Community Wants More Answers: Questions are asked in Sutton Decision
Many citizens in the local community are still in shock after the district attorney's decision that cleared Sutton of any criminal charges of the shooting death of Sammie Davis Jr.
As you just heard, Macon's mayor and police say the investigation is not over and concerned citizens say, that's a good thing.
Clifford Little marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in the fight for civil rights in the early 1960's. He says today, that fight still lives on. He’s concerned about what Macon leaders are doing to address the December 21, 2012 shooting death of Sammie Davis Jr.
Clifford Little is currently the pastor at Green's Tabernacle Baptist Church in Macon. He had questions lined up for the Mayor and Macon Police Department. "There were a lot of things that were said or not said that still raised a lot of questions," he explains.
Pastor Clifford little was one of few citizens at the mayor's news conference addressing the next steps in Officer Sutton’s future with the Macon Police Department. Little is glad to hear the investigation is not over.
"They are looking a little closer at the procedures and policies. I was kind of hoping that that had already been done," says Little.
City councilman Virgil Watkins says the step being taken isn't enough. "I’m very disturbed by the fact that there are plans already in place and almost assume that Officer Sutton will be returning to work," he says.
Watkins says he doesn't understand how the Macon Police Department is allowing any officer to get away with 20 plus incidents in his personnel record.
"This very largely comes down to a leadership issue. A situation we are no longer community oriented in terms of our policing."
While Watkins puts a focus on the disciplinary actions, others want to focus on mending the community. "The Davis family definitely needs prayer so does Offer Sutton and his family needs prayer," says Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner.
Jones says that neither family has it easy, not even for a law enforcement officer and his family after a shooting death. "You talk to the people in law enforcement that have killed people in the past they will tell you it's not easy," Jones adds.
Jones, Little and Watkins all agree that the situation has gotten out of hand.
"For a situation like that to develop like it did then that's a concern and we just need to know if there were any polices or procedures violated," says Little.
Watkins believes that the shooting death of Sammie Davis Jr. is creating a divide in the community. "One of the big things I see that disturbs me with this case is that Sammie Davis was looked at the whole time as a second class citizen," says Watkins.
Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says there's only one solution. "What this community needs is pray," says Jones.
The city will hold a community forum to discuss the public perception of the Macon Police Department. The exact date and location of that forum has not been set.