People in Macon rally for police shooting victim, seek change from city leaders
A large group of people rallied Friday, calling for the immediate firing and punishment of a Macon police officer, who shot and killed a man in the parking lot of a Kroger grocery store a week ago.
Police originally said Officer Clayton Sutton was serving a warrant on Sammie "Junebug" Davis Jr., when a struggle ensued and multiple shots were fired. Davis' died shortly after the incident and his death has been ruled a homicide.
It was later discovered there was no warrant for Sammie Davis Jr., and police then released a statement saying Sutton was responding to a call for service. An incident report says officers failed to find a weapon on Davis, but Sutton's neck was bleeding after the incident.
"He needs to go to prison, they need to lock him up this afternoon. They're a week late in doing it, but Clayton Sutton, you need to go to jail, you need to be punished for what you did to my brother," said Cheryl Davis, the sister of the victim.
Speaking at the rally Friday, Cheryl Davis says her brother "Junebug" was as meek as a lamb, and would never hurt anyone, let alone pose a threat to a Macon police officer.
"I dare you to find someone to say something bad about Junebug, I dare you to find someone," Davis said.
Police have been completely mum regarding any explanation for the conflicting statements released by the department, or an explanation of the events that led to the shooting. Numerous e-mails and voice-mail messages left for Macon Police Public Information Officers have gone unreturned.
Community activist Anthony Harris says silence from the department has become routine.
"This investigation shouldn't take this long, the police department is letting the media discover things," Harris said.
A copy of Officer Sutton's disciplinary record shows the six and a half year veteran has compiled a list of 26 complaints against him.
The complaints include allegations of harassment, theft, excessive force, reckless driving, and animal abuse.
In 2010 Sutton was accused of shooting a Pit Bulldog that tried to attack him. The owner of the dog says it was tied up on the porch. Under his discipline "No Further Action" is listed.
Also in 2010 Sutton was accused of using excessive force and pulling a woman from a vehicle and throwing her on the ground to arrest her. Sutton was given a written reprimand.
In 2010 Sutton was accused of wrongfully pointing his duty weapon in a man's face during a traffic stop, and searching the man's vehicle without his consent. "No Further Action" was his discipline.
In 2011 Sutton was accused of harassing a woman at her home about an alleged bad check. Sutton is accused of trying to intimidate the woman and coercing her into paying cash immediately to avoid going to jail. The woman told him to go ahead and take her to jail. Sutton was suspended for one day.
In May Sutton was accused of removing $200 from a woman's purse during a traffic stop. "No Further Action" was his discipline.
Not in Sutton's disciplinary file was an incident reported by WGXA several months ago. A Macon woman accused Sutton of hitting her and her granddaughter with his police cruiser. People in the area say at the time, Sutton was terrorizing the neighborhood.
Anthony Harris says he was the first person to find out there was no warrant for Sammie David Jr. He says that if Sutton is found to be in the wrong, just the officer shouldn't' be to blame, but Police Department Administrators and even city officials.
"Our so called community leaders and politicians, don't have the guts to step out, because they're afraid they might not get votes, they might not get their pockets lined or whatever," Harris said.
Former Macon Mayor Jack Ellis was quick to call for action against Sutton, but says the police administration shouldn't be to blame.
The investigation is ongoing, but many people at the rally Friday have already made up their minds.
"Officer Clayton Sutton, I want you fired and put in prison," Harris said.
"There's a problem with leadership, that we keep somebody like that , who has sworn to protect us out here, that ultimately caused somebody's death, an innocent persons death," said Cheryl Davis.