Jacob Gordon Thompson Georgia state trooper charged w/ murder of fleeing black motorist, Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis who was motioned to stop over broken tail light.
A Georgia ‘white’ state trooper was charged with murder & aggravated assault on Friday after he shot a ‘black’ motorist who attempted to flee a rural traffic stop a week ago, authorities said. Upon being charged the officer was also fired.
Jacob Gordon Thompson, 27, chased down Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, 60, in rural Screven County, before unloading one round, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Riding in a Nissan Sentra, he had led Thompson on a brief chase, according to the GBI.
‘Mr. Lewis never got out of the vehicle and the investigation will show that, mere seconds after the crash, he was shot to death, shot in the face and killed,’ said Francys Johnson, a lawyer for the family, according to The Associated Press.
In a GSP incident report following the shooting, Johnson wrote that after Lewis’s car wrecked, Johnson stopped his patrol vehicle ‘approximately even with the violator’s vehicle.’ Johnson in his report wrote that he drew his weapon as he exited his patrol car because he was worried about his safety.
Georgia state trooper Jacob Gordon Thompson, 27, has been fired and charged with murder a week after he fatally shot 60-year-old Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis in a traffic stop. https://t.co/2HafkvpH0O
— NaKeila Rashid Freeney (@NakeilaFreeney) August 14, 2020
An attack on an officer?
Johnson in his report wrote Lewis then revved his engine, leading to Johnson to activate the light on his weapon. Johnson’s report states he then saw Lewis with both hands on the steering wheel, and then ‘wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressive back and forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle.’
Johnson wrote, ‘It appeared to me that the violator was trying to use his vehicle to injure me. Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once.’
The report doesn’t state if Lewis had a weapon on his person or in his vehicle, although a use of force report Johnson wrote categorized the incident as ‘attack on officer.’
The president of Georgia’s NAACP chapter called the slaying of Lewis as an example of another ‘chilling example’ of a Black man being killed unlawfully by a white law enforcement officer.
‘No one should have to bury a loved one simply because of a busted tail light,’ said the Rev. James Woodall. ‘This was a case of racial profiling. We are not necessarily happy right now. Yes, the man was arrested, but we’re done dying.’
An attorney for Lewis’ family said the trooper initiated the traffic stop over a burned-out tail light and Lewis was shot almost immediately after the trooper forced his car into a ditch.
The investigation is ongoing and Thompson will be booked into Screven County Jail, the GBI said in a statement on Friday.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety said it fired Thompson after he was charged on Friday. He had been a trooper for the Georgia State Patrol since 2013.
Thompson’s attorney, Keith Barber, said his client is a ‘fine trooper,’ according to The AP.