Georgia grand jury examines police killing of unarmed, naked man

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2015 10:57 AM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia grand jury on Thursday reviewed the shooting death of an unarmed, naked black man by a white police officer at a suburban Atlanta apartment complex last March, prosecutors and the family's attorney said.

The death of Anthony Hill, 27, came as a spate of killings in the United States have raised questions about excessive use of force by police, particularly against black men.

No charges have been brought so far against the officer, Robert Olsen of the DeKalb County police department.

Hill was a U.S. Air Force veteran who suffered from bipolar disorder, according to his relatives. He was shot on March 9 after police found him crawling naked, knocking on apartment doors and "acting deranged," DeKalb County police said.

Hill ran toward the officer, who ordered Hill to stop before shooting him twice, according to police. However, some witnesses said Hill's hands were raised before he was shot in the chest. 

Thursday's grand jury does not have the authority to indict Olsen, but can recommend whether the case should proceed to a criminal grand jury, said Ryan Julison, spokesman for Hill's family attorney.

Through a spokesman, DeKalb County district attorney Robert James declined to comment before the grand jury deliberations. It could be a week or more before the grand jury recommendation is released, said his spokesman, Erik Burton.

Relatives said Hill may have stopped using some of the seven medications he was taking for his condition after his medical discharge from the military in 2013.

(Editing by Letitia Stein; Editing by Doina Chiacu)