AADM Supports Officer's Termination for Hitting Suspect with Car (Video)
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement is backing Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman’s decision to fire an officer who hit a suspect with his patrol car during a chase. Mokah Jasmine Johnson is the president and cofounder of the organization.
“There’s a lot of talk in the community about it,” Johnson says. “People are appalled, they’re outraged to see the officer use his car trying to stop the young man from running and the thing that’s adding fuel to the fire are comments online, they’re not pleased, they’re upset that Chief Freeman fired this officer.”
Officer Taylor Saulters is charged with use of excessive force after body cam video showed his patrol car hitting Timothy Patmon. An Internal Affairs report determined Saulters used poor judgement is using his patrol vehicle to apprehend a fleeing suspect.
Due to some negative feedback, Mokah Johnson, Cofounder and president of the AADM, says the organization will attend the June 5th Mayor and Commission meeting to show support and request that the local government honor Chief Freeman’s decision and results from internal affairs.
“It’s an opportunity for our community to support Chief Freeman’s decision. It’s an opportunity for us to change to get better policing and to m ake sure that you’re not running people rover with your car. That’s not part of protocol.”
The Internal Affairs report found excessive use of force by Officer Saulters .
The report found:
Officer Saulters did use his car as a means to cut off the path of flight of Patmon.
There were two vehicle encounters: In the first vehicle encounter, Officer Saulters did in fact turn his patrol vehicle into the path of Patmon, in very close proximity of Patmon, by running up onto the sidewalk on the opposite side of the roadway.
In the second vehicle encounter, Officer Saulters did in fact turn his patrol vehicle into the direction of Patmon, who was clearly visible on the right side of the patrol car, and it is at that point that Patmon is struck.
Officer Saulters did not have any information that would justify using a patrol vehicle to affect an arrest.
Officer Saulters’ use of the patrol vehicle was a seizure of Patmon through a means intentionally applied and was not objectively reasonable based on the information that he had at the time when evaluated under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).
The Excessive Use of Force is sustained on Officer Taylor.