A grand jury has declined to indict a former Georgia State Trooper who shot and killed a Black man in 2020 after a stop over a broken taillight.
The victim, Julian Lewis, 60, died at the scene. The trooper, Jacob Thompson, 27, was later fired, arrested and charged with felony murder. But on June 29 a 22-person Grand Jury declined to indict Thompson. Lewis was on an errand on a rural road to get a soda for his wife on the night of the shooting. Ex-Trooper Thompson claimed that Lewis attempted to hit him with his vehicle.
Police video of the shooting was shown to the Grand Jury. The shooting death of Lewis by Thompson took place on August 7, 2020 and the video has still not been released publicly. Lewis’ family is pushing for the release of the video.
Lewis family attorney, Francys Johnson, commented on the video, saying: “The public deserves it. They paid for it. It’s been shown now to 22 citizens in Screven County, but it has not been shown to Julian’s mother or his wife or his attorney.” Johnson was referring to members of the grand jury being shown the video.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety stated that Thompson, 27, was fired for “negligence or inefficiency in performing assigned duties, or commission of a felony.”
Lewis’ shooting occurred in August 2020, two months after the killing of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s by an Atlanta police officer. One of the officer’s involved in the Brooks shooting was charged with murder. In March 2020, police in Louisville, Kentucky killed 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor. The city of Louisville paid a settlement to the family.
(Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at <LBurke007@gmail.com> and on twitter at @LVBurke.)