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Fatal Shooting in Atlanta Occurs After Police Shoot at Fleeing Vehicle

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

The most recent fatal police shooting in Atlanta has reignited a heated debate over whether or not officers should fire their weapons at fleeing suspects in vehicles.

The most recent shooting occurred at a Shell station near the intersection of Whitehall and McDaniel in Downtown Atlanta. According to reports, eighteen year old, D'Ettrick Griffin jumped into Officer Oliver Simmonds' vehicle and drove away. Officer Simmonds attempted to stop the vehicle, but when he failed he shot at the vehicle.

The Atlanta Police Department has a policy that prohibits firing at fleeing vehicles. However, there is a broad exception that allows a “reasonable and necessary” use of force regarding fleeing suspects.

As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I will outline the offense of fleeing an officer in today's post so as to better clarify what the policy is referring to in this latest update.

Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer in Georgia

Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:

It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle.

Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, which fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation and imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than 12 months.

Practice Note

Other states have also moved towards the prohibition of officers' firing at fleeing vehicles. San Francisco banned firing at fleeing vehicle unless the occupants pose another threat. Philadelphia banned firing unless the officers are being fired upon.

As of right now, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has revised its use-of-force policy. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!

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