AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Read why the Atlanta police chief fired the officer who fatally shot Deravis Caine Rogers

Atlanta Police Chief George N. Turner wasted no time taking disciplinary action against one of his officers in the June 22 police shooting death of an unarmed motorist.

In bringing a murder charge against Officer James R. Burns on Friday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard noted that Turner's "decisive leadership" had helped his office in the decision to bring charges in the case "at this early stage of the proceedings."

Here is a link to chief turner's July 1 disciplinary report outlining why he fired Burns. The chief told Burns that the motorist, Deravis Caine Rogers, posed no threat to the officer when he shot him once in the head in what the chief concluded was excessive force.

The one-two punch of Turner and Howard's swift action against Burns marked an unprecedented twist in the way officer's are treated in police shootings in Georgia. We detailed this shift in a front page story Sunday.






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About the Author

Brad Schrade is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the AJC’s investigative team.