Fulton grand jury does not indict Atlanta cop in traffic stop killing

A Fulton County grand jury declined to indict an Atlanta police officer Friday for fatally shooting a man after a traffic stop.

Officer Thomas Atzert killed Maurice Hampton in June 2011, and his mother spoke to the grand jury Thursday, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“I have no hate and I just want to let them know who he was,” Rosa Hampton told Channel 2 reporter Mark Winne. “He was a human being.”

Atzert saw Maurice Hampton run a stop sign, according to statements and police records. Hampton fled on foot, and when Atzert caught him the two struggled. Atzert said Hampton grabbed his baton and that’s when Atzert fired his weapon, Channel 2 reported.

APD investigated and kept Atzert on the force. The FBI also investigated but did not bring federal charges.

A federal judge last year denied granting Atzert immunity from a civil lawsuit, saying in his ruling Atzert may not have been justified in the shooting.

Hampton, a parolee driving without a valid license, fled after the traffic stop, according to Courthouse News Service. Atzert claimed he used his baton on the larger Hampton but that Hampton got the baton and ran off, the news service reported from the federal ruling.

“At this point, Atzert fired his weapon, striking Hampton in the back and killing him,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash wrote, citing Atzert’s testimony, the news service reported.

A witness said Hampton did not have a weapon in his hands when he was shot.

Rosa Hampton filed the civil suit based on this witness’s version of the events

Atzert won a jury verdict in a civil case, Channel 2 reported.

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