Georgia Prosecutors Will Pursue Murder Charges Against Officer Who Killed Anthony Hill

Georgia Prosecutors Will Pursue Murder Charges Against Officer Who Killed Anthony Hill
Source: AP
Source: AP

Prosecutors in DeKalb County, Georgia, will pursue murder charges against Robert Olsen, the police officer who shot and killed Anthony Hill — a black U.S. Air Force veteran who was naked, unarmed and having a mental health episode when he was killed — in March 2015, the New York Times reported.

District Attorney Robert D. James Jr. made the announcement at a news conference Thursday. "Our position is that the facts and the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Anthony Hill warrant a charge for felony murder," he said, according to the Times.

The Washington Post reported Olsen will be the ninth American police officer to face criminal charges for an on-duty shooting that occurred in 2015.

Thursday's announcement stems from an incident that took place at a housing complex in Chamblee, Georgia, which is northeast of Atlanta, last year. Hill, 27, was naked and repeatedly jumping off his two-story balcony when a neighbor called the police, the Times reported in March. 

Olsen, a seven-year veteran of the DeKalb County Police Department, responded to the call, and drew his firearm when Hill allegedly began to approach him. Olsen shot Hill twice, even though witnesses say Hill had his hands raised and was unarmed.

A police officer looks on as demonstrators in Decatur, Georgia, take to the streets to protest the March 2015 killing of Anthony Hill.
Source: 
David Goldman/AP

The charges the district attorney plans to bring against Olsen include aggravated assault, two counts of felony murder, two counts of violation of an officer's oath and "making a false statement," the latter stemming from Olsen's claim Hill "charged" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Hill's family members have since said the 27-year-old had both bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, both of which were diagnosed after Hill's tour of duty in Afghanistan. "Hopefully they will go forward with indicting the officer," Bridget Anderson, Hill's girlfriend of three years, told CNN in October. "To me this is the most blatant case of police brutality that's out there right now. I just don't see how you could kill a naked man."

The planned indictment against Hill does not guarantee criminal charges, though James has said he will recommend them. Last month, a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio, declined to file charges against Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, sparking nationwide protests and renewed backlash against patterns of anti-black police violence that have roiled the nation over the past two years.

A grand jury will convene later this month to consider evidence in the Olsen case.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Zak Cheney Rice

Zak is a Senior Staff Writer at Mic.

MORE FROM

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

President Donald Trump turns Boy Scout Jamboree into campaign rally

The president discussed health care, Hillary Clinton, Obama, big yachts and more to 40,000 Boy Scouts and volunteers

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.