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APD officer involved in annex shooting received prior complaints

The Atlanta police officer already under investigation for a fatal shooting and an alleged assault had received prior complaints from citizens claiming he used unnecessary force, the officer’s personnel file reveals.

Neither of those complaints, stemming from separate incidents within a two-week period in 2007, led to any disciplinary action against Investigator Yasin Abdulahad, an 11-year APD veteran.

Abdulahad shot and killed Deaundre Phillips outside an Atlanta police annex on January 25. He told agents from the GBI investigating the shooting that he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and shot Phillips after the suspect drove off as Abdulahad hanged halfway outside the passenger door.

Surveillance footage showed that the officer was completely inside the car. And no lit marijuana was found inside the vehicle, said Chris Stewart, the attorney for Phillips’ family.

Abdulahad is also under investigation for allegedly beating a man outside a Midtown nightclub, where the officer was moonlighting as a security guard. Anthony Walters, 25, sustained serious facial injuries that Abdulahad said occurred because the suspect had fallen after resisting arrest.

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Walters has yet to talk to police but disputes Abdulahad’s account. His attorneys say had their client struck the officer, as Abdulahad contends, he would’ve been charged with more than disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor.

The first complaint from 2007 was not sustained, meaning there is “insufficient evidence … that the employee committed the violation,” according to APD’s Office of Professional Standards. Abdulahad was exonerated for the second incident. Atlanta police did not release details of either complaint.

Abdulahad was the subject of a handful of internal complaints, for infractions including punctuality, sleeping on duty and disobeying a supervisor. But he was rated either “effective” or “highly effective” on his most recent performance evaluations.

In a recent interview, APD Chief Erika Shields called Abdulahad a “widely respected officer.”

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