Last Monday afternoon, 26-year-old Mezaio Pickett was shot and killed in a restaurant parking lot in Smyrna, Georgia. Local news outlets reported the killing was related to a craigslist deal gone wrong. I did not see any word on if this was a robbery planned from the start, or what item the deal may have involved. Pickett’s alleged assailants remained at large for two days before police arrested 22-year-olds Damien Akeen Scott and Vincent Diandrez Brooks. Both have been charged with homicide-murder and aggravated assault.
Sadly, the Peach State of Georgia is not unfamiliar with craigslist killings and other crimes. While the most high-profile one was the murder of elderly couple Bud and June Runion, there has also been the recent disappearance of Vicente Cruz, and the murder of 51-year-old Sam Norman who was using the classifieds app LetGo.
When dealing with people from craigslist, the old rules no longer apply. It isn’t just enough to meet someone in public. Too many people have been hurt for this to be a viable form of business anymore. Most articles state the best way to complete these transactions safely is to meet at a police station, but how much longer will it be before a robbery is even attempted there? That’s not even counting the less than legitimate transactions that have led to violence. With such a low barrier of entry and the perceived notion of anonymity it gives its users, craigslist is just a bad deal all around.