that the majority of the real life superhero community has shunned and decried Ben Fodor from his start of being “Phoenix Jones,” and Ben Fodor has taken measures to seperate and distance “Phoenix Jones” from the real life superhero community and movement by giving himself the label and claiming to be a member of the “Rain City superhero movement”–an organization which he claimed was completely seperate from the real life superhero community–and now that Ben has gotten this exceedingly bad press, it seems he seeks to distribute this new negative attention, and impose both his fight to regain credibility and his stigmata off on real life superheroes, which he consequently constantly puts down and has nothing to do with. (Edit: And, also, consequently, censors any voices of dissent which would be negative publicity by erasing the wall posts of individuals who voice concearns, or criticize his actions or methods–such as most recently in the case Drago Hammer, but also in regard to any RLSH, or RLSV, or any private citizen…)
Ben using this as a kind of clarion call to try and rally others behind him, by trying to suddenly associate himselfself with the real life superhero movement, is insulting. Realize that by he acting in this manner and by stating such an association, Ben Fodor casts a negative light on the masses who would not judge us an individuals, but who would seek to crush us as a collective group. By stating such, Ben Fodor risks tearing the concept of real life superheroes down, including those who are perfectly peaceful, altruistic/charitable, law abiding sensible do-ers of good–as well as the entire spectrum of the completely indepenent individuals who fall under the umbrella of real life superheroes who came before you who have operated exercising discretion and sound judgement.You don’t champion a cause or an idea with bad behavior, and you certainly should claim you are doing it in the name of a pro-social movement.