A white State Trooper from Georgia has been charged with murder after a 60-year-old black man was shot in the head during what appeared to be a routine traffic stop.
As per reports, Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, of Sylvania, Georgia, was pulled over for having a broken tail light on August 7 by State Trooper Jacob Gordon Thompson.
After following Lewis and forcing him to pull over into a ditch at around 9pm, Thompson, 27, opened fire. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation have said that Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene.
Francys Johnson is an attorney representing Lewis’s family. According to the The New York Times, he stated that the 60-year-old posed “no threat as a 60-year-old man just trying to make it home from a convenience store run” to buy a soda for his wife.
Reports from the tragic incident outline how Thompson forced Lewis into a ditch with his patrol car. The trooper then saw Lewis with both hands on the wheel when he exited his own car, and alleges that he believed Lewis was trying to drive at him.
Georgia Department of Public Safety cite Thompson as having said that Lewis was ‘wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressively back and forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle’.
As per CNN, Thompson added: “It appeared to me that the violator was trying to use his vehicle to injure me. Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once. After I fired, the violator sat back motionless.”
In answer to these claims, Attorney Johnson said: “It is not altogether clear to us that Mr. Lewis was trying to flee.”
Compounding matters, there is no video footage available from the pursuit, despite George State Patrol’s website’s claims that it was the “first agency to equip all of its patrol cars with dash-mounted cameras.”
Johnson added: “This is a problem with policing, even if you have a good trooper with an excellent character, if he’s operating within a flawed and corrupt system the outcomes are going to be not good for the citizens.
“This is not a Southern problem, this is not a Georgia problem, this is an American problem because these incidents are taking place across the country. It is a too familiar narrative. The burden always falls to citizens to remain calm, to comply. And police officers who have training and experience are given justification in just about all of those instances.”
Thompson has since been fired for “negligence or inefficiency in performing assigned duties; or commission of a felony”. He has also been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault and booked into Screven County Jail.
What is the world coming to? It makes my heart bleed to hear about victims such as Lewis, who have lost their life in such needless fashions.
Share this article if you think serious reforms need to be made to the way people operate guns. Rest in peace, Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis.
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