Photo: GETTY  
  /  12.19.2022

A Georgia grand jury has indicted a now-retired Atlanta police officer for the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Jimmy Atchison during a federal raid of a Northwest Atlanta apartment that happened in 2019.

According to Jeff DiSantis, a spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, ex-officer Sung Kim now faces involuntary manslaughter, violation of oath of office and murder charges. Investigators said Atchison hid in a closet during the raid when Kim shot and killed him. A copy of the indictment was not immediately available.

Atchison’s death has raised awareness about the police brutality happening in Atlanta. His name was the center of Black Lives Matter protests in Georgia during the summer of 2020.

Georgia NAACP President Gerald Griggs said Atlanta has a “police brutality problem” and believes there would not have been an indictment without persistence from Atchison’s loved ones.

“Let’s be clear, this shooting should never have happened and it should not have taken 3 1/2 years to get to this point,” Griggs said. “Because of the perseverance of his family … we are here.”

His father said the family has struggled emotionally since his son’s death.

“Police brutality is a detriment to society and the shooting needs to be punished,” said the father.

Attorneys for the victim’s family filed a multimillion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Atlanta.

Atchison, 21, was killed on Jan. 22, 2019 after an FBI task force that included Kim tried to arrest him for an armed robbery warrant. Police said he stole a woman’s purse and cellphone, a claim disputed by a witness produced by Atchison’s family.

According to an earlier report from prosecutors, Atchison ran away from officers through an apartment complex, entered a different apartment. Kim chased him on foot and found him hiding in a closet before fatally shooting him.

Family members claimed Atchison raised his hands to surrender when he was shot in the face. Kim said Atchison made a threatening move and believed he had a weapon. The victim was not armed and the retired officer did not wear a bodycam in the incident.

Since then, Atchison’s death caused the Atlanta Police Department to reevaluate the issue dealing with its policy on body-worn cameras. All APD officers are now required to wear body cameras while on duty.


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