Deputy orders unarmed man to ground, then kills him.


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hammer4nc
December 12, 2003, 07:26 PM
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/1203/12columbus.html
Deputy orders man to ground, then kills him

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Asked to explain how an unarmed man was fatally shot in the head by a Muscogee County deputy, Sheriff Ralph Johnson said: "This one turned out bad. I can't sugar-coat that."

Kenneth Brown Walker, 39, of Columbus was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. Thursday after he was pulled out of his vehicle on Interstate 185, ordered to the ground and shot. Authorities said Walker failed to comply with the deputy's commands to show his hands after he had been ordered to lay down on the ground.

Walker and three other men were riding in a gray GMC Yukon that authorities believed was seen leaving an apartment complex under surveillance for drug activity.

However, the three men with Walker were not arrested and were released and Johnson acknowledged there was no information that Walker was involved in any criminal activity.

Johnson was flanked by Columbus City Manager Carmen Cavezza, City Attorney Clifton Fay and other sheriff's officials during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Johnson called the incident "a tragic day for the family of the deceased and for my office and for the city of Columbus."

The deputy who shot Walker has been placed on administrative leave. Authorities say he is a veteran deputy who works with the department's Special Response Team. His name was not released.

When the vehicle was stopped around 9 p.m. Wednesday night on Interstate 185, Johnson said all four occupants were taken out of the vehicle.

Though Walker's friends complied with the deputy's commands to get down on the ground and reveal their hands, there was "some resistance by Walker," Johnson said.

"He was placed on the ground but his right hand couldn't be seen," Johnson said. "That hand wouldn't come out."

When asked if he thought the shooting was justified, Johnson said, "What I can tell you is that when (the deputy) shot him, he did not try to shoot him in the head. I can't tell you what was in his head other than that it's a pure judgment call if he felt like his life was in danger."

No gun was found inside the Yukon.

Johnson said he had met with Walker's family.

"They're very upset and they should be," he said. "I'm very upset and nothing I can say or do will change any of this."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps this officer will receive a few days paid leave, in addition to an oral reprimand? That sounds about right.

When will these loonie rednecks learn to submit? Ah well, sometimes things "just turn out bad". On to the next case....

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BluesBear
December 12, 2003, 07:40 PM
It sounds very sad. And I am sure it is.

It sounds too bad. And I am sure it is.

It sounds so simple. But I am sure it's not.

It IS a tragidy and I am sure the officer will never be the same. Once you shoot someone, no matter what the reason, your life changes.

It is always tragic when an innocent person is killed.


I wasn't there, neither were you and this one article doen't have nearly enough information to form an educated opinion.

I believe that this post and the comments following it are just bait to start a flame war.

And I for one am not falling for it.

You have a nice day now.

Edward429451
December 12, 2003, 07:49 PM
:banghead:

cookhj
December 12, 2003, 08:13 PM
what if he would've had a gun and shot the officer? the way i see it, the officer believed that the individual was reaching for a weapon, and shot him in self defense. it's a tragedy that it had to happen, but if a cop tells you to show him your hands and get on the ground, you do what he tells you. he's the one with the gun, and as you can see in this instance, he will use it.

WilderBill
December 12, 2003, 08:24 PM
Anyone want to try to explain the difference between administrative leave and paid vacation?
What do you want to bet that if the victim had felt his life was in danger (which it apparently was) and it ended up going the other way that he would not be getting paid to do nothing right now?
If it is as it appears, I wouldn't feel too bad about this deputy giving up every cent he makes for the rest of his natural life to support this guys family.

hammer4nc
December 12, 2003, 08:32 PM
Very cogent posts, very sad situation indeed.

I am sure the officer will never be the same.
Excellent point: whatever happens we should be acutely concerned with the feelings of officers.

Still, the situation probably happened very fast...maybe just a few minutes or less.

One wonders, if the situation had been reversed, would we be reading how the shooter had a "plan" to ambush the deputy, on a routine traffic stop? How the victim was executed by cold blooded murderers? Sentimental eulogies of how the victim liked to have lunch with his wife? Interviews with the shooter's disgruntled neighbors? Selective reports of the reading materials found in their house? Perp walks and orange jumpsuits, instead of concealing the shooter's identity?

"Paid administrative leave".

A study in contrasts.

Harold Mayo
December 12, 2003, 08:35 PM
Doesn't sound like the sheriff is standing very firmly behind his man...

:uhoh:

That doesn't bode well for the deputy in the investigation OR in the civil case which is sure to come from this.

Was it justified? Dunno. I wasn't there. It sure sounds bad, though.

BTW..."loonie rednecks"? How insulting is that? If the guy was black, would you be saying "stupid n*****s"? I thought this was the High Road.:cuss:

HABU
December 12, 2003, 08:43 PM
Officer Stadanko is in a high stress situation AND has his finger on the trigger when he has an ND. Oops, think fast. "I was afraid for my life.":rolleyes:

Ian
December 12, 2003, 08:45 PM
Walker and three other men were riding in a gray GMC Yukon that authorities believed was seen leaving an apartment complex under surveillance for drug activity.

Another victim of the War on Freedom.

cracked butt
December 12, 2003, 08:56 PM
Sounds like the perp was only guilty of getting in the way of the officer's bullet.:uhoh:

jacketch
December 12, 2003, 09:42 PM
I smell major lawsuit.

Carlos
December 12, 2003, 10:05 PM
You can count on that.

Sad that the officer lacked the patience (or whatever) and had to shoot the guy in the head.

Quartus
December 12, 2003, 10:15 PM
There's a big difference between NOT moving your hand out from a concealed position and MOVING your hand toward a concealed position.


It OUGHT to be the difference between life and death.


I watched a cop do it right one time, from up close. (like 15 feet close) Just 2 months after I was married, my young bride and I heard gunshots. Oh, back up... Evening before was a drive by kittycorner from us, across the intersection of a major boulevard and a small side street. Nobody hit, perp fired blindly into an apartment complex. That was the FIRST drive by shooting in Buena Park, California.

Sunday night about midnight came the payback. 6 shots, sounded like a .22. Car pealed away, some shouting. Waited for quiet, dialed 911, went outside to check for wounded.

A kid had run across to our complex looking for a hiding place. (No outside lights in our complex.) After the shooters left, he went to my neighbor's door looking for help - he'd been hit in the left shoulder area. Cops arrived (rolling hard on the second ever drive by in Buena Park) and find an obvious 'ganger sitting with his right hand inside his denim jacket. Cops had guns drawn, of course, shouting at the kid to show his hands. Kid was dazed, and didn't respond right away. It took three or four orders for the kid to connect what was going on, and slowly remove his hand. The cops didn't execute him for daring to wait - they had a potential threat to their life, but they acted with restraint. They did what they OUGHT to do - held their fire because there was no immediate threat to them. Had the kid moved suddenly I'm sure I'd have seen a 12 year old kid killed in front of my eyes. And rightly so. But he moved slowly, and the cops acted rightly.


Yes, they can't get it right every time. Yes, it's a high stress situation. But there is a standard, and not moving is not supposed to be justification for shooting someone.


BTW, the kid's buddy didn't do so well. Dead on the sidewalk, 50 steps from my front door. We moved the next Saturday.

Carlos
December 12, 2003, 10:23 PM
The cops didn't execute him for daring to wait - they had a potential threat to their life, but they acted with restraint. They did what they OUGHT to do - held their fire because there was no immediate threat to them.

:( Should have happened in this situation. Execute is a good word for it.

clint1911a1
December 12, 2003, 10:41 PM
What would you have done had you been the officer? Adrenaline pumping, it's dark, the guys buddies watching your every move from the suspect vehicle. What kind of reputation did the suspect have?
And why in the :cuss: are the stories of murdered police officers never covered as in depth as civilians being killed by officers?

TallPine
December 12, 2003, 10:57 PM
What kind of reputation did the suspect have?
None at all, apparently.


However, the three men with Walker were not arrested and were released and Johnson acknowledged there was no information that Walker was involved in any criminal activity.

Quartus
December 12, 2003, 11:17 PM
stories of murdered police officers never covered as in depth as civilians being killed by officers?


Except in a police state, officers ARE civilians.


As for what I would have done, I hope I would have done the RIGHT thing, which is NOT shooting someone who isn't moving.

Ankeny
December 12, 2003, 11:28 PM
Ditto BluesBear.

PWK
December 12, 2003, 11:30 PM
How about shooting the fellow laying on the ground in leg or shoulder or buttocks. I mean you're only a few feet away and can't aim well enough to not shoot in the head.

Aren't these police officers trained to think fast and be in control of the situation.

sendec
December 12, 2003, 11:43 PM
The difference between a paid vacation and administrative leave is that when you are on vacation your hands dont shake all the time and everytime the phone rings you dont worry about who is threatening to kill you now and when other officers from your agency walks up to your front door you dont wonder if they are there to arrest you and you dont wind up vomiting so frequently that your esophagus erodes and therere are 3 or 4 newsvans in front of your house and your girlfriend comes in crying because reporters followed her home and wouldnt leave her alone and you dont spend every second second guessing yourself and wondering what should have been done differently and every once in a while you get absolutely euphoric becasue you are still alive

Unless someone here is all-knowing and was present at the scene or at least privy to all the investigative material none of us are in the position to say who was right and who was wrong. Sometimes cops screw up, most of the time they dont - same for everybody else.

stevelyn
December 12, 2003, 11:45 PM
The worst thing that can happen is for an unarmed person to be killed in a situation like this. But look at the information given in the story without extrapolating on anything else.

1) You have a vehicle that is being stopped based on information that the vehicle occupants are/were under surveillence for drug activity.

2) You have one officer initiating the stop and finding there are four adults in the vehicle. Four against one are not good odds and is certainly higher risk.

3) Four people exit, the vehicle three comply with officer instructions and show their hands, one does not even after repeated warnings and commands to do so.

4) No information on whether these are small time harmless dope peddlers, gang-bangers with turf and marketshare to protect, or a simple case of mistaken identity.

Given the above "facts" the officer appears to have been justified. I don't like the WoD anymore than the next thinking, objective guy and I'm a DARE certified officer with libertarian views on the subject.
Reality is this, officer with gun out issues instructions, the instructee risks grievious bodily harm by not complying especially in a four against one senario. Regardless of whether the suspect was found to be unarmed, his actions at the scene gave an indication that he possibly was armed and about to shoot his way out of an arrest.
Given the fact that there were four people in the vehicle they could have hatched a plan of action before the stop and the non-complying suspect on the ground could be a diversion for the others to act once the officer's attention was focused on the non-complying suspect. Throw in adrenaline, darkness, and the suspect's non-compliance and you are asking to get shot.
My opinion is this was a simple case of "Darwination" in progress.
The only problem arising out of this is the decision of the officer to handle 4 suspects before back-up arrived.
Someone said once that ignorance is cured through education and stupid is terminal. Rather proves the point, don't ya think?:scrutiny:

dsgrntldPW
December 12, 2003, 11:52 PM
What would I do if I was the officer who just pulled over a Tahoe with four visible, and possibly more unseen, suspects leaving an area known (Under police surveillance no less) for drug activity? I would at least try to get more officers there before trying to take down anyone. This was a classic scenario for a felony stop procedure. That was the deputys first mistake, then it went downhill from there. My guess is by now the deputy was quite scared, realizing he did not have control of the situation and overracted.

The amount of publicity involved when police kill civilians depends on circumstances of the incident. If a cop kills an armed adult suspect who is threatening with a weapon you don't really hear much more about it than the initial reports. But if you have 3 or 4 cops shooting dead a drunk 14 year old kid who is all of 5'5" and 130 lbs, but has a knife, there will be many who will question the judgement and tactics they used. Many people feel the police should be able to end a situation like that in a non-lethal manner; and they may be right. It's those situations that linger in the media long after the incident. Police are given by the state the power of life and death over people as a part of their daily duties. They had better exercise that power with great care and deserve the scrutiny they receive. I am one who believes that the police are actually given a greater latitude in many situations when it comes to shooting someone, than any member of the civilian population.

Conversely, the perceived lack of publicity when an officer is killed by a civilian is, like it or not, that is one of the risks they take with the job. The population expects that there will be a certain number of cops killed on duty and react as such. If the police are not willing to accept that risk, find another career.

I realize that police have to tread a fine line between self-preservation and overreaction, but they should never use deadly force unless they are 100% sure their life, or some innocents life, is in danger. To me that means they must see that gun or knife, not just "I couldn't see what was in his hand." or "I thought he was going for a weapon.".

seeker_two
December 13, 2003, 12:14 AM
I hope that a proper & thorough investigation of the incident is done & that the truth comes to light soon...

Railroads & cover-ups need not apply...

ranger7
December 13, 2003, 12:36 AM
If you believe the LEO was justified in shooting because the suspect didn't show his hands, consider that suspect might have been hearing or other wise impaired and didn't comprehend the order or was unable to comply.

Not implying the guilt or innocence of either party. Just something else to consider.

Alan

Gewehr98
December 13, 2003, 01:08 AM
Literally, because it's all one sentence. Punctuation is your friend.

spend every second second guessing yourself and wondering what should have been done differently and every once in a while you get absolutely euphoric becasue you are still alive

And that's an interesting point, because guess who doesn't even have the option of second guessing themselves or getting euphoric over being alive? :scrutiny:

And I cannot believe people here have already called this a justified shooting, with so little information being released.

Pee Ess: I'm not a civilian, won't be for a couple more years, and I call cops civilians to their face. They, for some odd reason, have always agreed with me. Must be my uniform or something. :rolleyes:

bubbygator
December 13, 2003, 02:07 AM
I don't know....... I've got a stomach-wall hernia that doesn't bother me much. But when I have to lay on my stomach at the doctors office, I have to press in on that area to make sure I'm not going to get a huge cramp. If it had been me, I can envision that I might not have been able to get my hand out in time to avoid being shot dead. :confused:

papercut
December 13, 2003, 02:21 AM
I kinda would like to see his car camera footage before I come down on either side here.... I *think* Muscogee county has them, but I'm not completely sure....

If the deputy was ordering hands out for 3 seconds before firing, that's one thing. If it was 30 seconds, that's something else entirely.

Ryder
December 13, 2003, 02:39 AM
True enough.

With other's laid out beside me in the dark it may take a while before I'd figure out just who exactly the officer was yelling. I am kinda slow and careful when doing something different for the first time and feel the need to be absolutley sure of what I am doing. Or the the guy could have been scared stiff, freezing in place is a well known response of prey to avoiding a predator.

rayjay
December 13, 2003, 03:38 AM
If the officer was pulling over a car with 4 people in it that was seen leaving a drug survilance area, WHERE was his back-up? Why did he go-it alone? I used to be a LEO and it sounds to me, from the news release, that the officer did not follow procedure for a felony stop. They found no gun and/or drugs and released the other 3 guys without charges. Incidents like this are very sad and tragic but officers are human and they make mistakes. Without having all the facts we should not condem the officers actions. The USA has lost 135 officers year to date and the list is still growing. I agree that the situation was stressful, being on the side of the road at night "working" 4 suspects out of a car and onto the ground. I will say this though, a vetran officer who is trained for a Special Responce Team should have had enough experience not to accidently shoot someone laying face down on the ground. I wonder what really happen? I wish the officer well and hope the matter will be resolved quickly and fairly.

Billmanweh
December 13, 2003, 04:17 AM
Apparently these is video of the shooting...

WTVM Story (http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=1562405&nav=8fapJeAF)

Muscogee County sheriff Ralph Johnson announced late Friday afternoon that he has requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to do a separate, independent investigation of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a deputy sheriff.

Kenneth Walker, 39, of Columbus, was shot and killed by a sheriff's officer when the SUV in which he was riding was pulled over on Interstate 185 at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. The incident appears to have resulted from a case of mistaken identity in a drug investigation.

An informant had told them to look for a gray Yukon carrying four armed drug dealers from Miami. That vehicle pulled over on Wednesday night, however, carried four local residents who were not involved in any illegal activity.

Sheriff Johnson told Newsleader 9, he is tired of rumors. He fielded a lot of the unanswered questions.

The sheriff confirmed there is a videotape of the shooting, but we can't see it yet. He also would not release the name of the deputy involved, but announced the sheriff's department's investigation is finished, for now, and is "very good." Now, the GBI will take over.

"I just think it's in the best interest of the public that they have the confidence in knowing that I've investigated it and I want them to feel comfortable with my investigation," Sheriff Johnson said, in his 2nd news conference, in as many days.

"Once we finish out investigation, we will turn it over to the district attorney," GBI special agent in charge J.T. Ricketson, from Greenville, GA, said. He is already in town to start the case.

A friend of the shooting victim responded, from his Pentagon office.

"If we can't get satisfaction from the GBI doing their own investigation and assessment here, then I do think it ought to be elevated," Lt. Col. Rich Matthews said, in his Washington, D.C. office.

He says this is a national problem, with black men afraid of police, and national leaders will watch the investigations very closely. So will the local NAACP. We asked the sheriff about allegations of racism.

"That's ridiculous, in my opinion," Sheriff Johnson said.

But he would not comment on if the deputy was justified in the shooting.

The GBI promises to put 3 - 4 of its best agents on this case.

Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Columbus, where Walker worked, is deciding on if the company will have a memorial for him, or what kind. They have also made counselors available, if needed, for employees and walker's family.

-by Jason Dennis

artherd
December 13, 2003, 04:18 AM
Withought knowing more, nothing much can really be said. I wasn't there. Maybe it was totally justified, maybe the cop is an incompotent moron who killed someone accidentally and is covering it up. Maybe somewhere in between. I don't know, I wasn't there...

I will offer the following thoughts for discussion:

Fthose who belive a cop has to have a gun pointed at him, and read the slide for the caliber to make sure it's not a water pistol, and run to the car and check the SN and see for sure just in case, before shooting...

People CAN, and DO *fire* concealed guns from WITHING their pockets/jackets/etc. Simply not moving your hands out of your pockets IS JUST LIKE pointing a gun at a cop's head.


And to anyone who claims the guy had ANY call for not presenting his hands immediately and calmly, a gun barrel being pointed at your head by a police officer or soldier is the universal language. Everyone speaks it, deaf, dumb, or otherwise. Chose to ignore it at your grivest peril.


Sendec- a good view from 'the other side'. It sounds like you have been there. I do not envy you.

jar
December 13, 2003, 10:32 AM
Once things settle down, I imagine that this will turn out to be a true tragedy all around.

Although I was not on the scene, my best guess is that this was an accidental shooting. Think back to the video (from Nevada IIRC) of the police woman who has a ND while the suspect is on the ground and her partner is actually leaning over the suspect. That shot just missed the suspects head and but for the grace of God, could well have ended up just like this.

It's an unfortunate fact that accidental and negligent discharges have gone up since the transition from the longer, heavier pull of the revolver to the modern semi-automatics. Situations like the one this officer was involved in are very, very stressfull. Your field of vision narrows, your hearing is affected, your time sense changes and you fine motor skills are reduced. All of these factors contribute to tragedies like this.

It is a real tribute to the fine police that are on the force today that events like this are not even more common.

Beren
December 13, 2003, 10:45 AM
Simply another casaulty in the War on Some Drugs. Nothing to see here, move along, drugs are bad, mmkay?

TarpleyG
December 13, 2003, 10:57 AM
I'm with HABU on this one. ND. We all saw it on that video clip from a few years back. Luckily, that officer missed but it could have been the same as this instance.

GT

tailgunner
December 13, 2003, 11:14 AM
I saw nothing in the article stating what the probable cause was for stopping the vehicle in the first place. Was this just a fishing expedition by a SRT cowboy?

goon
December 13, 2003, 11:14 AM
Lots of police officers get killed during routine traffic stops.
Therefore, one would think that an officer would be justified in being a little nervous when he approaches your window to ask for your license.
In spite of this, most officers do not shoot you just because they are scared.

I would say that it was most likely a mistake.
But a man is still dead.
The cop was the cause of that.
He screwed up and he should do time for it.

I know that if I pulled my CCW on someone and accidentally shot them I would be accountable.
Why shoud a LE be any different?

Gmac
December 13, 2003, 11:17 AM
T.B.O., your silence is deafening.

hammer4nc
December 13, 2003, 11:24 AM
A witness account of the shooting: http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=1562302&nav=8fapJe3U

Driver of car says incident was case of "wrong place, wrong time."
BREAKING NEWS: Eyewitness Describes Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

An eyewitness to Wednesday night's fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Muscogee County Sheriff's Deputy says it was a case of being in the "wong place" at the "wrong time."

Warren Beaulah was driving the SUV in which 39-year-old Kenneth Walker was riding on Interstate 185 at around 9 o'clock Wednesday night. According to Beaulah, he and his passengers were doing nothing wrong when he observed blue lights in the rear view mirror.

He pulled over to the side of the road and was in the process of putting the car in park when, he says, a law enforcement officer pulled open his door and dragged him from the vehicle. "I was snatched out of the car with an automatic weapon in my face," he told News Leader 9's Elizabeth White, "(and) drug to the ground."

Five to ten seconds later, Beaulah says he heard a single gunshot. At the time the shot was fired, he says, there was "lots of screaming and yelling."

A short time later, as he was led in handcuffs around the front of the vehicle, Beaulah says he saw his friend, 39-year-old Kenneth Walker, lying on the ground in a partial fetal position and saw a pool of blood.

The Muscogee County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that Walker was unarmed at the time of the incident and blames the fatal incident on faulty information from an informant in a drug case.

News Leader 9 will air parts of our interview with Beaulah tonight at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, sounds like there was more than one officer on the traffic stop. Also sounds like the scenario offered, namely that officers were standing back, issuing orders, and the suspect was shot for non-compliance, is not quite what went down, according to this witness.
"I was snatched out of the car with an automatic weapon in my face,"

However, this witness is not credible, because he's charged with a crime, and just wanting to save his own skin....oh, wait, he hasn't been charged with any crime, not even assault on the officer/resisting arrest; must be error of omission on the officers part.

The best part is this:
The Muscogee County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that Walker was unarmed at the time of the incident and blames the fatal incident on faulty information from an informant in a drug case.

Maybe the "unnamed informant" will be charged with pulling the trigger? This is a perfect example of the total disconnect from reality, that permeates *some* (not all) law enforcement attitudes today.

redneck2
December 13, 2003, 11:26 AM
who think he over-reacted

please read my new post about "2 Officers Killed Last night" . They tried to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, and died for it.

Seems kinda simple...if a cop tell you to do something while he's got a gun pointed at you, it'd be best to comply.

One of my friends used to say "Life is short, but dead lasts a long time"

Frank5
December 13, 2003, 11:26 AM
I'm guessing this was an accidental shooting. As far as firing a concealed gun from inside clothing...........Yes it coulcd be done.....but seems unlikely if the suspect is face down.

I see a huge lawsuit. Unarmed person shot while face down & no guns or dope found on any of the 4 vehicle occupants. The deceased had a job.?? This looks real bad for the cop. If he had no prior record,it looks even worse.

From what I've read the deceased is (and the 3 others??) black.??? This WILL be made into a racial issue.

Does anyone remember the 4 young black guys that were stopped in NJ by a state trooper a few years ago?? Shots were fired,people were wounded. There were no guns or drugs in the car & no one in the car had any prior record. This sort of thing just looks real bad. :(

12-34hom
December 13, 2003, 02:14 PM
Sounds like a ND to me also.

This type of incident happened in Iowa City a few years ago.

Call of a burglary in progress, cops get there, guy sitting in an office.

He turns around with a cell phone in his hand, gets mistaken for a gun = gets shot dead.

This incident not only took the life of an innocent man but ruined countless others in its aftermath.

No doubt this incident will also for all those concerned.

Prayers for all those involved.

12-34hom.

Matt G
December 13, 2003, 02:28 PM
Based on quotes I've read here, I'm impressed at how candid the Sheriff was in the initial press conference. My guess is that the deputy will be quietly let go, if the S.O. can substantiate a violation of policy.

That's not easy to do, actually. If the deputy can articulate that there was good P.C. for the stop, and can bring forth his snitch to corroborate that he had reasonable suspicion to believe that these individuals were armed felons, then the felony stop might well have been merited. From there you move to a situation where you've got a single officer with multiple possibly-armed suspects, awaiting backup. It would be completely within procedure to then have one's gun out, and pointed at the highest likelyhood of threat. The suspect who doesn't bring his hand out from under him certainly qualifies, there.

So from there, you have either a N.D. --which rarely results in a firing with an officer in good standing-- or a bad call. How do you decide? Dunno. I guess you look at the officer, and watch the grainy tape 'till your eyes are blurry, and try to figure out what was in his heart.

Charge him? With what? Murder? Good luck on establishing that mental state. Negligent Homicide, perhaps? (Or whatever the lowest equivalent is in GA.) Perhaps, if you can show enough criminal negligence to convince a jury that he needs conviction for his split-second mistake. I kind of doubt it, but then again, I wasn't there, and haven't seen the tape.

Who knows? But the one impression I'm not getting from the two measley articles I've read is that a Cover Up is in progress.

Mad Man
December 13, 2003, 02:42 PM
For all of you..

who think he over-reacted

please read my new post about "2 Officers Killed Last night (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=54423)" . They tried to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, and died for it.


So what? Two police officers are killed, therefore we shouldn't criticize the killing of an unarmed law abiding citizen in an unrelated incident?

The murder of two police officers by a criminal in Indiana does not in any way justify the shooting of Mr. Walker in Georgia.

Besides, Mr. Walker died at 2:30 am on Thursday, December 11.

Cpl. Thomas Roberts and Patrolman Bryan S. Verkler (http://www.indystar.com/articles/8/101905-6948-092.html) were killed a day later (or two, it's not exactly clear from the news story if this was Friday a.m. or Saturday a.m).

rdbrowning
December 13, 2003, 05:19 PM
If I happen to see someone that made a tragic mistake of allowing his legal CCW pistol to slip into view, am I entitled to shoot him in the head because he might be a threat to me? How do you think that would play out in court? Even if this guy had a gun on him is NOT justification for killing him. Only the likes of Ms Brady and Feinstein feel that posession is justifable cause for execution without benifit of due process.

Why is a single officer pulling over a vehichle with "four armed suspects" in it? Maybe the fact that he is an adrenilne junkie from the SRT sheds a little light on that.

Before you ask, NO, I am not a LEO. I don't have what it takes any better than this poor SOB did. I don't have the quick reflexes to be a NASCAR driver or the steady hand to be a brain surgeon either. But I don't try to do those jobs that I am not qualified to do.

Someone called this a Darwinian act and I agree, even though we are referring to the opposite canidates. The man that was murdered didn't do anything wrong to qualify him for the award. The officer that was not capable to handle the situation will hopefully never get the opportunity to hold a badge, much less a gun ever again.

In the end it sounds like this officer was in over his head from before things even got started. Unfortunately he had too much adrenilne/ego or too little smarts to recognize it and try to bring the situation under control (wait for back up, remove, search and restrain one person at a time).

redneck2
December 13, 2003, 05:31 PM
easy to arm-chair quarterback someone while sitting at the computer

how much slack to you give someone???? Guys in Mishawaka tried to give the guy some ground and it cost them their lives.

Guess it's a good thing I'm not a cop. If I were responding to a "shots fired" call (along with hostile action that was involved), I'd be ready to defend myself

Read somewhere (maybe this forum) about a quick draw demonstration. The instructor would let someone hold him at qunpoint. He would talk for a while, then could draw from a concealed holster and shoot before the other guy could get off a shot.

I remember a long, long time ago. Lived in a city environment. There was a drug dealer next door. Look out the front window very late one night. Car sitting pulled onto my lawn, engine running (winter time). I went out to check. Knocked on the driver's window, hands in my pockets. Asked the guy what he was doing. He asked why it was my business. I started to reply "because I've got a loaded .380 pointed at your head", but, wisely said "I live in that house and you're on my property". After showing me his badge, I went in the house.

Never know what you're up against. Assume the worst and hope for the best.

Bill Hook
December 13, 2003, 06:09 PM
Black man = criminal/drug dealer :rolleyes:

= jumpy officer = shoot first, ask questions later. :rolleyes:

TallPine
December 13, 2003, 06:37 PM
I vote for Negligent Discharge (oh, isn't this a poll ???)

Reason: 1 shot to the head ---> had to be an accident :neener:

goon
December 13, 2003, 06:48 PM
Granted, without knowing everything it is true that we had best just watch this for a little while longer.
The thing is that cops know that there is a risk that comes with their job. They have to be able to deal with that risk. Most of us are not out to harm the police and thankfully they know this.
It isn't acceptable for the police to just open fire any time they get nervous.
It doesn't matter how you look at it.
I think it was an accident and I feel for the cop if it was. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
But unless there was some malfunction that caused the gun to fire or the suspect did something that caused the gun to fire (other than being there), how can you not say that he is at fault.
If I accidentally shoot you with my SIG, you still just got shot and I still just did it.
Doesn't matter if it was an accident or if I am sorry.
The damage is still done.

hammer4nc
December 13, 2003, 06:56 PM
For those who are thinking negligent discharge, one news story claims the victim was shot twice. "Double tap" ND? Now its getting deeper.

Link:http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/7472073.htm

excerpt:
Somehow while Walker was getting out of the car, he was fatally shot in the forehead and a second shot went through his right sleeve, according to preliminary coroner reports.

Not discounting the possibility of a single bullet theory, however any competent coroner would have mentioned this important detail, one would think.

redneck2
December 13, 2003, 07:14 PM
original story said he was lying on the ground. Order to pull his hand from a pocket and refused.....

now he was shot while being pulled from the car:confused:

TallPine
December 13, 2003, 10:18 PM
Oh, my, redneck2.

You don't suppose the cop might have lied do you? Nah, couldn't happen.

Gewehr98
December 13, 2003, 10:33 PM
Re: who's not here. ;)

hammer4nc
December 14, 2003, 10:02 AM
We've all seen the modern felony stop protocol: officers standing behind open doors, calling out vehicle occupants one by one, commands: "walk backwards, kneel down, lie down, hands stretched out to your sides"; or some variation. This is how officers behave when a "COPS" film crew is standing behind them.

Contrast that with the witness statement in this case:

(from the previously cited story)
He pulled over to the side of the road and was in the process of putting the car in park when, he says, a law enforcement officer pulled open his door and dragged him from the vehicle. "I was snatched out of the car with an automatic weapon in my face," he told News Leader 9's Elizabeth White, "(and) drug to the ground."

A little more detail here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/7486339.htm
"I felt like an animal," he said. It seemed "we were tried and convicted" the moment the men were ordered to exit the vehicle.

When he tried to ask why they were pulled over, he was met with the response, "Shut up."

"I was so scared," he said. "We could not even say anything. We were treated like animals until they found out there were no drugs."

"We're not perfect," Beaulah said. "But I'm a long way from a drug dealer."

It was cold and very confusing, he remembered.

"The way they had the guns in the faces, not saying anything... you basically didn't know what to do and you felt like if you even tried to turn your face from one side to the other, they'd shoot you. It was that scary."

One gets the distinct impression that this is "real" SOP that has evolved, largely because of the war on drugs, as opposed to the sanitized segments we see on "COPS". Looks like there will be much more written about this incident, as there should be. Hopefully those responsible will be brought to justice. Not just "oral reprimands", "paid administrative leave"...:fire:

This is not said to bash cops. I personally have never had a cross word with a leo. However, nothing short of severe criminal penalties will purge the thuggish element from law enforcement, and change attitudes that seem to have become commonplace. Rather than circling the wagons to defend this action, honorable leo's should be leading the fight to see that things change.

Mad Man
December 14, 2003, 11:44 AM
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 14 (UPI) (http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20031214-060434-1665r.htm) -- U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein without firing a shot after learning he was hiding at a farm house near Tikrit, Iraq, officials said.

Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said members of the Fourth Infantry Division found Saddam hiding in a "spider hole" about six to eight feet deep. Troops also recovered various small arms, a taxicab nearby and $750,000 in cash, just south of Tikrit.

There were no injuries, and Sanchez described Saddam as "talkative and cooperative."

(emphasis added)

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/12/14/sprj.irq.saddam.operation/index.html) reports that "Saddam was armed with a pistol,"

hammer4nc
December 24, 2003, 09:34 AM
Meanwhile, GBI and FBI are conducting parallel investigations. The sheriffs office has not released the dashcam video, and is still withholding the name of the shooter. Other stories have confirmed the idea that 2 shots were fired at the victim.

link: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/7561384.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted on Wed, Dec. 24, 2003

Anger, too
Rally speakers say answers needed before city's healing can begin
BY KELLI ESTERS
Staff Writer

On the 12th day following the death of Kenneth B. Walker, concerned citizens rallied Tuesday morning demanding answers from the Muscogee County Sheriff's Department as to why one of their own is gone.

"We are pissed," said Antonio Carter, local chapter president for the National Action Network. "The only thing that can save you is when the truth comes to light."

About 100 people gathered at 11 a.m. at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park on Buena Vista Road and Lawyers Lane. The rally was the fourth since the death of Walker on Dec. 11.

Walker was shot and killed by a Muscogee County sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop of a vehicle suspected of having armed drug traffickers inside. Walker and three other men were pulled from the vehicle. No drugs or weapons were found.

The tone of Tuesday's rally at the park took on a different tenor from the subdued one held Monday where Columbus ministers came together to show that the whole community -- white and black -- is concerned with the circumstances that led to Walker's death.

Tuesday's rally was more intense and filled with anger.

"The bootleg leadership they had on stage yesterday doesn't speak for all of us," Carter said of the minister-sponsored rally on Monday.

The mantra of Tuesday's rally -- "This is not a case, this is a cause" -- was repeated by various speakers representing area churches, the NAACP and NAN.

Zephaniah Baker of Spirit Filled Methodist Church said people are tired of "open-ended statements" and "police terrorism."

"Now is not the time for words, but a time for action," Baker said.

To "expedite the relief of pain" the community is feeling, Baker called for the release of the name of the sheriff's deputy who shot Walker. That statement received a hearty applause from the crowd. He also asked for the release of the video recording of the incident and for Sheriff Ralph Johnson to resign.

"You are responsible for the 'goon squad' continually terrorizing our community," Baker said.

The sheriff could not be reached for comment.

Some passers-by on Buena Vista slowed their cars as they passed the park. One stopped on the side of the road momentarily as its driver listened.

Some present at the rally held signs, including a 4-year-old boy whose sign read: "Our Children Must Understand We Value Life."

Wilbert Williams II held a sign that read: "Let Peace Begin with Me."

"I don't agree with what happened," said the 17-year-old. "But I think what is going on here is right."

He and a group of his friends were at the rally representing the young adult perspective, he said.

A group of four male high schoolers led a harmonized rendition of the "Negro National Anthem," "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Minister Jamie Williams spoke for Cheryl Walker, the widow of Kenneth Walker, saying the young woman needs answers.

"As of today, right now, she has no answers," Williams said. "I challenge you to be awakened, Columbus. The truth must be told. Justice must prevail."

She added, crying, that the one thing God hates is the shedding of innocent blood.

"When one hurts, we all hurt," Williams said. "If we don't hurt, something is wrong with us."

Michael Muhammad spoke with anger, continually pounding the podium with his fist. He urged those present to keep pressing for resolve and not to "punk out."

"We should be tired of burying our dead," Muhammad said. "All of this senseless killing needs to stop."

NAACP Columbus Chapter President Edward DuBose said he was there speaking as a black man.

"The only thing I have to gain is I could meet the same fate," DuBose said. "If you're black in America, you're still not safe."

DuBose reiterated that without answers there would be no healing.

"If there is a nail in my arm and it's still in my arm, don't ask me to heal until that nail is removed," DuBose said.

The Rev. H.L. Burnette was there to see whether people in the community have become complacent, but said he was glad to see that people are still energized. He added that sometimes people confuse the issue and generate a false pretense of "oneness."

"It's stupid to think we are one on everything," Burnette said. "We need to stop generalizing, forget about the open-ended contract and have some boundaries."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JennYe
December 24, 2003, 10:00 AM
From the title to the post, I expected this to have happened in Oklahoma.

Blackcloud6
December 24, 2003, 10:31 AM
Analyse this by the facts:

1. A man was shot and killed by a deputy Sheriff.

2. The incident occrred at a stop of van with four men leaving an apartment complex under surviellience for drug activity.

3. The men in van have no criminal record.

4. No gun was found on the deceased.

5. Man was shot in the head while lying on the ground face down.

Information that bear on the problem but may or may not be facts (and should not be given the weight of a fact):

A. Deputy states that the man did not move one hand out from under his body. (Not a fact as only the deputy and the deceased know if this is true or not) May help in determining state of mind of the shooter.

B. The driver states he was pulled out of the car by the Deputy. May show that the deputy was in an aggressive state of mind.

C. The Sheriff says there "was some resistence" from Walker. This has no value yet as its 3d hand. Did the deputy say this? Or is the Sheriff assuming?

Unkown but important questions?

1. Did the deputy know anyone of the four or have any previous contact with them?

2. How long was the deputy on duty?

3. What wer ethe noise conditions when the deputy gave the commands?

4. Why did he stop four potential bad-guys without back-up?

5. Although it is noted the deputy is a veteren, what truely is his experience? Has he ever had bad encounters with others in stops etc.?


If I was investingating this, I would investigate in order for:

Murder
Manslaughter
Accidentental Discharge
Self-Defense

(I beleive it is standard law-enforcement investigative techniques to start with the worse possible crime and try to rule them out. Nothing in my facts list can yet rule out murder.)

In my line of work, we handle many vauge situations with incomplete and sometimes contradictory information. Some from seemingly reliable sources, some from weak ones. But the most important part of analysis is put your own biases and emotions aside!

So in my intital analyis offf of what is contained in these posts (and that itself is something to consider, this one is squarely in the "Very Bad Shoot" category until proven otherwise.

The Sheriff is doing the right thing asking for independent investigations.

The people of the town should be outraged. (Heck, up here in Detroit they enraged when a cop shoots BG who is clearly commiting a crime and/or threatening the Police)

Now, to al the LEOs out there that back this deputy up, I understand your position and whay. But, you guys are supposed to make the right decision, always. That is tough standard but is one that maybe some LEOs don't really think about. If you would, and if you want to achieve that standard you would train and train and train always. I speculate that many veteren officers relax on their training standards later in their career. This is a dangerous time then. There are many veteren fighter pilots who became smoking holes in the ground because they forgot the basics or overestimated their abiltites.

This one is bad no matter what because the outcome (dead innocent person) awlays outweighs the why (possible self-defense shoot).

We who serve the public have a moral responsibility to do it right everytime. I do understand that things go bad but its no excuse.

Respectfully,

Ivanimal
December 24, 2003, 10:43 AM
I feel for all parties involved. To have to make that call and take a mans life is regretable. Situations like this dont just come up. It takes both parties to have the scene. I dont think an unarmed man should have died here but, when you involve non cooperation and 4 people I guess you would have to do as you see fit. I dont judge I just think doing as asked or told, would have prevented all of this.

chickenfried
December 24, 2003, 01:12 PM
Great post on the subject, black cloud, articulated my thoughts better than I could have. I'm really troubled by the LEO posts defending the deputy, and their reasoning. If an armed citizen did this in their home with a robber they caught, what kind of treatment would they be getting from LE now? Policeman should be held to a higher standard, not lower than the average citizen.

Lone_Gunman
December 24, 2003, 03:47 PM
Its probably a negligent discharge. Officer probably very worried about being outnumbered by possible felons, adrenaline pumping, and then BAM.

Anyone know what gun the Muscogee Co Sheriff's department issues? Does it have an external safety? Not trying to implicate the gun here, as clearly the officer pulled the trigger, but curious.

If it is a negligent discharge, I really think the officer should get the same punishment as the guy he shot. Sorry but OOPS doesnt cut it.

HBK
December 24, 2003, 04:07 PM
I really don't know what to say about this other than it is a horribly sad situation. I wasn't there and don't know what really transpired. I can see both sides of it. It looks pretty bad for the officer, but I'm not sure of the circumstances at all. I think Black Cloud's post says it as closely to the way I think about it. Sucks all the way around, though. :(

Quartus
December 24, 2003, 06:00 PM
A. Deputy states that the man did not move one hand out from under his body.


This is not exactly an exculpatory statement.


IOW, if justice is served here, the deputy just hanged himself.


Failing to comply with orders is NOT just cause for an on-the-spot execution.

Jeff Thomas
December 24, 2003, 06:11 PM
Wouldn't surprise me if HABU and others voting for negligent discharge are correct. Worked up deputy, finger on the trigger, and perhaps trying to jerk the man's arm ... pulls the trigger when he grabs something with his other hand. Combination of adrenaline and poor training / practice.

But, we'll see what the judge and jury say. Darn shame.

Regards from TX

clubsoda22
December 25, 2003, 12:15 AM
Smells like a bad excuse for a ND to me. Shame someone had to die because the officer either forgot his training or wasn't taught well.

KMKeller
December 25, 2003, 01:49 AM
Don't forget, the deputy fired twice...

clubsoda22
December 25, 2003, 02:49 AM
in that case, what was he thinking?

Geezer
December 25, 2003, 11:42 AM
Last time I was stopped, was about 20-odd years ago. The LEOs, LAPD narcs, were convinced I had exited a driveway a couple doors down from where I had actually been parked. About 11:30, sunshiny day in Canoga Park, CA.

I had driven about 8 blocks, pulled into a parking lot where I had an appointment, started to get out of my vehicle and all of a sudden wierd guys in civvies were screaming at me. The orders were contradictory and confusing and I had not a clue as to what was going on. I was so scared I forgot my address! This was a period in my life when I was undergoing extreme PTSD symptoms, including flashbacks about every 20 minutes or so. It doesn't take much imagination to see how easily this could have turned out with me shot by mistake, except with no witnesses, I would have been flaked with a throwaway, and the shooting would have been termed justified.

The expectation by LEOs that everyone they encounter is a career criminal and is experienced in how to be arrested is so f....g dumb that it beggars explanation. Some LEOs have even suggested school classes in how to be arrested.

Also lets remember that there is such a thing as a bell curve, and it applies everywhere, even to LEOs and doctors. One half of the LEOs out on the street are below average, one third are a full Std Deviation below average. I support my local police, and I am a right-wing law and order type, but that does not justify denial of the realities or forgiving incompetence and unbelievable stupidity.

God bless and y'all be careful out there.:cool:

PS Merry Christmas

Flynt
December 25, 2003, 12:27 PM
but not blindly! Anyone of us on this forum could find ourselves in the very same situation as those four guys in Columbus. I'm a real boyscout/good citizen, with only a couple of speeding tickets on my record, but I can't rule out the fact that I could conceivably stumble across some stakeout. If I'm dropping off something at my brother-in-law's apartment and there are drug dealers living there, does that mean that my life should be expendable? One of the reason that I support reasonable due process, etc. is so that I would be treated fairly if there was ever some case of mistaken identity, or whatever.

How would those of you defending the deputy (fired 2 shots, remember?) feel if it had been your kid lying dead on the pavement? Would you conclude, "Well that was the chance he took when he went to that apartment complex, and I guess he should have been quicker to comply with the officers' orders?"

Lone_Gunman
December 25, 2003, 01:33 PM
One way or another, I hope justice is served.

Ryder
December 26, 2003, 04:35 AM
It's stupid to think we are one on everything

Apparent to me "they" don't think "we" could be one on anything considering the quotes in that story. Old habits die hard but I don't see color in stories like this. It could have happened to anyone of us.

Matt G
December 26, 2003, 07:59 AM
I'm seeing very few posts here that indicate a knee-jerk rush to judgement, but rather, am seeing plenty of reasoned posts that consider the facts reported in an emotionally-charged situation. In all the discussion boards out there, I would bet that very few threads on the topic are as even-handed as this one.

There is some good analysis here. Too bad we don't have more facts to go on. (Probably some people involved in investigating the case are saying the same thing. . . )


Thanks for keeping it civil, and reasoned, friends! :)



-Your humble Moderator.

hammer4nc
January 17, 2004, 08:31 AM
After more than a month, the Muscogee County Sheriff has identified the deputy who pulled the trigger, and given a statement describing the event.

The GBI/FBI investigations are ongoing; yet the deputy and the witnesses in the car haven't been interviewed yet:confused: The dashcam video has not been released. There have been numerous community protests, since the shooting. There's a brief mention that the deputy had been suspended for a past incident, involving alleged excessive violence...

Of particular interest to this gun board, it has been established that the deputy used an H&K MP-5, which was set on burst or full auto mode at the time of the traffic stop:what: . This may help explain how a multi-shot ND could occur. Officers may wish to comment on the use of this weapon, in this mode, relative to training protocol for suspected felony traffic stop? Also, notice the standard misreporting, of the gun firing itself: Glisson's MP-5 tactical sub-machine gun fired two shots
Another important detail that is still unclear to me...was the gray Yukon stopped, actually the one that was identified at the drug house, or did a mixup occur somewhere? Since all the occupants of the car came up clean?

Link: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/7731491.htm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sheriff speaks

Johnson says traffic stop that led to shooting was not random or the result of racial profiling
BY JIM HOUSTON AND MURIEL TAN
Staff Writers

After more than five weeks of silence, details of the first official investigation into the Dec. 10 fatal shooting of Kenneth B. Walker by a sheriff's deputy were released to the public Friday by Muscogee County Sheriff Ralph Johnson.

Johnson's five-page synopsis of the events that led to the incident named Deputy David Glisson as the officer whose weapon fired the fatal shot that killed Walker, but made no determination whether the incident was accidental, justifiable or a possible criminal act.

"To only call this incident a tragedy would be an understatement," Johnson said. "To say that all of us in law enforcement are shocked, saddened and extremely regretful cannot adequately express our feelings. I am determined to do everything that I can to prevent this from happening again."

Walker, 39, was one of four occupants of a gray GMC Yukon stopped by sheriff's deputies on Interstate 185 at 8:58 p.m. As the four men were being removed from the vehicle, Glisson's MP-5 tactical sub-machine gun fired two shots, one of which struck Walker in the forehead, Johnson said.

Deputies assisting the Metro Narcotics Task Force had been told the Yukon's occupants might be armed, the sheriff said.

Apartment surveillance

The incident began after task force agents launched a surveillance of suspected drug dealers operating from a unit at NorthWoods Apartments, 5000 Armour Road. About 90 minutes before the fatal incident, an informant working with the task force reported that a man leaving the apartment had obtained drugs. Michael Powell, 31, was followed to a restaurant on Wynnton Road, where agents charged him with trafficking in cocaine after finding $6,370 worth of crack cocaine in his car, Johnson said.

At 8 p.m., four members of the Sheriff's Special Response Team were called in to assist Metro agents in a search of the apartment of Darrell Jackson, 32, -- also identified on police reports as Darren Jackson -- and Thomas Randall, 33. While waiting for the search warrant, a gray GMC Yukon with four people inside drove into the apartment complex with Kenneth Walker sitting in the right rear passenger seat, the sheriff said.

The Metro informant told the agents the Yukon matched the description of a Yukon driven by the Miami man who supplied Jackson with cocaine, Johnson said.

The Yukon stayed a few minutes, then left the complex -- followed by a surveillance team -- and returned a short time later, the sheriff said. A man seated in the left rear passenger seat left the vehicle carrying a package wrapped in plastic, met with Jackson outside the apartment, then carried the package into the apartment. The informant told agents the man looked like one of the Miami dealers, Johnson said.

Several minutes later, the other three men in the Yukon also left the vehicle and went into the apartment, where they remained for about 15 minutes, then returned to their vehicle and drove away, the sheriff said.

Traffic stop

The sheriff's deputies in two marked patrol units assisting Metro were asked to stop the vehicle, which they did on I-185 between Manchester Expressway and Macon Road near the Edgewood underpass, he said.

"As the occupants of the Yukon were being removed from the vehicle, Kenneth Walker was shot by Deputy David Glisson at approximately 8:58 p.m.," Johnson said.

The investigation showed Glisson's weapon discharged twice from an automatic setting, with Walker declared dead at The Medical Center at 2:25 a.m. the next morning, he said.

Johnson did not name the other occupants of the Yukon. The night of the incident, investigators detained Yukon owner Warren Beaulah, Anthony Smith and Daryl Ransom, releasing them without charge shortly after Walker died.

Attorney Dwayne L. Brown, of Montgomery, Ala., who has been retained to represent Beaulah, Smith and Ransom, did not return a telephone request for comment about the sheriff's report.

Chris Hosey, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said Brown had agreed to allow his three clients to speak with investigators next week.

Apartment arrests

Johnson said almost two hours after the shooting incident, agents armed with a search warrant raided the apartment of Jackson and Randall, where they found $300 worth of crack cocaine and $2,400 worth of powder cocaine. Both men were charged with possessing cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, with Jackson also charged with possessing a firearm during a crime. Both men later pleaded not guilty to the charges. Jackson is being held without bond and Randall was ordered held in lieu of $15,000 bond in Muscogee County Jail.

Independent probe

After detailing the steps leading up to and immediately following the shooting incident, Johnson said his investigation has been forwarded to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has launched a formal probe.

The sheriff responded for the first time to speculation by some concerned leaders who characterized the incident as an example of racial profiling -- a law enforcement stop of a vehicle based solely on the race of its occupants.

"This was not a racially profiled random traffic stop," Johnson said.

The sheriff also said he had faced a dilemma for more than a month pitting his desire to disclose the facts his investigation discovered against the desire not to "do anything that would interfere with the investigation being conducted by the GBI."

After remaining quiet, for which some community leaders have criticized the sheriff, Johnson said he decided to make his investigation's facts public.

But further action by the sheriff must await the results of the GBI's probe, he said, including an administrative decision as to Glisson's fate.

"Upon completion of this investigation, I assure the citizens of Muscogee County that I will take appropriate action in this matter," Johnson said.

The sheriff's office has not had a shooting incident in more than 10 years, and no shooting-related death in more than 20 years, he said. Glisson has not been involved in a shooting incident during his 20-year career with the department, Johnson said.

"As a life-long citizen of Muscogee County, and in my 22 years of law enforcement, I have never experienced such a tragedy as this," said Johnson, who pledged to do everything he can to help "heal, nurture and restore tranquility" to the community and prevent such an incident from happening again.

"I assure you that nothing in this investigation has been covered up. Everything has been and will be exposed to the GBI and FBI," he said.

Deputy on leave

Deputy Glisson, who remains on administrative leave with pay, could not be reached for comment. Attorney Richard Hagler, who represents Glisson, said neither he nor his client would comment about the sheriff's report or the ongoing GBI investigation.

"At this point, he is not going to talk to media about it at all," Hagler said. "He is, has been and continues to be tremendously distraught and upset at what happened. This was a trauma to Kenneth Walker's family and to David Glisson and his family."

The sheriff's department also continued its refusal to allow reporters access to Glisson's personnel file, which has been requested under the Georgia Open Records Act. Chief Deputy Jimmy Griffin said the file remains closed to public access because a criminal investigation is still in progress.

Ledger-Enquirer files include a report that Deputy Glisson and another deputy were suspended in October 1991, following a complaint of excessive violence. After an investigation into the allegations brought by the husband arrested in September 1991, following a domestic violence incident, Sheriff Gene Hodge ordered Glisson suspended for a week without pay for failure to file a thorough report of the incident. The other deputy was suspended without pay for three days.

That incident did not involve a firearm. It followed a complaint filed by the arrested man's attorney alleging his client was hit in the head and face, and his head was slammed against the patrol car. The investigation found no proof that the force used was excessive, Hodge reported.

Community reaction

Local NAACP President Edward DuBose said Friday Johnson should have fired Glisson immediately, based on information available to him within the first 24 hours of the shooting.

Citing a source he refused to name, DuBose said, "The officer should not be on administrative leave with pay, considering the information the sheriff has in his possession."

"I defy Sheriff Johnson to state publicly that he did not have information that this officer intentionally shot Mr. Walker," said DuBose, promising to reveal his source next week.

National Action Network state chairman Antonio Carter said the information disclosed Friday by the sheriff did not change the fact that an unarmed man was shot to death by a deputy, and no drugs or weapons were recovered from the vehicle or its occupants.

"If they believed someone in the vehicle was carrying weapons or drugs, there's a process and procedure in how you carry out a felony stop of a vehicle," Carter said. "If they felt their lives were in danger, they should have taken them out of the vehicle one by one."

Reached at his Capitol office Friday night, state Rep. Calvin Smyre called Johnson's disclosures today "a step in the right direction."

"It cleared up a lot of things for me," Smyre said. "But at the same time, it doesn't get to the heart of what we're after -- and that's the findings."

Smyre said he hoped that once the GBI's findings were released to the District Attorney's office, the videotape of the incident will be released.

"You see incidents all over America -- you see someone coming before a microphone giving updates on the status of an investigation, and for us not to reveal any type of information -- that will not work," said the Columbus lawmaker.

The Rev. William Howell, president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in Columbus, said Johnson's delay in releasing information has damaged the community and his political future.

"He has eroded the trust and safety of the citizens of the community and has called into question his credibility and ability to function as a top law enforcement officer," Howell said. "And for this, he shall pay at the ballot box."

WonderNine
January 17, 2004, 09:38 AM
What would you have done had you been the officer? Adrenaline pumping, it's dark, the guys buddies watching your every move from the suspect vehicle.

It sounds like from the article that everyone was outside of the vehicle and on the ground.

TallPine
January 17, 2004, 12:04 PM
This incident sounds more and more like the one where an FBI agent shot a young man in the face, after stopping the wrong car.

Wasn't that also with an MP5 ?????

Ex-Doc
January 17, 2004, 03:24 PM
"Of particular interest to this gun board, it has been established that the deputy used an H&K MP-5, which was set on burst or full auto mode at the time of the traffic stop ."

Similar incident in Downey, CA a few years back....a drunk was hit with 30rds from a mp5 on auto for not keeping his hands up....he was drunk and could barely standup.

Gonzalo Martinez's encounter with police also was captured on videotape. It ended in a hail of gunfire as police fired with handguns and a machine gun, killing Martinez, 26, and spraying shots through a residential neighborhood. Martinez, who was unarmed, had led police on a chase and was shot as he emerged from his car.

The images of Martinez's death, captured in a grisly videotape that shows the barrage of gunfire and then Martinez's convulsing body, have sparked only selective outrage. For the last six months, the dead man's family has led protests outside Downey City Hall. Images of the shooting were shown in their native Argentina. The FBI and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office are investigating.

Police ordered Martinez out of the car. As he exited, he raised his right arm but made what in a coroner's report is referred to as a "furtive" movement with his left arm. The officers opened fire with a wide range of weapons.

One used an MP-5, a machine gun that is modified to shoot three-burst rounds. It has only been fired once before by Downey police. Another officer fired nonlethal beanbag rounds from a shotgun, according to the coroner's document.

"This was like a visit from gunslingers in the Old West—they were just shooting," said Steve Lerman, an attorney representing Martinez's parents in their lawsuit against the city. "It's not like this guy was running through an alley firing at the cops. They were way outside the scope of what would be justifiable."

As police fired, a freelance cameraman was recording the action. His tape does not show the entire incident but it does picture the concluding moments.

It first shows two officers pointing handguns at Martinez's crashed car, while the driver remains inside. More patrol cars roll up. Then Martinez emerges from the car, facing the officers, his right hand up. The left side of his body is obscured by the car door.

Almost instantly, at least 14 shots sound and Martinez crumples. The next day, the Martinez family visited the scene and counted 34 chalk circles investigators had left to mark shell casings.


Downey Video (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-downeyshoot-rm,1,237016.realvideo)

greyhound
January 17, 2004, 03:30 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but whenever I see the race card played in these types of situations, I get really depressed and pessimistic about the state of race relations in this country. Seems like the black/white thing far overshadows the police/suspect thing, and the press just eats it up.
Maybe its an authority/powerlessness issue, I don't know.

WonderNine
January 17, 2004, 03:49 PM
This incident sounds more and more like the one where an FBI agent shot a young man in the face, after stopping the wrong car.

Wasn't that also with an MP5 ?????

I think it was an m4gery from what I recall...

BluesBear
January 17, 2004, 04:44 PM
...a drunk was hit with 30rds from a mp5 on auto...

One used an MP-5, a machine gun that is modified to shoot three-burst rounds. :what:
HOLY SHEEPDIP !

Squeezed the trigger on an MP5 TEN times?

Can you say "inadaquate training"?
I knew you could.

Acutally in all seriousness I doubt that 30 rounds were fired from the MP5 since there were only "34 circles". That would mean the remaining officers only fired a total of 4 rounds. Of course this article is so poorly written that I don't think the reporter could get the facts of sunrise/sunset correct.

I'd like to see the video so I could sort it all out for myself but you have to be registered to see it. :mad:

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