“They took my child away from me,” the Penny Nelson, the mother of slain suspect Charles Smith said after officers gunned him down while in handcuffs. “They took my child away from me in handcuffs, shot him in handcuffs… I just want to see this officer that killed my son in handcuffs. I want him to suffer like my child suffered.”
Police tried to cover up their reason for shooting him, by claiming that even after they frisked him, and even after they cuffed him, that he somehow had a magically-appearing handgun on his dead body.
The grand jury heard from a total of 45 witnesses. They reviewed a Georgia Bureau of Investigation report which had literally more than 2,000 pages related to the shooting of 29-year-old Charles Smith last fall.
In spite of that, Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said that “the decision the grand jury made should lay this to rest.”
Savannah-Chatham County police officer David Jannot shot and killed Smith on September 18, just after he was frisked, handcuffed, and placed in the back of the police cruiser.
What happened to lead up to this shooting? Police say that the apparently double jointed Smith managed to get his arms in front of him, then kick the window out, then shimmy out of the vehicle and finally take off running.
Police even had the audacity to insult the public’s intelligence by claiming that he pulled a gun from his pants that the police “somehow missed” during the frisk, and was running with it in his hands.
Officer Jannot even testified under oath that Smith “pointed the weapon as if to fire it,” all while running away, with his hands cuffed (that somehow got in front of him), and all with a gun that wasn’t there when the police patted him down and cuffed him.
“Many Grand Jurors were appalled that the police did not find Smith’s gun despite the fact at least three officers are seen on video frisking him,” the report said. “When the police are taking someone into custody who is known to carry a weapon, we would expect them to conduct a thorough search to include the crotch and groin.”
But critics say that they found no gun because no gun was on him. They argue that the gun could have been planted after the fact, when police allegedly shot the suspect for fleeing, not for having a gun.
Let’s dig deeper…
The officer hit Smith with four of five shots fired. That’s statistically phenomenal, considering Smith was running, and most officer-involved shootings have a hit percentage of under 20%. Some critics suggest that the reason for the accuracy is that the shooting occurred at a much closer range than the police are saying. Some in the community are even suggesting that he was handcuffed and executed.
What do you think about this shooting and the outcome of the investigation?
(Article by Reagan Ali)