DA: Investigation into task force shooting presents great ‘difficulty’
Lack of transparency has local cops re-thinking partnerships with feds
Family of man killed by APD officer demands civil rights investigation
Atchison, wanted for an alleged armed robbery of a cell phone, had fled to a friend’s apartment in northwest Atlanta after heavily armed task force members appeared at his door. He was discovered hiding in a closet and ordered to surrender.
“When Mr. Atchison attempted to comply with the officers’ commands, Officer Kim — unconstitutionally, unlawfully and in violation of Atlanta Police Department policy — fired his city-issued firearm striking Mr. Atchison in the face while Mr. Atchison was attempting to surrender,” Miller said.
She added the city is liable because Kim was an employee, no matter whom he was working under at the time.
Kim, a 26-year APD veteran, remains on paid administrative duty, stripped of police powers pending the outcome of the investigations, both internal and external.
Atchison’s death led Chief Shields to withdraw APD personnel from all federal task forces, citing their lack of transparency. Shields requested her officers be allowed to wear body cams. The feds said no.
Atlanta police and the mayor’s office declined comment about the ante litem notice, citing the anticipated litigation.
“Jimmy was the heart and soul of our family,” his father, Jimmy Hill, said Tuesday “My son deserved to have his day in court.”
The GBI is said to be nearly finished with its investigation of the shooting. But will a probe largely dependent on FBI cooperation truly be thorough?
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, whose office is also investigating the shooting, said he is skeptical, based on previous interactions.
The veteran prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice last December accusing federal authorities of hindering his office’s investigation into the 2016 death of Jamarion Robinson, 26. The onetime Clark Atlanta University football player, who battled schizophrenia, was shot 59 times by members of the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force.
According to Howard, the Justice Department refused to release documents about the shooting and blocked his investigators from interviewing officers who were on the scene.
Miller acknowledged that similar stonewalling would make her job in this case more difficult.
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” she said.