This video shows the fatal shooting of Melvin Williams by an officer (Jeffery Deal of the East Dublin Police Department) who did not have his power of arrest at the time. In Georgia, an officer has a power of arrest after completing certain minimum training and/or waiver requirements every year. This officer failed to do both, he failed to meet basic requirements to allow him to be on the street with a government issued firearm.
What’s so disturbing is that Jeffery Deal’s Police Chief allowed him to operate without his power of arrest for nearly two years. In fact, nearly the entire police department acted without their power of arrest for nearly two years (some longer). Many East Dublin police officers have a poor history when it comes to getting their training in the area of using a deadly gun. That comes as no surprise because- and this is shocking- the Department has no written policy on the use of deadly force. The department also has no standard operating procedure manual to help guide officers on appropriate conduct related to, for example, “traffic stops.”
The Associated Press article on this issue stated that the police officer in the video was making a traffic stop. The truth is that the officer- AFTER KILLING Melvin Williams- CLAIMED that he saw Melvin run a stop sign about ten minutes prior to killing him.
Please pay attention to this video because on it, you don’t see the officer behind Melvin Williams. You don’t see the officer pull Melvin over. You don’t hear the officer call in a traffic stop.
What you see is an officer pull in behind Melvin’s parked car, throw on his traffic lights (pay attention to the emergency light indicator on the left side entitled e-lights), then immediately run at Melvin and start shoving him back into his car (the officer admits this conduct subsequently). That is the oddest so-called “traffic stop” I have ever seen in my life! So ultimately what we have is an officer without his power of arrest, run up and assault Melvin, then Melvin defends himself after yelling out “what is wrong with you… what is wrong with you” and then the officer jump backwards, pull his gun and kills Melvin without any warning, verbal commands- nothing.
PLEASE TURN UP THE VOLUME so you can hear Melvin Williams repeatedly say ” what’s wrong with you ” whille being assaulted by Jeffery Deal. It’s obvious that Melvin is defending himself from an overly aggressive cop who we now know didn’t have his power of arrest at the time, so he should not have been on patrol with a government issued firearm in the first place.
To add insult to death, the officer then says, “I shot one.” Then, we never hear the officer call for medical attention, instead (again, adding insult to death) he asks Melvin for a shirt so he can help stop the bleeding, as Melvin laid dying?
Note: this shooting is wrong regardless of the power of arrest issue; however, not having your power of arrest makes matters worse because Jeffery Deal did not belong on the streets with a government issued firearm without his legal power of arrest. There a various laws that apply to this situation but simply put, in Georgia (and everywhere else I could imagine in the United States) an officer cannot use a government issued handgun to shoot someone when that officer has not complied with his training and waiver requirement. That’s common sense to TOPS but I guess not to the East Dublin Police Department. Actually, the Atlanta Police Department has also just did an internal audit and found that nearly 55 of its officers have been operating without their power of arrest. The local District Attorney is very alarmed about the issue because it requires the DA to review all the arrest to see which ones are illegal.
Bottom line: when there is no power of arrest, no written policy and procedures, no standard operating procedures manual, then, you will get officers who inevitably violate citizens’ constitutional rights, such as how Jeffery Deal violated Melvin Williams’ constitutional right by unreasonably killing him with fatal gunfire.
Relevantly, TOPS has called on the DA who is overseeing the Melvin Williams case to do an investigation of all the arrest made by East Dublin Police Officers.
Nothing has been done. TOPS also asked for a copy of all arrest reports and use of force reports done by East Dublin Police Department officers over the past two years. The City of East Dublin’s attorney countered TOPS request by attempting to charge TOP $1,000 for that information and then reduced the price to $500.00 (after TOPS complained).
Now imagine everything that I just relayed to you, then, think about the fact that the DA failed to have a grand jury hearing on this case. That’s what we call “home cookin’”
Luckily, TOPS advocated strongly for a grand jury hearing and after months of letters, phone calls, and memos to the DA, a grand jury is now being held. SUPPOSEDLY. TOPS feels that the location of the grand jury hearing should be changed and that the DA should not be allowed to prosecute this case. That is an issue that TOPS is consulting with top criminal attorneys around the country on, now. So you should hear about it soon. There are many issues surrounding the legitimacy of asking that a special prosecutor be assigned to this case.
Operating without your power of arrest without polices and procedures on deadly force, without a standard operating procedure manual represents a true violation of the public’s trust, and the Law Enforcement Officers Code. T.O.P.S. is doing everything it can to ensure that Melvin’s death helps protect citizens from the type of officer who killed him and from the type of police department that employed that type of officer.–
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