Demonstration planned over failure to charge Avondale Police Officer

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 3, 2015
An Avondale Estates Police Car. Source: City of Avondale Estates, GA

An Avondale Estates Police Car. Source: City of Avondale Estates, GA

It’s been nearly three years since the fatal shooting of Jayvis Benjamin by Avondale Estates Police Sgt. Lynn Thomas.

In May the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said it would ask a grand jury to indict Thomas. But so far, nothing has happened.

According to a press release, Bejamin’s supporters plan a “peaceful” demonstration in Decatur on Dec. 15 at noon in front of the District Attorney’s Office on McDonough Street.

“The Dekalb County District Attorney promised to present the case to a criminal grand jury in May or June of 2015,” the press release says. “He has yet to fulfill that promise. As of today, no case has been presented to any grand jury, and no charges have been brought against Sgt. Thomas for this unjustified killing of an innocent young man. The family of Jayvis Benjamin, who is survived by his mother, his brother, and sister, asks the Dekalb County District Attorney to follow the recommendations of the civil grand jury, present the case to a criminal grand jury, and charge the police officer with the unjustified and unnecessary killing of an unarmed young man.”

The District Attorney’s office declined to comment.

“We don’t have a comment at this time as this matter is still pending in our office,” spokesperson Erik Burton said.

Thomas still works for the Avondale Estates Police Department. Police allege that Benjamin stole a car then attacked Thomas after crashing into someone’s yard. Thomas shot Benjamin in the chest. A civil grand jury reviewed the evidence in the case and recommended turning the case over to a criminal grand jury.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the length of time that had passed since the death of Jayvis Benjamin. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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