Grand Jury Recommends No Charges Against Atlanta Cop In Killing

The panel advocated more investigation of a second case -- a white officer's shooting of Anthony Hill, an unarmed black man.
Police Officer Robert Olsen is seen in an undated handout picture released by the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia.
Police Officer Robert Olsen is seen in an undated handout picture released by the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia. The shooting death of an unarmed, black, naked man by Officer Olsen in an Atlanta suburb prompted a social media outcry on Tuesday over what many people deemed to be unnecessary force against someone who may have been in mental distress. The death of Anthony Hill, 27, at an apartment complex in DeKalb County on Monday afternoon is the latest in a string of killings of unarmed black men by police in the United States.

A grand jury recommended clearing one Atlanta-area cop in the fatal shooting of a man seeking help, but couldn't reach an agreement about another police officer's killing of an unarmed man in controversial circumstances. 

The DeKalb County grand jury said the district attorney shouldn't indict DeKalb Officer Joseph Pitts for the December killing of Kevin Davis, 44, who had called 911 seeking help because his girlfriend had been stabbed. 

Davis remained on the line with the emergency operator when he heard gunshots at his home. Pitts had killed his dog, claiming later that the animal was a threat. 

Not knowing the source of the gunfire, Davis grabbed his own gun and went to investigate, his girlfriend said. In an ensuing confrontation, Pitts shot Davis.

Davis' family has said the officer didn't give him ample warning before firing. Davis' girlfriend said she thinks Davis had armed himself because of the attack on her.

District Attorney Robert James may accept or ignore the grand jury's recommendation. In a statement, he said he hadn't decided how he would proceed in Davis's case. 

In the second cace, the grand jury called for renewed investigation into the March fatal shooting by a white officer of Anthony Hill, 27, a nude, black man who police said was acting erratically. Officer Robert Olsen saw Hill in a parking lot and said he shot when Hill charged at him. Hill was unarmed. 

Hill's family members said they believe a bipolar spell took control of Hill, an Air Force veteran. 

Grand jurors said "inconsistencies and contradictions" in witness testimony prevented them from making a recommendation to the district attorney on whether to pursue charges against Olsen. 

The jury urged a follow-up interview with the first officer on the scene and a thorough interview with another officer to clarify the accuracy of previous statements. 

The district attorney said he'd consider the suggestions.