An unarmed man was shot to death in Georgia after police received reports of a naked man running around in a metro Atlanta apartment complex. Monday’s shooting of yet another young black man by white police has revived the racial conflict in America. As reported by CNN on March 10, the unarmed man was identified as 27-year-old Anthony Hill, and he was shot twice as he charged a white police officer, Robert Olsen, who has now been placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation.
This recent shooting of an unarmed black man has sparked a wave of protests and many people consider the incident to be a use of unnecessary force against someone who was under an obvious situation of mental distress. The incident is also the latest in a series of incidents in which unarmed black men have died from the hands of police.
The DeKalb County Police Chief, Dr. Cedric Alexander, explained to reporters that apparently Hill dealt with some form of mental health problem when officers received a call about a man acting crazy, banging on doors and screaming on the floor naked. Speaking to reporters about the incident, Alexander gave the following statement during a Monday afternoon news conference.”When the male saw the officer, he charged, running at the officer,” Alexander said. “The officer called to him to stop, while stepping backward. He then drew his weapon and fired two shots.”
Alexander added that Hill ran to one of the officers who attended the call and that he shot him twice after ordering him to stop. Hill died in the apartment where no weapon was found. Hundreds of people used Twitter to express their frustration at the death using the #AnthonyHill and #BlackLivesMatter labels. Hill, who is an Air Force veteran, had used the last label days earlier on his Facebook page. According to the New York Times, a Twitter account that appears to have belonged to Hill contained a message acknowledging being bipolar. “I am thankful to be something other than normal,” the message read. “I don’t fight my circumstance, I embrace it. I love myself. Always #IAmBipolar.”
As WFMY News points out, one of the questions that will be examined during the investigation is whether the officer could have used a lesser, alternative method of force to subdue the man. “Yes, he was equipped with all the appropriately issued police equipment, including taser,” Alexander said. The chief said the officer also had pepper spray at his disposal.
Several bystanders reportedly witnessed the incident, but gave differing accounts of the events leading up to the shooting. But many agree that Olsen, an agent with seven years of experience, didn’t have to result to lethal force. This story is still developing and the updates to this story will be posted here as they are made available.