Lancelot - Thank you for your kind offer to donate to Mike's defense fund - The Mike Gerber Legal Defense Fund and forward your check c/o Indra Turnbull, 114 North Cove Drive, Peachtree City, Georgia 30269.
And by the way, as we all know these threads can get out of control and everyone likes to put their viewpoint forward and have their say - and, don't get me wrong, one of the very reasons blogs and threads like this exist. However, when someone reads every day other people's account of what happened (many of whom were not even there and would not have known Mike from Sam from Joe Blow even if they were), who erroneously state that he deserved what he got by being in the bathroom in the first place (when he was not); he was sticking up for his best friend (someone he did not know prior to the event); etc., it is extremely frustrating. Therefore, I can totally understand why he felt it necessary to put the record straight.
I have had the opportunity to read all the witness statements - a vast majority from people who did not imbide that evening and were stone cold sober at the time the event occurred. They 100 percent support Mike's version of what happened - and, irrespective of whether one had had a couple of beers and legally was over the limit (I do not believe there were any charges that related to operating a vehicle at the time all of this happened!), the actions of the officer were unwarranted and totally irresponsible.
I have two sons aged 22 and 19 to whom Mike has been a big brother and an incredible role model since the passing of their father from cancer five years ago. I can categorically state, knowing my sons as I do, like Mike (and like their mother) they too would not have been able to stand by and watch another human being be ill-treated in an unjustifiable manner. I know if I or they had been there and had witnessed the same thing, we would have been the first to question the officer's actions - and not been timid about it. I, and my late husband, taught our sons not to be ostrich's, not to turn your head when your fellow human being is in trouble. Several years ago, I happened to find myself in a situation where an old lady was mugged on a downtown Atlanta street in the middle of the day amidst a crowd of people. Apart from myself and one other individual, not one of the other bystanders did anything to either help her or apprehend the thug that attacked her. It appalled me. The "I don't want to get involved" mentality is prevalent and quite frankly I am proud of Mike to have spoken out when he witnessed injustice. Maybe if a few more people had done the same thing at the same time, Mike would not have become the object of the officer's attention and focus - being aware that it was more than one individual who questioned his treatment of Sam and he may have backed off or at least dealt with Sam and moved on.
So, let's now put this thread to rest. Everyone has had their say - expressed their opinion - it is now getting old. Let Mike and his witnesses have their day in court where the facts will speak for themselves and a jury of his peers can judge based upon the facts and not comments as to body weight/number of beers/being drunk; the legal versus moral implications of someone being in a ladies rest room; and so on and so on.....
If anyone is seriously interested in keeping up with Mike's siutation, you can email me or any of his team mates whose email addresses you might know and we will be more than happy to keep you informed. To those of you who have already contributed toward Mike's defense, I would like to express both his and our since and deep appreciation.
I would also like to reach out to anyone who may have any photos or video of what happened to Mike or further individuals who may have witnessed what happened to contact me ([email protected]) as, although we do have several witness statements already that totally substantiate what Mike related in his message, you can never have too many. So, if you did not speak up at the time, here is your chance to support a truly caring fellow athelete who would be the first to do it for you.