Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has asked the state's investigators to look into the grand jury subpoenas issued by Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's office in the Rayshard Brooks case.
Fox5 says grand jury subpoenas sent to the Atlanta Police Department were issued by Howard’s office even though there was no grand jury in place.
The subpoena required that the documents be turned over for the "Grand Jury, June/July term on the of 14th day of July." Other grand jury subpoenas were issued for phone and surveillance camera videos.
But currently there is no grand jury, according to Fox5. It had been suspended on March 13 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And legal experts say Howard's grand jury subpoena with no grand jury in session could be an ethical or possibly criminal issue.
"It would be a violation of criminal law to make a knowingly false statement or misrepresentation in the subpoena which is a document that has been issued," says Jessica Gable Cino, a Georgia State University law professor who specializes in prosecutorial misconduct cases.
Paul Howard released a statement saying an "employee who issued the Grand Jury subpoena" mistakenly thought the March/April grand jury was still active. Howard says he instructed the employee "to suspend the issuing of future Grand Jury subpoenas."
In the aftermath of the deadly officer-involved shooting of Brooks at an Atlanta Wendy's, Howard filed charges against fired Atlanta officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan. The charges were filed before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had completed its investigation into the incident.