Sunday, March 12, 2017
On this date in 2011, Bryce Reynolds of Savannah, GA began construction on the tiny house he'd designed, with the intent of going completely off the grid. Reynolds, who identified as an anarchist, did not get building permits, let alone make an effort to purchase the land on which he decided the build, which was listed in the registry of public lands. Two days into his tiny house project, a county marshall visited the site and informed Reynolds that he had no legal right to build. Reynolds ignored the visit and continued to build. Considering the fact that Reynolds seemed like a harmless young man from a decent family, law enforcement officials decided they had carried out their duty by informing Reynolds of the questionable legality of his project, and chose to turn a blind eye as construction continued. Within a week, the Savannah chapter of the African American Heritage Society held a press conference in which they revealed that the land on which Reynolds was building was the site of a burial plot for 19th century slaves. Activists mobilized and the illegal construction project was immediately surrounded by a steady stream protestors and members of the media. Public pressure on the District Attorney to take action resulted in Reynolds' arrest and the shutting down of construction by county marshalls. Barraged by the media as his client was taken into custody, the high-powered Atlanta attorney retained by the Reynolds family voiced his outrage at the protestors from The African American Heritage Society, and the political sway they had exercised, which had resulted in a man being forcibly removed from his home and taken away in shackles. The case is still under review by the Savannah County Court.