Clarke County Police recently released video footage of a traffic stop that escalated to an officer-involved shooting.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Clarke County police chief told Channel 2 Action News his officer did nothing wrong while attempting to stop someone for a liquor violation early Saturday morning.
“Athens officer David Kelley stopped at a Golden Pantry store on Barnett Shoals Road while on routine patrol at about 3 a.m., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. There, he encountered two men in a car, pouring liquor into a cup, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release.
The body camera footage shows the officer noticed one of the men had a firearm. Justin Tramell Scott, 22, is shown in the video with a gun sticking out of the front of his pants. The officer gives Scott multiple commands, but Scott reached for his firearm, at which time Kelley fired two shots. One of the shots hit Scott on the left side of his face.
Scott continued to run away despite his wound. He ran around the side of the building as Kelley is heard in the video threatening to taze him. Scott then stumbled and fell, but got up and ran for another three minutes, according to the footage.
Another officer later caught up to and arrested Scott across the street on Barnett Shoals, the AJC reports.
Lamorio Freeman, Scott’s cousin, told Channel 2 the officers should have considered Scott’s state of mind. Freeman said his cousin was intoxicated after having recently left a nightclub.
Chief R. Scott Freeman said his officer did everything by the book, according to the AJC article.
“I think the officer was placed in a position where he had no other choice but to defend himself and/or face being shot and killed right there in the parking lot,” Freeman said in the article.
The video footage was released just days following another officer-involved shooting in Oconee County.
The Athens Banner-Herald reported on April 21 that an Oconee County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a man who confronted two other deputies with a firearm.
The shooting occurred in a home at 1090 Dials Mill Spur near Bogart.
Footage from body cameras shows that Cpl. Adam Thrower and two other deputies were attempting to arrest a man on a family violence charge.
The suspect, John Martin, 38, will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and other charges associated with family violence, according to the article.
Martin remained hospitalized at Athens Regional Medical Center at the time of publication, but will be served with the warrants when he is released from treatment.