Another cop has literally gotten away with what appears like murder. A Muscogee County, Georgia, grand jury refused November 23 to indict former Deputy David Glisson in the December 10, 2003, killing of 39-year-old black man Kenneth Walker. As DRCNet readers may recall, Walker was killed by two shots to the head after being pulled out a vehicle drug agents mistakenly thought was that of a Florida drug dealer. He was unarmed. There were no drugs (http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/316/columbus.shtml).
Walker's killing roiled the community, inspiring civil rights marches, prayer vigils, and becoming an issue in local political races. It also inspired a raucous visit by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who addressed more than 300 people at a Columbus church shortly after the shooting. "I say that someone has got to bring to a national level the brutality of law enforcement and the people sworn to uphold the law. We cannot have people that are sworn to uphold the law think they can become the law," Sharpton said (http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/318/sharpton.shtml).
The grand jury deliberated for 41 minutes after hearing from seven witnesses -- five of them police officers -- and watching a videotape of the shooting captured from by a police vehicle camera. According to accounts of those who have seen the videotape collected by the Columbus Ledger-Enquire, the video, which was shown publicly only after the grand jury finished its deliberations, show no struggle, just the startling sound of two shots, with surprised officers milling around. It also shows Walker lying on the ground unattended for two minutes before officers began first aid attempts.
"I saw the incident live and in color," said deputy city manager Isaiah Hugley. "What I saw was devastating. I knew Kenny Walker. He was a fraternity brother of mine. His father was one of my teachers. It's personal with me. Because of my position with the city, I will maintain a neutral position despite strong personal feelings."
"People can now see on the video that Kenneth Walker was brutally murdered without provocation on December 10," said Bill Campbell, attorney for the Walker family.
"I can't see any reason Kenny Walker died that night. I saw an individual laying there that should be alive. I can't describe it," said Edward DuBose, president of Columbus NAACP.
The grand jury was apparently watching another video. Its decision means there is no chance former Deputy Glisson will face state criminal charges. But the killing was also investigated by the FBI. The Ledger-Enquirer reported that the FBI has forwarded its findings to the US Department of Justice, which could seek to file a criminal or civil case against Glisson for civil rights violations.
Walker's family isn't waiting. Their attorneys told the Ledger-Enquirer they will file a civil lawsuit against Glisson within a matter of days.