Killing of Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis

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Killing of Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis
DateAugust 7, 2020 (2020-08-07)
LocationScreven County, Georgia, US
Coordinates32°37′06″N 81°39′41″W / 32.618349°N 81.661500°W / 32.618349; -81.661500Coordinates: 32°37′06″N 81°39′41″W / 32.618349°N 81.661500°W / 32.618349; -81.661500[1]
SuspectsJacob Gordon Thompson
ChargesFelony murder, aggravated assault

On August 7, 2020, Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, a 60-year-old Black American carpenter, was fatally shot by white Georgia State Patrol officer Jacob Gordon Thompson, on a rural road in Screven County, Georgia. Thompson attempted to stop Lewis for driving a vehicle with a broken tail light. When Lewis failed to stop, Thompson performed a PIT maneuver to force Lewis's car into a ditch and shot Lewis once in the face. On August 14, Thompson was charged with felony murder.

People involved

Lewis was a 60-year-old Black semi-retired carpenter[2][3][4] from Sylvania, Georgia.[5]

Thompson, who is white, was 27 years old at the time of the shooting.[2][3][4][1] He joined the Georgia State Police on July 28, 2013.[4]

Traffic stop

According to a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) report, around 9 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020, Thompson attempted to stop Lewis's Nissan Sentra for a broken taillight on Stoney Pond Road near Sylvania, Georgia, in a rural part of Screven County about 60 miles northwest of Savannah.[2][3][4][1] According to a Lewis family attorney, Lewis had gone to a convenience store to buy a grape soda for his wife and was on his way home at the time.[1] Lewis did not stop and Thompson briefly chased Lewis down several rural roads.[2][3][4][1] Thompson forced Lewis's car to stop in a ditch[2][1] using a "precision intervention technique" or "PIT maneuver".[3][4]

According to Thompson's report of the incident, after Lewis's vehicle stopped, Thompson pulled up alongside and drew his handgun as he exited.[4][1] Lewis revved his car's engine and Thompson activated the light on his gun.[4] Thompson saw Lewis with both hands on the steering wheel,[1] "wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressive back-and-forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle."[4] Thompson wrote that Lewis "was trying to use his vehicle to injure me" and that, "Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once."[4] According to prosecutors, Thompson fired one shot "at some point", striking Lewis in the face and killing him.[2][3] According to an attorney for Lewis's family, Thompson shot Lewis "almost immediately" after the PIT maneuver.[2]

Thompson reported that he unsuccessfully tried to help Lewis after shooting him.[4] Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene.[3][1] Thompson was not injured.[2]

According to their attorney, Lewis's family did not learn about his whereabouts or death until around 1 a.m. the next day.[1]

Prosecution

Thompson was fired, arrested, and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault on August 14, 2020.[2][3][4][1] He was booked into Screven County Jail.[3]

An autopsy of Lewis's body is being conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.[3]

Impact

A candlelight vigil was held for Lewis on August 14 in front of Sylvania City Hall[3][4] with funeral services held the following day.[1]

According to the Associated Press, Thompson "was charged amid a national outcry over racial injustice" after the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks.[2] Lewis's family attorney described the decision to fire and arrest Thompson only a week after Lewis's death as a surprise, which he believed was a direct result of protests surrounding the police killings of Floyd and Breonna Taylor earlier in 2020.[1] The Georgia NAACP described the killing as "a case of racial profiling".[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Holli Deal, Saxon (August 25, 2020). "GBI: Video disputes former trooper's account in fatal shooting". Statesboro Herald. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bynum, Russ (August 14, 2020). "Georgia trooper charged with murder in traffic stop shooting". Associated Press. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Elassar, Alaa; Silverman, Hollie (August 15, 2020). "Georgia State Patrol trooper charged with murder after shooting a Black man". CNN. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Autry, Enoch (August 15, 2020). "Georgia trooper charged with murder in shooting of Black man. 'He was a kind soul,' widow says at vigil". USA Today. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  5. ^ Waller, Allyson (August 15, 2020). "Georgia Trooper Is Charged in Fatal Shooting of Black Driver". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2020.

Further reading

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