Pre-trail proceedings for former DeKalb County Police officer Robert Olsen are set to begin On May 21.
Olsen, who was indicted by a grand jury in 2016, shot and killed unarmed 27-year-old Black veteran Anthony Hill in March of 2015. Olsen is charged with two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of violation of oath by public officer and making a false statement in connection with the shooting death.
Judge J.P. Boulee will preside over the case.
Hill served in Afghanistan and was discharged when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In 2015, Olsen responded to a call of a naked man acting erratic outside of the complex. Hill, who was unarmed, was shot by Olsen. Hill’s family said he suffered from mental health issues.
The incident sparked both national and local protests.
On April 21, more than 100 protesters gathered for a rally requesting justice for Black people killed during encounters with the police in downtown Decatur.
Decatur attorney Gerald Griggs, a co-founder of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, said protesters are planning a “pack out for justice” rally the day of the trail.
“This is important because the nature of police-involved shootings, especially in Georgia,” said Griggs. “There’s only been one conviction and that was the Gregory Towns case.”
In 2016, Marcus Eberhart, a former Georgia police officer, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder in the death of Towns, a 24-year-old unarmed Black man who died after being shocked more than a dozen times with a Taser while handcuffed.
“In the Towns case we packed the courthouse and we want to do the same in DeKalb County and show the family and the jury that the community is involved and want to see officers held accountable,” Griggs said.
The rally is being organized by Rally for Black Lives and Alliance for Black Lives.
“A lot of issues, including mental health, intersect in this case,” Griggs said. “We just want officers held accountable for the death of anyone who is not causing harm.”
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