Reporter Newspapers by Hannah Greco
Feb 3, 2020
Months after incidents where police officers shot suspects in Sandy Springs — including wounding a teenager and killing a possibly suicidal man — there are still no official rulings on whether the shootings were legally justified.
In fact, there is little official public information about the cases at all. The three shootings still are under investigation, the Fulton County District Attorney’s office says. It is unclear how far the investigations have gone and how much further they have to go.
Meanwhile, the Sandy Springs Police Department’s decision to withhold details in the initial report on one of the shootings apparently contradicts its own policy and, according to David Hudson, an attorney and board member of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, the city may not be meeting requirements of the state Open Records Act when it has withheld initial reports on other cases.
The city declined to give the Reporter initial incident reports from two of the three shootings, which Hudson said may be illegal, and the initial incident report on the other shooting, obtained in 2019, lacked significant detail about the incident itself.
Two people were shot by Sandy Springs police officers in separate incidents on May 11 and May 31 of 2018 and an apparently suicidal man was shot and pronounced dead at the hospital on March 21, 2019.
The three cases were investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, as is routinely done. The two May 2018 cases were handed over to the district attorney office in the fall of 2018 and the March 2019 case was handed over in June 2019. As of Jan. 13, all three of the cases remain under investigation by the district attorney office, spokesperson Chris Hopper said.