Protests in Decatur against DeKalb police shooting

Posted by March 11, 2015
Protesters march through downtown Decatur, demonstrating against the death of Anthony Hill. Photo courtesy of Jim Chambers (@jccfergie)

Protesters march through downtown Decatur, demonstrating against the death of Anthony Hill. Photo courtesy of Jim Chambers (@jccfergie)

Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Decatur Wednesday night, demonstrating against a recent DeKalb County police shooting.

Marchers were protesting the death of 27-year-old Anthony Hill. The unarmed and naked man was shot by a DeKalb County police officer outside of his Chamblee apartment complex Monday.

An organization called Rise Up organized protests in Decatur Square to honor Hill, an Air Force veteran, and others killed in police interactions. Its Facebook event page said, “Anthony was naked and unarmed at the time of the shooting, yet Officer Olsen found him to be enough of a threat to take his life. This is the second time that Dekalb County Police have unjustly taken a life in just the last 3 months. We must Rise Up against this violence in our communities.”

Protesters blocked Decatur streets for about an hour, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. You can read more of the AJC’s coverage of the protest here.

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Demonstrators blocked streets in downtown Decatur during the protest. Photo courtesy of Tim Franzen (@timfranzen1)

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Protesters demonstrating at the intersection of Church Street and East Ponce de Leon Avenue. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Daniel.



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  • ZenderTranscender

    These protests are losing their effectiveness, Most of us don’t know what it’s like to put our lives on the line every day being a police officer. From what I know, the police who shot the man in DeKalb had good reason to do so.

    This morning two law officers in Ferguson were shot and injured during a protest. Almost all of the top white officials in the city have resigned. What were they protesting? And when all of the officials do resign, will blacks there be prepared to replace them?

    • Eric Strunz

      This protest was important because this is Georgia, not Missouri. Changes in Ferguson won’t directly help communities elsewhere. It’s terrible that two officers were shot there last night (it looks like they will recover fortunately), but let us not so quickly forget the 22 years of service from Detective Terence Green, who was killed in the line of duty just last week protecting Fulton county.

      We’re fortunate to be protected by two stellar police agencies in Decatur and Avondale Estates. All my (admittedly few) interactions with DeKalb PD have also been very positive, but it seems like there’s an opportunity to improve training and reevaluate use-of-force policies. Ongoing discussions about civil seizure and no-knock warrants also provide an avenue to strengthen ties between the law and the people.

      I agree that most people, myself included, can’t fathom what it’s like to put your life on the line every day for your community. Judging from the protests though, we need to reinforce the trust between the general community and law enforcement. And can’t we all mourn the deaths of men who were positive members of their communities? Surely we can strive to find ways to improve moving forward?

      • RAJ

        You won’t move forward by under cutting the judgement of the people you and I hire to protect us and themselves when they put themselves in dangerous situations. Bottom line is we have to trust these folks, protesting every fatal shooting BEFORE an investigation is for the publicity seekers that organize the protests.

        • Eric Strunz

          I hope I didn’t sound like I was undercutting the judgment of the officers involved in these recent incidents. Like you said, there are many details that remain unknown to the public. Hopefully the Georgia Bureau of Investigations inquiry will shed new light on the incidents involving Kevin Davis and Anthony Hill.

          I also believe that any person or organization entrusted with great power must also shoulder the burden of accountability. It seems like protests helped encourage the Dekalb Police Chief (Dr. Cedric Alexander) to request a GBI investigation for Kevin Davis’ death. Whether the life lost is a civilian or officer of the law, surely we can all agree on the value of transparency when a life is lost in unclear circumstances? How else could we improve moving forward?

      • ZenderTranscender

        Eric, I am not sure I have a good answer for your last question.
        There are too many politicians and their hangers-on who are amoral. They use race for political gain. They work for and hope for unrest and upset. I am not a cynical person, although I sound that way. That’s just the way I see things.
        Law enforcement has much room to improve some its tactics, but I genuinely believe that many black people are the wrong path to make economic and social gains in this country. They may be alienating as many people as they attract to their cause. It’s hard for me to understand what they want.

    • RAJ

      Yes and you will have a DeKalb style government in Ferguson where bad behavior will net no consequences or a plea bargain deal from a DA with political ambitions.

      • ZenderTranscender

        You are correct.
        My family and I moved to DeKalb County when Manuel Maloof and, later, Liane Levetan ran it. The government and school system received high praise, throughout the Southeast. Those were golden days. I can’t even recall when it all began to slide south – Vernon Jones?

  • ZenderTranscender

    Yes, disabled people do need our support, but they are often the ones who behave in a way that attract police attention. Many of these people are raised in single-parent households in poverty. Until these situations are addressed, we can continue to expect these sad outcomes.

  • brr

    i am ready for tremendous change, but if the last year has taught me anything, protests have ZERO impact.

  • Eric Strunz

    You make a great point. How would any of us react if someone behaved erratically near us? We’d be on guard and nervous, especially if we didn’t understand the causes of the behavior.

    Fortunately, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides great training for “crisis intervention teams.” This training helps improve the way law enforcement and the communities respond to people experiencing mental health crises. Some of this training has already occurred successfully in Georgia. Maybe we can find ways to expand its reach.

  • RAJ

    All reports are that this officer was well trained and experienced to handle this type of situation. All will be investigated. At some point we have to recognize that we live in a complex society of our own making and that fact produces unintended consequences that we have difficulty explaining even to ourselves. PEACE!

  • RAJ

    Guess we are lucky to live in a country that allows freedom of a wide range of behavior and expression before we encounter restrictions we all agree are necessary to maintain a civil society.

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