GBI issues preliminary statement on fatal shooting by Cobb police officer

Cobb County Police Department Crime Scene Unit vehicleCobb police Crime Scene Unit vehicle (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has issued its statement on the fatal shooting of a man now identified as Devonte Dawayne Brown, 28, of Austell, in Marietta by a Cobb County police officer. The GBI was asked by the Cobb County Police Department to conduct an investigation.

Here is the public information release from the GBI:

Cobb County, GA (August 19, 2021) – On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the Cobb County Police Department asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation.

Preliminary information indicates that around 3:30 p.m., a Cobb County Police Department officer observed a vehicle being driven recklessly in the area of South Loop and Powder Springs Road in Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia.  The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle.  The driver, identified as Devonte Dawayne Brown, 28, of Austell, initially pulled over, but then refused to comply and sped away.  Multiple officers from the Cobb County Police Department and Cobb County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop Brown.  At one point, the officers attempted to box in the vehicle.  During this incident, Brown attempted to get away and hit multiple police vehicles.  As police officers were trying to take Brown into custody, a Cobb County Police Department officer fired his gun, striking Brown.  Brown was transported to a local area hospital where he died. 

A handgun was found in the vehicle.  One officer has non-life-threatening injuries after he was struck by Brown’s vehicle. 

The GBI will complete its independent investigation and once complete, the case will be given to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review.

https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2021-08-19/gbi-investigates-officer-involved-shooting-cobb-county

The GBI’s role in officer-involved shootings

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation routinely investigates the shooting of individuals by police officers, as well as any time an officer discharges a firearm while on duty, at the request of the police agency involved in the shooting.

Natalie Ammons, the Deputy Director of the GBI’s Office of Public Affairs explained to us how the system works.

Police agencies are not required to request outside investigation of officer involved shootings, and there is no formal agreement between the GBI and local police departments.

But police agencies make the request so that an independent agency does the investigation in an incident involving their own officers.

The investigations are carried out by Special Agents in a regional office within the area where the police agency is located. Cobb County, and much of the rest of metro Atlanta, is in the GBI’s Region 10, based in Conyers.

In Region 10, officer involved shootings and corruption investigations are the primary investigations Special Agents do, while in more rural areas with fewer police resources the agents handle a wider range of criminal investigations.

There is no special unit or division that conducts the investigation of officer involved shootings.

The announcements of the investigations can be found at the GBI’s press release web page.

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