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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atlanta Police Officer Shoots Young Black Man in the Face

It's a story that's become all too familiar.
Click here for a link to a video on the story

The following is from a press release calling for a candlelight vigil and community rally on this shooting and the issue of the broader issue of police violence.

Atlanta, Georgia- Activists, organizers and community members throughout the Atlanta area are called to participate in a Candlelight Vigil and Community Rally for police shooting victim Tramaine Miller at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, 2009, in front of City View Apartments at 259 Richardson Street in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Tuesday, May 5, 2009, this father, son, brother, and devoted nephew was shot in the face by a Atlanta Police Officer at the City View Apartments located at 259 Richardson Street. Mr. Tramaine Miller was called by his paralyzed aunt, a resident of City View Apartments, to help her with her medication. After helping his aunt he walked to his car to return home when the "Courtesy Officer", an off-duty Atlanta police officer, drew his weapon, demanding that he stop his vehicle. Suddenly, without warning, the Officer then shattered the glass to the driver's side window. Once the glass was shattered, the Officer fired a shot at point blank range into Tramaine's face. Tramaine was unarmed and had complied with every request the officer made when the officer shot him.

Independent witnesses, who gave statements to APD the night of the incident, say that the apartment residents had to call 911 due to the Officer's lack of response. Thus, after being shot, Tramaine remained in his car without any assistance for over 30 minutes. As of May 11th, Tramaine remains in Grady Hospital in serious condition with the bullet still lodged in his face. "The courage this family has exemplified by releasing a picture of Tramaine in the hospital with his face swollen from the bullet still lodged in it, is the same courage Emmett Till's mother exemplified when she opened his casket for the world to see what happened to her son's body when he was murdered," said Candlelight Vigil Organizer, Pastor Derrick Rice, of Sankofa United Church of Christ.

According to the Atlanta Police Department̢۪s statement to the press, the officer allegedly saw Tramaine in a nearby park, known to be an area of "drug activity". According to the officer, when Tramaine saw him, he ran and jumped into his car. The officer then alleges that Tramaine reached under his seat for "something". The Atlanta Police Department said that this shooting was justified because the officer felt that his life was threatened. As of May 11th, the officer who shot Tramaine in the face has not been arrested, charged, or even fired by the Atlanta Police Department. "We are interviewing witnesses and trying to ensure evidence is preserved. Our preliminary investigation has already uncovered some disturbing facts that someone must be held accountable for," says Attorney Robert Bozeman of the Davis Bozeman Law Firm.

We are calling for the residents of City View, all concerned citizens of Atlanta, and community activists, to come out for a candlelight vigil for Tramaine Miller and subsequent rally to end the unjust shootings in the our communities. "After the Neal Street shootings, where we discovered the willingness of Atlanta Police Officers to engage in a cover-up we have no choice but to continue demanding that federal authorities become involved to make sure that justice is done," states Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis of the Davis Bozeman Law Firm.

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