DeKalb grand jury split on police shootings

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DeKalb County Grand Jury recommends no indictments in officer shooting deaths.

ATLANTA — A grand jury on Thursday recommended that prosecutors further investigate the case of an Atlanta-area police officer who fatally shot an unarmed naked man.DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said Thursday he still had “serious concerns” about the police-involved shooting of unarmed veteran Anthony Hill after a civil grand jury split on recommending whether charges should be pursued against the officer.DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen shot Anthony Hill on March 9 while responding to a call of a man behaving erratically outside a suburban Atlanta apartment complex.A DeKalb County Grand Jury has completed its recommended against indicting officers who shot suspects while in the line of duty, but did request additional information about one of the five cases it reviewed.

The deaths of Kevin Davis, 44, last December and Anthony Hill, 27, in March sparked widespread protest amid a national debate over police use of force. “The family of Kevin Davis is devastated by the news and they have vowed to continue fighting for justice for Kevin,” said the family’s attorney, Mawuli Davis (no relation). “The need for a legislative mandate for body cameras is underscored by this decision. James said he will take up the grand jury’s recommendation that a follow-up inquiry be conducted with the officer who arrived on the scene after Hill’s shooting along with a “more thorough interview” of the officer who fired the lethal bullets.

Cedric Alexander at the time. “The caller reported the man had taken off all his clothes and was just running around throughout the entire complex.” “We were unable to reach a consensus on recommending indictment, because there were contradictions and inconsistencies in the testimonies presented. The grand jurors were left to rely on the word of the officer.” Davis had called 911 to report that his girlfriend, April Edwards, was stabbed by a roommate.

Therefore, we recommend that further investigation be conducted to aid in the decision to pursue this case by the DA,” said the grand jury in a statement. Davis was armed with a loaded shotgun when he came face-to-face with responding DeKalb police officer Joseph Pitts, who had just shot Davis’ pit bull. Specifically, they recommended a follow-up interview with another officer who was first to arrive after the shooting, and they suggested a second, more thorough interview to clarify what Olsen told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the shooting. “I am familiar with the facts and circumstances pertaining to the Anthony Hill case and have serious concerns regarding this matter,” James said in an emailed statement. Friends of Hill told The AJC he had struggled to find the right medication for bipolar disorder, diagnosed while the airman was serving in Afghanistan. She said that day that Olsen had delivered a Power Point presentation which included information on suspects under the influence of bath salts and PCP.

Olsen initially said Hill was “pounding on him” prior to the shooting, an assertion disputed by witnesses and eventually discarded by the officer in his interview with the GBI. Police say Davis then appeared with a gun which he refused to drop before he was shot. “Sometime over the course of the next couple of weeks – we’re going to do it expeditiously – we’re going to make a decision as to whether or not we agree with their recommendation and whether or not it’s something we’re going to follow.

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