Newsbrief: Family Files $100 Million Lawsuit in Kenneth Walker Killing 12/17/04

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Last week, on the first anniversary of Kenneth Walker's death at the hands of a Georgia sheriff's deputy, the Chronicle reported that Walker's killer, Muscogee County Deputy Sheriff David Glisson, had escaped any state criminal charges in the killing after a local grand jury refused to indict him (http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/366/nojusticetml.shtml). Now, Walker's family has filed a $100 million wrongful death suit naming Muscogee County, County Sheriff Ralph Johnson, and Deputy Glisson as respondents.

Walker was killed by two shots to the head as he lay on the side of an interstate highway after the vehicle in which he was riding was stopped by cops who thought they were cornering a Florida drug dealer. Walker, 39, a well-respected family man, was neither armed nor carrying drugs. Amidst community outrage over the killing, Sheriff Johnson fired Glisson, but the trigger-happy deputy has so far avoided any criminal charges. Federal charges may yet be laid against him, but that depends on the results of an FBI investigation that is still pending.

Walker's family is not waiting. In the lawsuit filed on the one-year anniversary of Walker's death, Walker's widow Cheryl and their pre-school age daughter allege that Glisson used excessive force and deprived Walker of life and liberty without due process of law. The lawsuit names Sheriff Johnson because, it says, Glisson was following the sheriff's "official policies, procedures, and customs" when he shot Walker. Johnson and Muscogee County are culpable, the lawsuit claims, because of their failure to adequately train Glisson.

The lawsuit, filed in state court, replaces an earlier lawsuit filed in federal court. "We believe that in Superior Court, a true jury of Walker's peers will hear the case," attorney Bill Campbell said, explaining the switch to state court. "Citizens on the jury will only come from Muscogee County and we believe that is a better forum to deal with matters involving the Muscogee County Sheriff's Department," he said, according to an account in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Attorney Willie Gary, who is also representing the Walkers, marked the anniversary of Kenneth Walker's killing as he addressed reporters on the steps of the Government Center in Columbus last Friday. "This is the day Kenneth Walker was executed, shot and killed by a deputy of this county for absolutely no reason that can be justified," Gary said. "While we cannot bring Kenneth back, we can continue the commitment and effort to make sure this young man's life was not in vain."

And make Muscogee County pay out the nose for its murderous deputies.

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Issue #367 -- 12/17/04

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Editorial: He Would Not Torture | Dr. Hurwitz Convicted on 50 Counts, Faces Life in Prison | DEA Blocks Private Marijuana Research Grow, Path to FDA Approval | DRCNet Interview: Member of the British Parliament Paul Flynn | Investigative Journalist, "Dark Alliance" Author Gary Webb Dead at Age 49 | DRCNet Joins the Blogosphere With New "Prohibition and the Media" Critique | Ayahuasca Church Wins Temporary Victory in Supreme Court | Newsbrief: New Jersey Lawmakers to Ask Court to Stop Needle Exchange Programs | Newsbrief: Reefer Madness Threatens Hawkeye State, Iowa Drug Czar Warns | Newsbrief: Family Files $100 Million Lawsuit in Kenneth Walker Killing | Newsbrief: Alaska District Attorney to Challenge 1975 Court Decision Protecting Marijuana Possession by Adults | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: British Government Tripping on Magic Mushroom Policy | Newsbrief: World's First Random Drug Test of Drivers Results in World's First Random Drugged Driver Bust and Threat of World's First Lawsuit Against the Practice | Newsbrief: Efforts to Suppress Swaziland Marijuana Crop Founder on Poverty, Medical Need, UN Says | Newsbrief: Islamic Militants Kill Russian Drug Cops, Claim They Were Dealers | Web Scan: Afghan Poppies, European Hep C | Apply Now to Intern at DRCNet! | Internship Opportunities at MPP | DrugWarMarket.com Seeking Information, Affiliates, Link Exchanges | The Reformer's Calendar

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