February 19 – MARIETTA – District Attorney Cobb Flynn Broady said Thursday he would not prosecute a police officer who shot and killed Fulton County teenager Vincent Truitt last summer after a grand jury found the police officer’s use of force justified.
Speaking at a news conference less than two hours after the grand jury made its decision, Broady said he was not bound by the jury’s recommendation. But the newly elected prosecutor declared his policy to follow the recommendations of the grand jury in any shooting involving officers, he added.
Lawyers for the Truitt family said they would move forward with a $ 50 million lawsuit against the county for excessive force and unlawful death.
Truitt was one of three teenagers in a stolen car during an attempt to stop traffic on July 13, 2020, it was announced later in the week, in the Georgia Office of Investigation. The car escaped and later stopped at a dead end behind the building at 270 Riverside Parkway at Interstate 20, south of the Riverside EpiCenter in Austell.
Truitt and one of the other passengers in the car ran, GBI said.
Cobb County Police Officer Max Carneol shot Truitt after a Fulton County teenager “waved” a gun as he fled, according to a GBI statement. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition and died the next day.
At a county board meeting, during a rally in Marietta’s Glover Park and on social media, the Truitt family called on county leaders to file an indictment against Carneol, fire Cobb Chief Tim Cox and release a video cultivated by the body cameras of police officers present when he was shot. Truitt.
Broady’s predecessor Joyette Holmes shared a video with Truitt’s family in November. Family lawyers have long held that the video will prove that Truitt never waved a good fortune and that a police officer had no reason to fear for his life or shoot a teenager.
But Broady and Holmes have resisted calls to release the video, citing an exemption from state open records laws that allow the government to withhold information relevant to a pending investigation.
On Thursday night, Broady said he considered the case closed and shared three videos of the moments that led to Truitt’s death, including a video cultivated by Carneol’s body camera.
Footage from that video showed Truitt holding a gun, but it seemed that at no point in the video did he point the gun at a police officer.
Jury members were presented with video from the camera of each police officer’s body and the dashboard of each police car, a video taken at the warehouse where Truitt was shot, “all witness statements” and the testimony of a Georgian investigative agent working on the case, Jason said. Saliba, from the prosecutor’s office.
“They were shown a slow-motion version of the bodywork, as well as a photo you saw and several other photos that are part of the GBI file,” he added.
Those videos are likely to be released to the public early next week, DA spokesman Kim Isaza said.
Speaking moments after Broady’s press conference, Truitt family lawyer Jackie Patterson suggested that Broady lied about the way he presented the case to a grand jury.
A copy of the grand jury’s decision indicated that the case was not presented as a criminal case, Patterson said. Securing an indictment is easier in a criminal case, he added.
“We have been deceived, deceived, deceived,” he said.
Broady said the case was actually presented as a criminal case.
“There were no charges before the grand jury,” he said. “Basically, what was presented to the grand jury were the facts, and the grand jury had to decide, should we actually charge the officer with anything? … Basically it was presented as a criminal case.”
At a separate press conference an hour later, Cobb Police Chief Tim Cox said Carneol was released on administrative leave after Truitt’s death, but was on full duty again.
“I recognize that the loss of life is tragic,” Cox said. “I can’t imagine the pain the Truitt family suffered during that time. I pray for that family every day. I also recognize the stress that any police officer goes through when he has to use any force or is (or is invested) in a situation where they have to use force, and I prayed daily for this officer and his family. Both families will struggle for many years with feelings and emotions related to this event. “
Broady said the officer acted in accordance with state law.
“Each of our police agencies has an SOP (standard operating procedure) for the use of force,” he said. “And, just following (state law), it is said that if a police officer chases a criminal who has a weon, which can pose a danger to others, he has the ability to shoot, use deadly force. And in this case, the police officer followed his SOP to the end, and the law also followed.
“I told police officers this: that in any … shooting involving police officers, I would present it to a grand jury and let the grand jury make a decision based on the citizens of our community looking at what is best for their community,” he continued. “I’m not going to make a decision on my own that requires me to show my bias or show feelings for what I saw in the live video. Because as an African American, you hate to see any African American downed. But the fact is we have to follow the law. And the law says the cop was within his rights. “
Truitt family lawyer Gerald Griggs disagreed.
“This is not the end of this,” he said. “You don’t shoot someone in the back twice.”