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ACC District Attorney, GBI Release Findings in ACCPD Officer Involved Shootings

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The final decisions are in regarding the six officer-involved shootings at the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. According to a release from the department, former District Attorney Ken Mauldin forwarded separate letter to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regarding each of the ACCDP’s 2019 officer-involved shootings.

In the letters, Mauldin indicated that after his review of the cases, he determined that the officers were justified in the responses. Based on the DA’s findings, the GBI closed those cases. The officers were also cleared in administrative reviews of those shooting incidents.

For reference, those officer-involved shooting cases are:

March 8, 2019 shooting of Mr. Thomas Swinford

April 21, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Carlton Steven Brooks

July 1, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Aaron Hong

October 5, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Salvador Salazar

October 14, 2019 Shooting of Ms. Bonny Thomas

October 21, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Nan Zhao

Full ACCPD release:

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) would like to make the public aware of the final determinations in the criminal and administrative investigative reviews of the six officer-involved shootings that occurred during 2019.   

On 03/02/2020 prior to his departure from office, former District Attorney (DA) Ken Mauldin forwarded separate letters to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) regarding each of ACCPD’s 2019 officer-involved shootings.  In the letters, DA Mauldin indicated that after his review of the cases, he determined that the shots fired by the officers were justified and that there was no criminal wrong doing on the part of any of the officers.  Based on the DA’s findings, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation subsequently closed each of its cases involving our officers’ uses of deadly force.  

Administrative reviews of each of the six shooting incidents that were conducted by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards have also been concluded, and in each instance, the officer’s use of deadly force was found to be within policy limits.  Final determinations from the Police Department, the GBI, and the DA signal an end to the investigations of these incidents, confirming that, while tragic and truly unfortunate, the taking of lives by officers in these circumstances was justified.  

Chief Cleveland Spruill commented “I am pleased to learn that the District Attorney and GBI have finally rendered decisions in each of these cases and that my officers have been vindicated once and for all.  This has been an emotional time for each of the involved officers and a very trying time for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department as a whole.  Hopefully, these decisions will bring some sense of closure for each of the involved officers and will allow the department to move on past these tragic and unfortunate events.” 

For reference, the officer-involved shooting cases that this press release addresses are: 

*March 8, 2019 shooting of Mr. Thomas Swinford

*April 21, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Carlton Steven Brooks 

*July 1, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Aaron Hong

*October 5, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Salvador Salazar

*October 14, 2019 Shooting of Ms. Bonny Thomas

*October 21, 2019 Shooting of Mr. Nan Zhao

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