An awful story in Georgia about a fatal 2010 police shooting as investigated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, illustrates many of the structural and systemic problems in policing and police discipline, not just in Georgia but around the country.
35-year-old Caroline Small took police on a low-speed chase that ended with her Buick Century in a ditch on its rims. The two cops who followed her shot her, claiming they feared for her life because she could drive the car, which was without tires now, down the narrow path between her and them . After shooting her in the head, the cops are caught on their cameras talking about their marksmanship. A subsequent investigation of the incident cleared them of wrongdoing but the investigation by the Journal-Constitution found a number of problems:
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News investigation of the case found that:
• Glynn County police officers interfered with the GBI’s investigation from the start, seeking to protect the officers.
• The department tampered with the crime scene and created misleading evidence that was shown to the grand jury.
• The local district attorney shared the state’s evidence with the officers nearly two months before the grand jury convened and cut an unusual deal with them just before it met.