While some people were celebrating that Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 6 2018, there was another injustice happening in Georgia. Former police Zechariah Presley was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of unarmed Black man Tony Green. He was only 33.
According to the Associated Press, Pastor Mack De’Von Knight, whose church Green attended, said outside of the courthouse, “He admitted that he killed Tony Green in cold blood. To me, it’s hunting season for the young Black man and we’re being gunned down in the streets and there’s no repercussions, there’s no consequences for these officers.”
On the evening of June 20, 2018, Presley was reportedly following Green’s car because he believed he was driving with a suspended license. According to “dash camera video showed Green drive the car off the road, then open the door and run. He briefly returned to the vehicle to grab an unseen object, then fled again.”
Presley chased Green on foot, the two struggled, which could not be be seen on camera. Green was then shot eight times.
The AP also reported, “On the witness stand Wednesday, Presley added details he had not mentioned previously. He said he opened fire after Green turned back to face him and extended an arm, saying he feared Green had a gun. Investigators determined the object in his hand was a cellphone.”
Prosecutor Rocky Bridges slammed this new account in the closing argument, saying, “He made a fatal mistake and it was a mistake that cost a man his life. You don’t have to like Tony Green. … He ran from the police, not a good decision. But he was not armed. He did not turn on officer Presley. He did not deserve to die.”
Nonetheless, he was acquitted of manslaughter charges. However, the jury did find Zechariah Presley guilty of violating his oath of office. He faces a prison term of one to five years and will be sentenced Oct. 18.
Rest in power to Tony Green.
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Ex-Officer #NotGuilty of #Manslaughter in #Georgia Shooting Associated Press • Oct. 6, 2019, at 2:28 a.m. #WOODBINEGa. (AP) — A former Georgia police officer who fatally shot a fleeing, #unarmedblackman was #acquitted Saturday of #voluntarymanslaughter and #involuntary/manslaughter. The jury, however, found #ZechariahPresley guilty of violating his oath of office in the 2018 shooting of #TonyGreen, 33, in coastal #CamdenCounty near the Georgia-Florida state line. Presley was ordered to be jailed pending sentencing Oct. 18. He faces a prison term of one to five years. Presley sat silently at the defense table. Green's relatives wiped away tears after the verdict was read. Pastor Mack De'Von Knight, whose church Green attended, denounced the acquittals outside the courthouse, saying the evidence was "open and shut." "He admitted that he killed Tony Green in cold blood," Knight said. "To me, it's hunting season for the young black man and we're being gunned down in the streets and there's no repercussions, there's no consequences for these officers." Though Presley's body camera recorded his fatal encounter with Green, darkness and something covering the camera lens obscured the shooting and the moments leading up to it. That left the jury to weigh Presley's court testimony recalling what had occurred with a sometimes conflicting account by prosecutors and investigators. Presley said he followed Green's car on the night of June 20, 2018, because he believed Green was driving with a suspended license. Dash camera video showed Green drive the car off the road, then open the door and run. He briefly returned to the vehicle to grab an unseen object, then fled again. Presley chased Green on foot down a darkened street. A short struggle followed that's not visible on the video. The recording picked up the electrified clicking sound from Presley's Taser, followed by eight gunshots. Another officer arrives afterward to find Presley lying on the ground. Presley says Green had been on top of him, trying to grab his Taser. Presley then says: "And then I was going for my gun, and he started taking off. And I fired."