GBI to investigate non-fatal shooting by police in Powder Springs

Powder Springs police car taken toward passenger sideviewPowder Springs police car (photo by Larry Felton Johnson, Cobb County Courier)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been asked by the Powder Springs Police Department to conduct an independent investigation of a shooting by one of its officers that resulted in non-fatal wounds

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated].

The GBI press release described the incident as follows:

At the intersection of C.H. James Parkway and Brownsville Road in Powder Springs, Cobb County Police Department officers were attempting to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier], age 28, of Vallejo, California. [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] was a suspect in the attempted robbery and shooting of a Brinks Security Guard in Cherokee County earlier that day. [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] did not stop his vehicle and during the incident, he was shot by a Powder Springs Police Department officer. After the shooting, [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] continued to flee from the officers in his vehicle. Cobb County Police Department officers performed a PIT maneuver and was able to immobilize the vehicle. [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. During the pursuit, [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] struck two civilian vehicles. No injuries were reported for those individuals. A firearm was located in [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] ’ vehicle. Powder Springs Police Department arrested and charged [Suspect’s name redacted by the Courier] with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. No officers were injured during the incident.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Upon completion, it will be turned over to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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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