- A grand jury declined to indict an ex-Georgia state trooper who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop over a busted taillight last year.
- Trooper Jacob Thompson had been arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the Aug. 7 death of 60-year-old Julian Lewis.
- Lewis’ family members were upset with the grand jury’s decision, saying, “The evidence was there.”
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A Georgia grand jury has declined to indict a former Peach State trooper who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop over a busted taillight last year.
Ex-Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jacob Thompson had been arrested on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault in connection with the Aug. 7 death of 60-year-old Julian Lewis.
The case was brought to a Screven County grand jury on Monday and the grand jurors decided not to indict Thompson, who is white, on any of the charges, the Associated Press reported.
Lewis’ family members said they were upset with the grand jury’s decision.
“Make no mistake about it, we believe that this was a very strong case,” a lawyer for the family, Francys Johnson, said during a press conference in Savannah, according to the AP. “The evidence was there. It still is.”
Before Lewis was shot and killed, Thompson had tried to pull Lewis over for a broken taillight in Screven County.
Thompson chased after Lewis when he did not immediately stop. He forced Lewis’ car off the road and then fired at Lewis, shooting him in the head, reports said.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Dustin Peak testified during a previous bond hearing that Thompson opened fire on Lewis one second after getting out of his patrol car, shooting the victim in the forehead as he was seated in the vehicle with both hands on the wheel, the Statesboro Herald reported.
Thompson wrote in his incident report that he shot Lewis as Lewis was revving the car’s engine and turning the steering wheel, the AP reported.
Peak testified that Lewis’ car was disabled after the crash, disputing Thompson’s claim, according to the Statesboro Herald. Thompson was later fired, according to the AP.
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