The family of Jimmy Atchison — a man killed in an officer-involved shooting earlier this year — said they were frustrated and “being ignored” during multiple outbursts at Monday’s Atlanta City Council meeting.
“For me, the way that this entire situation has been handled is sad,” Atchison’s aunt Tammie Featherstone said. “… This has got to stop.”
In a May 3 letter to U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak, the family said they’ve been given the runaround in the four months since Atchison’s killing.
“Over the past several months, the FBI has repeatedly ignored the family’s requests for basic information,” said family attorney Tanya Miller. “… (The FBI has also) refused to address the family’s concern that the Bureau should not be responsible for investigating a shooting involving their own task force.”
Atlanta police officer Sung Kim, assigned to a federal fugitive task force overseen by the FBI, shot and killed Atchison on Jan. 22 as the 21-year-old hid, unarmed, in a closet at a northwest Atlanta apartment, witnesses told police.
Atchison, wanted for stealing a cellphone at gunpoint, had fled to a friend’s apartment in northwest Atlanta after heavily armed task force members appeared at his door.
Authorities have not said what prompted the shooting. The FBI opened an investigation immediately after the incident. Through their attorney, the Atchison family has requested a civil rights investigation.
The family’s outbursts Monday started after a few councilmembers left their seats when Atchison’s father, Jimmy Hill, prepared to speak at the Council meeting. Atchison’s family openly confronted Councilwoman Andrea Boone, who represents District 10, the area of the city where Atchison was shot and killed.
Atchison’s family claimed Boone has never made an effort to meet with them and called for her to do more about crime in the district, which includes Adamsville and portions of the Cascade area. The district also sits in Atlanta police Zone 4, which has had 138 violent crimes — including murder, rape, and aggravated assault — in the past 17 weeks, according to APD’s online crime database.
“This is your area,” Featherstone said. “You have to do things to change this. We look to you for these changes.”
Boone said she met with the family and apologized for what happened.
“For the record, my condolences were given to this family,” she said at Monday’s meeting. “Let’s be truthful and let’s be fair … we are unhappy with what’s going on, but we have to get the facts just like you all.”
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