UPDATE: A coalition of civic, religion and government representatives Friday called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of the shooting of Charles Smith by Savannah officer David Jannot on Thursday.
The call came at a news conference at the site of Smith’s shooting and was attended by his mother Penny Nelson, along with representatives of The National Action Network, NAACP, local government representatives and ministers.
“We need answers. We demand answers,” said Aleisha Blakely, President, National Action Network Savannah Chapter. She noted that local ministers will hold a discussion of the shooting at a local church at noon and that there will be a peaceful demonstration at the site of the shooting at 6 p.m.
— AJC Breaking News Staff
ORIGINAL REPORT: SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - An investigation continues into an officer-involved shooting on Augusta Avenue in West Savannah on Thursday.
The GBI says Metro Police officers arrested 29-year-old Charles Smith a.k.a. “Mista Dee” on outstanding warrants. They say he was handcuffed behind his back in a patrol car, but was able to move his hands to the front of his body and kick out the window of the patrol car.
Officers say Smith then tried to get out of the police car and noticed he had a gun.
That’s when police say Officer David Jannot, a 10-year veteran of the department, shot and killed Smith.
This all happened on Eagle Street and Augusta Avenue around noon Thursday afternoon. It has sparked a lot of protests from people who say they want more answers, like how he was able to have a gun even though he was arrested.
An autopsy will be performed on Smith’s body at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah on Friday. That of course should provide more details on what exactly happened.
So far, the protests have been very peaceful, but it’s not over yet.
One group says they have plans to continue protests at the location where Smith was shot every day until they feel justice is served.
As of Friday morning it was much quieter. There was barely anyone out at the scene where the shooting occurred, a very different picture from Thursday.
Hundreds were gathered there, including city officials, from the mayor, the city manager and the police chief.
But before those city officials arrived, the crowd gathered pretty fast and were very upset and demanding answers, some answers they still don’t have. But one thing is for sure is that the city is taking this very seriously, and for some of the people who were out on Thursday, seeing the mayor and the other officials out addressing the crowd gave them some sort of comfort.
Mayor Edna Jackson said she too is upset about this and she promised residents that the city will get to the bottom of what happened.
“We’re going to clear it up to make sure that you know what is happening. As all of you know, when an officer is involved in something we must call on an outside agency, which is the GBI,” explained Mayor Jackson.
The mayor is asking that everyone remain calm and peaceful through all of this, and it looks like so far that is happening, which is a totally different story from what happened in Ferguson, Missouri.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.