My son was cuffed and threatened for trying to sell his MacBook on Craigslist, alleges Daily Beast editor

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Over the weekend, Daily Beast editor Goldie Taylor tweeted out a horrific story about what happened when her 25-year-old son tried to sell the MacBook she had bought him for college on Craigslist.

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According to Taylor, when her son met the buyer in a public place in Atlanta, he was suddenly placed in handcuffs with a weapon held to his back. A scan was conducted on this computer, and when it was discovered the computer wasn't stolen, her son was released, she says.

The men apparently never identified themselves, but when her son later checked in with the supposed buyer, that person blamed the police.

In a statement, Taylor said, "we believe that unidentified members of law enforcement acted without the required probable cause and used a decoy to lure my son to a public place." She added, "Atlanta police chief George Turner's office reached out to my son, at the behest of Mayor Reed, today and we believe an internal review is underway."

Here's her full tweetstorm about the incident:

21 PHOTOS
Man cuffed for trying to sell MacBook on Craigslist
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My son was cuffed and threatened for trying to sell his MacBook on Craigslist, alleges Daily Beast editor
My son Josh. He is the light of my world... https://t.co/zMZqcAlqZn
Last year, I wrote abt Jonathan Sanders-- a black man killed by an off duty officer with a Taser-- only to have my son face the same threat.
What "suspicious" activity did my son demonstrate? He posted his MacBook for sale on CraigsList. Armed undercover officers showed up. 1/?
He arranged to meet with a potential "buyer," who turned out to be a police decoy. A device was use to secretly scan his computer files. 2/?
As they conducted the illegal search, an undercover officer approached from behind and ordered him to place his hands behind his back. 3/
He did not ID himself. He pressed a weapon to my son's back or ordered him to stay still. 4/
My son feared for his life. 5/
He did not know who they were. Another officer approached, determined the MacBook belonged to my son. 6/
They uncuffed him, apologized and walked away. Never once ID'ing themselves. 7/
The cuffs cut his wrists. 8/
This happened out in the open on a busy street. 9/
My son got into his car and broke down in tears. He called me sobbing. 10/
They left evidence of the search on his computer, including the name of the company that owned the device. 11/
I called the mayor, a long-time friend, and asked him to look into it. 12/
Meanwhile, my son called the company that owned the device. 13/
The next day, my son received an e-mail from the "buyer." He apologized, claimed no responsibility and blamed the police. 14/
We still don't know who the officers were or the real ID of the "buyer." But I've hired an attorney and an investigator to find out. 15/
They didn't get a warrant b/c they had no real reason to think my son had stolen anything. 16/
My son was targeting without probable cause. Handcuffed w/ a weapon pressed into his back. 17/
"Mom, if I had moved they could've killed me and gotten away with it." 18/
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She has continued to tell her story and respond to doubters on Twitter.

Here's her full statement provided to Business Insider:

During an incident that unfolded last week, undercover officers targeted my son Joshua as he attempted to sell his personal computer through Craigslist -- the country's leading digital classified advertising site. Disrupting a private and legal transaction, we believe that unidentified members of law enforcement acted without the required probable cause and used a decoy to lure my son to a public place.

Shortly after he arrived, my son was handcuffed and detained with a weapon pressed to his back, while his personal property was subjected to a warrantless search. At no time did any of the three officers present identify themselves or their agency, nor was my son ever told why he was being detained. He feared for his life and thus complied with every command. The incident occurred on Thursday, May 12 around 2 p.m. at the Buckhead Caribou Coffee, located near the intersection of Piedmont and Peachtree Roads.

Joshua, who is a 25-year-old Atlanta native and an architecture student, believes in the spirit of community and, among other efforts, was a campaign volunteer for Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed in 2009. However, he also believes -- as I do -- in equal protection under the law. We believe that his constitutional right to privacy, as well as his protections against false imprisonment and illegal search and seizure, were all violated.

As a family, we believe that strong, healthy communities depend on relationships built on mutual trust and respect between members of law enforcement and the people they are sworn to serve and protect. We have hired legal counsel to help us fully investigate the incident, identify the officers involved and navigate the appropriate next steps.

Atlanta police chief George Turner's office reached out to my son, at the behest of Mayor Reed, today and we believe an internal review is underway.

While we remain grateful for the outpouring of support from people around the country--as an editor with a national publication and cable news political analyst who has covered high-profile cases of police violence in North Charleston, Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and elsewhere-- I can think of no greater pain than to lose my son.

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