Another day, another story about cops who can’t seem to conduct a simple raid without needlessly shooting a Black person to death.
In a case that absolutely sounds like Breonna Taylor all over again, 49-year-old Johnny Lorenzo Bolton was fatally shot in an apartment in Smyrna, Georgia, by a deputy who was part of a team that was serving a drug warrant on December 17, 2020. In September of this year, the Cobb County District Attorney presented evidence to a grand jury that reportedly indicated the officer’s use of force was unwarranted, and now, that grand jury has recommended the officer face charges.
According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Cobb County officials said the shooting is “still an open and active investigation,” and the district attorney’s office hasn’t yet decided what charges, if any, will be presented to another grand jury in the future. But the reported evidence gathered by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation certainly indicates that someone in a police uniform belongs in prison.
The GBI investigation found that police officers burst through the door of the home Bolton was staying in with their guns drawn and with no warning. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in May that the father and soon-to-be grandfather was asleep on the sofa in the apartment when members of the Marietta Cobb Smyrna Organized Crime Task Force and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team executed a no-knock search warrant—a warrant that Bolton’s name was not included on, according to the officer who submitted the request for it.
That officer, who, like the officer alleged to have shot Bolton, hasn’t been named publicly, said a confidential informant told investigators that heroin, marijuana and cocaine were being sold from the apartment, which Bolton’s family said “served as an informal boarding house,” AJC reported, and one where women and children were also living.
The C.I. was reportedly able to buy cocaine from the residence while working undercover and investigators conducted surveillance of the apartment and witnessed drug transactions taking place, according to the warrant.
Still, regardless of whether Bolton, who worked at a nearby carwash, was involved with drugs, the GBI found that when cops burst through the door, he got up from the couch and put his hands up, but he was still shot at least twice.
“He hasn’t met my child and they took that away from him,” Bolton’s daughter, Diamond Bolton, said, according to AJC. “We just need answers and we want justice.”