NEWS BRIEF A grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, indicted a white former Atlanta police officer for murder and other counts in the shooting death of Deravis Caine Rogers, an unarmed black man.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the five counts against former officer James Burns, who was indicted Wednesday, included murder, aggravated assault, two counts of violating his oath of office, and one count of making a false statement.
On June 22, Burns shot at Rogers’s vehicle and hit the 22-year-old in the head. The Journal-Constitution wrote that Burns was responding to a call from another officer, about a suspicious man on foot at an apartment complex, when he saw a man in a silver Ford turn on the headlights and begin to pull away. It continued:
He tried to pull his patrol car into the middle of the road to block the vehicle. But the Ford, driven by Rogers, maneuvered around Burns’ patrol car. The officer then jumped from his vehicle, yelled stop and shot through the passenger side window of the Ford as it drove away. The bullet struck Rogers in lower right side of his head and his car careened down the road before striking a vehicle in the parking lot of Cirque Daiquiri Bar and Grill on Monroe Drive.
Rogers was pronounced dead that evening at Grady [hospital].
Burns told APD investigators that Rogers tried to run him over. But investigators reviewed dashcam video that captured part of what happened. Several witnesses were also interviewed and APD determined the evidence did not support Burns’ version of events.
Burns was fired from the force July 1, after an internal investigation determined the shooting was unjustified. A warrant for his arrest for murder was issued July 15.