- Governor, State of Georgia and United States Justice Department
- United States of America
“What we didn’t know and why we are involved”
Justice for Caroline Small Committee
It was not until we read a July 5, 2015 article by Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Brad Schrade, that we began to grasp the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Caroline Small. Much of the information stated below is directly documented by a police officer’s dash cam video.
We believe the press reports set out a compelling narrative of unjustified police violence in the shooting death of Caroline Small, on June 18, 2010. In our opinion, the shooting was completely unjustified.
- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer who directed the investigation called the shooting “the worst one I ever investigated.”
- The shooting occurred after an erratic “low-speed chase,” not exceeding 35 mph for about 4 miles.
- Caroline was obviously disoriented.
- A highway patrolman ran her car off the road, where it lodged against a telephone pole and fence.
- A police car stopped directly in front of her vehicle, almost touching it. The following facts are based on the dash cam video from this police car.
- Caroline shifted into reverse, then pulled forward in an ineffectual attempt to escape. By that time all the tires on the car were flat, and some were worn away completely.
- A highway patrolman attempts to help Caroline and can be heard to say “let me get her out of there” and runs behind the automobile, but retreats when he sees two Glynn County police with guns pointed at Caroline.
- The officers, standing to the side out of view of the dash cam, repeatedly scream “get out the car” while sirens blare. It is doubtful that Caroline could hear or understand them. The dash cam and subsequent news photos clearly show that Caroline’s car was trapped.
- Caroline pulls forward, striking the bumper of the parked police car. The officers immediately fire 8 shots through the windshield. The dash cam video shows that no officer is in danger of being run over by Caroline’s car at the time shots were fired.
• The officers behavior in the aftermath shows their callous disregard for Caroline’s life.
• The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) investigation of the shooting was impeded by the local police department.
- The Glynn County police apparently moved a vehicle to make the gap between police vehicles appear larger, and produced a video that misrepresented the distance between parked police vehicles to make it appear that Caroline could have run over the officers.
- After this investigation the GBI changed its procedures to insure that local police could not interfere in future investigations because Glynn County police were so difficult to deal with and uncooperative.
• The District Attorney did not fully or fairly present the evidence to the Grand Jury.
- The acting DA, who initially considered the case, stated that the officers should be prosecuted. He was replaced by the present DA, Jackie Johnson, who was appointed with the recommendation of the police chief after she discussed the case with him.
- The new DA asked the DA in neighboring Waycross, GA to review the case. He responded that the officers should be prosecuted.
- The police officers were present during the grand jury proceeding, with their attorneys. Georgia law allows police officers unique rights to be present, with lawyers, during the grand jury deliberations and the right to make a sworn statement to the grand jury.
The GBI agent who was present as a witness stated that the DA allowed defense attorneys to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence.
Based on the facts set out in numerous press reports and direct evidence supported by a police dash cam, we the undersigned of Justice for Caroline Small Petition based on compelling evidence demand:
• a second grand jury proceeding that complies with Georgia law
• a federal investigation of violations of Caroline Small’s civil rights during the shooting, and afterward;
• a federal investigation of the Glynn County police department’s interference with investigators; and
• a review of the police officer(s) actions and behaviors by the responsible agency of the State of Georgia.
The Justice for Caroline Small petition to Governor, State of Georgia and United States Justice Department was written by Justice for Caroline Small and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.