Prosecutor Buffy Thomas delivers her opening statement at the Chip Olsen murder trial on Oct. 26, 2019. (Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com)
Photo: Bob Andres
Photo: Bob Andres

‘Breakdown’ S07, Ep. 6: Unarmed. Unclothed. Unable to Harm?

More than four years after Anthony Hill was gunned down in the throes of a mental health crisis, the trial of the cop who killed him is finally underway.

The issue of race emerges almost immediately during jury selection in subtle — and not so subtle — ways. 

Would-be jurors are quizzed about their views on police treatment of black citizens. And it’s clear that both the prosecution and the defense are keeping tabs on the racial makeup of the panel that will determine whether Robert “Chip” Olsen spends the rest of his life behind bars.

» LISTEN: Previous seasons of the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast

» MORE: The latest on Anthony Hill and the Chip Olsen trial

Available Tuesday, Episode 6 “Unarmed. Unclothed. Unable to Harm?” brings listeners into the courtroom for powerful opening statements in a trial that tests the limits of police use of lethal force.

Hill was unarmed and had stripped his clothes off when he was shot and killed in the parking lot of his DeKalb County apartment complex. The 26-year-old aspiring musician and Afghanistan war veteran had stopped taking the medications he used to treat bipolar disorder.

Olsen, 57, faces felony murder and other charges for Hill’s death. But he argues he was defending himself and that Hill ignored his commands to stop.

Now in its seventh season, Breakdown is hosted by AJC legal affairs writer, Bill Rankin. He’s joined by public safety reporter, Christian Boone.  

This season — “Judgment Call” — we are partnering with WSB-Radio.

You can download the podcast from iTunesStitcherSpotify or your favorite podcasting platform. Or you can stream it on your computer in the player below.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Join the Breakdown Podcast Facebook group for more AJC coverage and behind-the-scenes looks at previous Breakdown seasons.

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