Black lives matter and protestors in Atlanta had that as their rallying cry as they protested two fatal police shootings in three months. Just this week an unarmed, naked veteran was shot dead by Atlanta police. In the other fatal shooting, a man was killed after calling 911 for assistance when another man had assaulted his girlfriend. The police officer shot his dog and when the man, who was armed, didn’t immediately drop his gun, he was shot and killed.
More than 100 protesters converged on the Decatur square Wednesday evening to call attention to DeKalb County’s second police killing in three months that they contend was an unjust use of force.
They marched, banged a drum and chanted phrases, including “Hey hey, ho ho, these killer cops have got to go.”
On Monday, DeKalb Officer Robert Olson shot a 27-year-old Air Force veteran to death who was unarmed and naked outside his Chamblee apartment complex.
DeKalb Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said the man, Anthony Hill, ran at the officer and ignored warnings to stop during an apparent mental-health breakdown.
“Please join us on Wednesday at the Decatur Square as we demand justice for, and honor the lives of Anthony Hill, Kevin Davis, and countless others taken from us too soon,” an email announcing the protest read. “Anthony was naked and unarmed at the time of the shooting, yet Officer Olsen found him to be enough of a threat to take his life.”
Many of the protesters wore purple, reportedly Hill’s favorite color. One sign read: Anthony Hill fought for his country only to be murdered by a DeKalb police officer. Demilitarize the police.
DeKalb County police officer Robert Olson was placed on administrative leave.
Jim Chambers said his goal Wednesday night was to honor Anthony Hill and begin a discussion in the community.
Another case was also on the crowd’s mind.
In December, Officer Joseph Pitts shot Kevin Davis, a 44-year-old man who had called 911 for help, after killing his dog.
Alexander said Pitts shot Davis after he didn’t drop a gun. Davis was demanding to know why the officer had shot his dog but was not pointing the gun at Pitts, Alexander said.
Davis, who had no arrest record, had come to the door after hearing the gunshots believing a man who had assaulted his girlfriend had returned, Alexander said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating both cases at Alexander’s request.