Hundreds took to the streets of Decatur, Georgia yesterday, stopping traffic, chanting and holding signs like “Demilitarize the police” to protest the officer-involved shooting death of Anthony Hill, an unarmed 27-year-old black man in DeKalb County, a suburb of Atlanta.
Protesters, using hashtags like #Antlanta and #AnthonyHill are questioning the use of force against Hill, an Air Force veteran who was naked and unarmed, when he was shot and killed by a white police officer on Monday.
Activists announced the protest with an email asking this very question reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“Anthony was naked and unarmed at the time of the shooting, yet Officer Olsen found him to be enough of a threat to take his life.”
The officer who shot Hill, a seven-year veteran of the force has been identified by police as Robert Olsen, and has been placed on administrative leave, reports Reuters via The Huffington Post.
Hill was shot after he was dealing with what looked to be a mental health issue, said the DeKalb County police Chief Cedric Alexander on Monday. Alexander confirmed that police received a call about a man “acting deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked.”
After “running towards a responding officer,” Hill was shot twice. Police found no weapon. Almost immediately, Twitter was flooded with the hashtags #AnthonyHill and #BlackLivesMatter.
Ironically, Hill had used the #BlackLivesMatter himself in the days before his death, reports Reuters:
“The key thing to remember is, #blacklivesmatter, ABSOLUTELY, but not moreso than any other life,” Hill wrote on his Facebook page on March 6.
In another post the same day, he said, “No man (or woman) is ever going to stop me from living the life I envision…Empower yourself. Show these kids that #blacklivesmatter by living yours like it does.”
Hill is at least the third African-American man since Friday who was unarmed when shot dead by police. Thousands have been rallying for the last few days in the streets of Madison Wisconsin for 19-year-old Tony Robinson, who was killed by police last week. Aurora, Colorado police confirmed that Naeschylus Vinzant, 37, was unarmed when he was shot and killed with one bullet by police on Friday.
Hill’s shooting investigation went to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in an effort at “transparency.”
article by Angela Bronner Helm via newsone.com