It seems the slaying of young, unarmed individuals is becoming more and more common every day and justice for these indiscretions appears nonexistent. However, it does seem like officers are slowly being held accountable for their actions, as James Burns of the Atlanta police department was recently fired for his acts.
Unarmed 22-year-old Deravis Caine Rogers was fatally shot and killed June 22 at the Monroe Place apartments by Officer Burns. Burns was fired July 1, 2016 for using excessive and unreasonable force. He faces possible criminal murder charges once the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigates the slaying of Rogers.
Burns was unaware if Rogers was indeed the suspect he was searching for regarding a car theft, which was called in by a security officer at the complex. As Burns entered the complex he spotted a car with Rogers in it and assumed he was the culprit. When Rogers tried to exit the parking lot, Burns opened fire and shot Rogers in the head, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sergeant Warren Pickard stated, “He had no idea who was in the vehicle. He had no idea if that was the vehicle he should be concerned with. He just discharged his weapon… the officer simply acted in a way that we cannot support.”
Burns claims he did not know who was in the car and the car was coming towards him so he pulled his weapon as he feared for his life. Burns tells investigators, “I shot at the car who was trying to run me over and kill me.”
Burns claims were debunked as officials rejected his statement. Pickard states that the evidence on the dashboard cameras, shows Rogers was trying to drive away from the cop and not towards him, proving Burns claims were false.Rogers’ family wants justice and is pleased with the officer’s termination but they ultimately want more. Roger’s father Deravis Thomas states, “It’s a murder and we need justice for that. He needs to be indicted and prosecuted.”