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Atlanta DA to seek indictment against officer who shot unarmed vet...

stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
DA to seek indictment against officer who shot unarmed vet

As she prayed that charges would be brought against the officer who shot and killed her boyfriend, Bridget Anderson knew the odds were not on her side.

In five years, out of 184 police shootings, none have been prosecuted, according to an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News. The AJC has learned DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James will seek to buck those odds by presenting a criminal indictment against Officer Robert Olsen, who shot Anthony Hill last March outside the Afghanistan War veteran’s Chamblee apartment.

Chris Chestnut, the attorney for Hill’s parents, said he was notified Wednesday about James’ intention to seek an indictment but does not know which charges will be presented. The D.A.’s office declined comment but is holding a news conference Thursday morning to discuss “developments regarding the Anthony Hill case,” according to a statement.

Efforts to reach Olsen, who has defended his actions, or his attorney were unsuccessful.

Hill, unarmed at the time, was wandering naked outside his residence, driven by an adverse reaction to medication he was taking for bipolar disorder, friends told The AJC.

“I feel relieved but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much until there’s actually an indictment,” Anderson said Wednesday.

Such caution is warranted. While grand juries typically act as a rubber stamp for prosecutors, a special exemption granted to law enforcement in Georgia makes it more difficult to bring charges against an officer. Additionally, prosecutors are often reluctant to criminally charge police officers.

Georgia is the only state in the nation that permits police officers facing possible criminal indictment to be inside the grand jury room for the entire proceeding. The officer also gets to make a statement at the end of the proceedings, one that can’t be challenged by a prosecutor. Private citizens do not enjoy such privileges.

“If I shot a naked guy in self-defense I wouldn’t get a chance to present my case before a grand jury,” said Marietta defense attorney Philip Holloway, a former prosecutor.

Lance Lorusso, a lawyer who often represents police officers, said the exemption is warranted.

“Name another profession where you may have to take a life and you’re being judged for it by civilians who have never been in that position,” he said. “At least if you’re in the military you’re judged by your peers.”

Last month, before a civil grand jury impaneled to offer a recommendation on whether to prosecute, Olsen said he believed Hill was high on either bath salts or PCP and he spent more than an hour detailing several other incidents where police were attacked by suspects under the influence, said Chestnut, who observed the testimony.

Olsen said his Taser or baton would have been ineffective in subduing Hill because suspects high on PCP or bath salts don’t feel pain.

The veteran officer was dispatched to the scene after a concerned neighbor called 911 seeking medical assistance for Hill, according to Chestnut, though the call was dispatched as a suspicious person.

The shooting occurred within five minutes of Olsen’s arrival. No one disputes that Hill ignored the officer’s commands to stop, but there is much debate whether his approach warranted deadly force.

During the civil grand jury prosecutors said Olsen told the second officer to arrive on the scene that Hill charged and attacked him. Olsen’s presentation did not mention his colleague’s account.

Chestnut said Hill was struck by two bullets about three-to-five feet away from Olsen’s police cruiser.

Prosecutors also called on an expert witness who testified that he could find no justification for the shooting.

The civil grand jury was split evenly on whether Olsen should be charged though they recommended further investigation. At the time James told The AJC he had “serious concerns” about the shooting.

DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said he is willing to “let the justice system work and see what the grand jury decides.”

“This was a challenging and difficult case for the officer and the community,” he said.

Chestnut said he thinks James will present a strong case before the criminal grand jury.

“I know they have some very compelling evidence that this shooting was more a result of predisposition than an accident,” he said.

James is “aware the country is watching. But I think this issue resonates with him,” Chestnut said.

Anderson said she had almost given up hope after the recent decisions not to prosecute officers in a string of fatal police shootings of unarmed suspects. A week ago, Cleveland prosecutors declined to charge the police officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

“It restores some faith in the justice system,” she said.

James has not announced whether he will seek charges against the officer who shot Kevin Davis, killed in his apartment while on the phone with 911 seeking help for an injured girlfriend. A civil grand jury recommended against charges but James said he planned to review that case as well.





“Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards


  • TrillaaaaaaTrillaaaaaa Robbed a thick bitch for 30 bands, now she back strippin/ Threw 5 back at her just for not snitchin Posts: 8,974 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Damn even when u naked they still "fear for their life"

  • BiblicalAtheist BiblicalAtheist Prude FieldsPosts: 15,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well yeah, who knows if he was gonna rush them with penis in hand.
  • BlevlandBoyBoolBlevlandBoyBool Posts: 1,034 ✭✭✭
    "This Is No Illusion We Be Selling Humans"
    "im a legend will smith love jaden real shit"
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Girfriend: "He does have a name, and his name is Anthony Hill"

    The girlfriend of a slain Air Force veteran wants the public to know something about him.

    "He's not just some unarmed, naked man like a lot of people reference him as," says Bridget Anderson. "He does have a name, and his name is Anthony Hill."

    This week, the case of Anthony Hill's death made national headlines, nearly 10 months to the day of when he was shot to death at his apartment complex in DeKalb County on the night of March 9, 2015.

    DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James announced that he will ask a grand jury to indict the policeman who pulled the trigger that evening, DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen.

    Hill was 26 years old on the evening that police responded to a call about a naked man behaving erratically at a Chamblee apartment complex.

    Previously, a civil grand jury reviewing the incident recommended that the prosecutor's office take a deeper look at the case. In October, the panel cited "contradictions and inconsistencies in the testimonies presented" in their inability to decide whether prosecution was warranted or not, and urged the district attorney's office to conduct further investigation, including more interviews with officers.

    Thursday, James said that he would seek to indict Olsen on two counts of felony murder, two counts of violation of oath of office, and counts of aggravated assault and making a false statement.

    James would not detail the evidence which led him to the decision to take the case to a criminal grand jury. He said that he has interviewed witnesses, been to the crime scene, and reviewed "every shred of evidence" in this case.

    "The facts and the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Anthony Hill warrant a charge for felony murder, and that's why we're presenting it to the grand jury and seeking charges on felony murder," says James.

    He added that his office had worked "tirelessly" to interview officers and witnesses and look for facts about the shooting, yet he was careful to not reveal too much about what was uncovered.

    "I can't really talk about our internal discussions between lawyers and investigators," James said. "At the end of the day, the consensus of our office was that the most appropriate charge to seek was felony murder charges."

    Police have said Hill lunged at the officer.

    Olsen remains on administrative leave from the police department. His lawyer, Don English of McDonough, tells WSB in a statement that his firm is "honored" to represent Olsen.

    "He looks forward to having his name cleared from these erroneous charges," said English via e-mail. "We are confident that If the DA presents ALL the evidence he has, the grand jury will not indict."

    "To me, this is the most blatant case of police brutality in America," said Bridget Anderson.

    Anderson says Hill had stopped taking medication for PTSD and bipolar disorder about a week to 10 days prior because of severe side effects including a locked jaw and a badly swollen tongue. He had an appointment scheduled at the VA for a few days later. Hill had talked to her three months earlier, she said, to reassure her that there are good police officers out there doing their jobs, after Anderson expressed disappointment in the failure of a grand jury to indict a policeman in the death of New Yorker Eric Garner.

    She described Hill as 5'7" and about 135 pounds, and could not understand how Olsen could see the unarmed young man as a threat. Anderson is "elated" that James will seek to indict Olsen.

    "He didn't even have socks on," she says. "Literally, completely naked, and he was a victim. And Officer Robert Olsen just saw him as--I don't know--just some black guy that just kind of acted out."

    That's a real stand up female right there.. She's still speaking out for that man...




    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
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