Police Officer Acquitted After Killing Unarmed Black Man Who Was Running Away

Zechariah Presley, white cop who was acquitted

Camden County, GA — Zechariah Presley, a for­mer police offi­cer from Georgia who killed Tony Green, a 33-year old unarmed Black man, after shoot­ing him mul­ti­ple times while he was flee­ing, has been acquit­ted of his manslaugh­ter charges.

He was only found guilty of vio­lat­ing his oath of office, and will face one to five years in jail if con­vict­ed. He was ordered to be jailed pend­ing sen­tenc­ing on October 18.

The case stemmed from the inci­dent in June 2018 where­in Presley fol­lowed Green’s car as he thought he was dri­ving with a sus­pend­ed license. As seen on a dash cam­era video, Green even­tu­al­ly stopped the car, went out then ran away before he briefly returned to the car to grab an uniden­ti­fied object then ran again.

Presley then chased Green on foot. Presley’s body­cam caught the inci­dent, but it was not clear­ly vis­i­ble. Only the sound of the repeat­ed taser­ing fol­lowed by eight gun­shots can be heard.

According to an autop­sy report, Green was hit all eight times, one to his chest and the rest was to his back and hips. Small amounts of alco­hol, mar­i­jua­na, cocaine, and a tran­quil­iz­er were alleged­ly found in his sys­tem.

He admit­ted that he killed Tony Green in cold blood,” Pastor Mack De’Von Knight, whose church Green attend­ed, told the Associated Press. “To me, it’s hunt­ing sea­son for the young black man and we’re being gunned down in the streets and there’s no reper­cus­sions, there’s no con­se­quences for these offi­cers.”

However, Presley’s lawyers claimed that he feared for his life since he thought that what Green grabbed when he returned to the car was a gun. Investigators deter­mined the object was a cell­phone.

Tony Green was not shot because of mis­de­meanor offens­es,” defense attor­ney Adrienne Browning said in her clos­ing argu­ment. “He was shot because of bad deci­sion after bad deci­sion, until the threat was over­whelm­ing and Zech feared for his life.”