A grand jury on Wednesday charged a former Atlanta police officer with felony murder and other crimes in the death of an unarmed man who was driving a car.
The Fulton County grand jury also indicted James Burns on charges of aggravated assault, making a false statement and two counts of violation of oath of office in the June 22 killing of 22-year-old Deravis Caine Rogers, according to defense attorney Drew Findling. Burns has been out on bond since his arrest.
Prosecutors said Burns fired into Rogers’ vehicle while responding to a call about a suspicious person, even though Burns wasn’t in danger and had no way to identify Rogers as the reported suspicious person.
Findling disputed that, saying after the grand jury hearing that Burns believed that Rogers’ car was accelerating toward him and that his life was in danger.
Atlanta police Chief George Turner fired Burns July 1 after an internal investigation determined Burns used unnecessary and excessive force, CBS News reports.