In the days after 27-year-old Anthony Hill was fatally shot by a Georgia police officer, family members and protestors are demanding justice.
Hill, an Air Force veteran who suffered from bipolar disorder, was shot and killed on March 9 by Officer Robert Olsen, after police received a call that a “deranged” naked man was crawling around a DeKalb apartment complex. According to police reports, after Olsen arrived on the scene, Hill began running toward him. Olsen fired two shots into the unarmed Hill’s torso. He died at the scene.
Since Monday, demonstrators have gathered in Decatur, marching through the streets chanting, singing and protesting against what they are calling an “unjust use of force.”
“Police officers have an extremely hard job,” said protestor Kenneth White to The Guardian. “But they signed the dotted line for that job. If they make mistakes, just like I make mistakes, I have to pay the price for it. I think the same should be held to those who are supposed to enforce those laws.”
Hill’s family members told the Associated Press that Hill served four years in the Air Force before being medically discharged a few years ago. The Veterans Administration diagnosed him with bipolar disorder, but Hill’s girlfriend, Bridget Anderson, said that he had decided to stop taking his medication because of negative side effects earlier this month.
Hill had been very open about his diagnosis, posting statuses on social media educating people on mental illness. “The media continues to paint the same horrific picture of mentally affected people,” he wrote on Facebook a mere five days before the shooting, “but I have to tell you, there are so many shades in between the extremes.”
Christopher Chestnut, the Hill family lawyer, said yesterday that there were alternative routes that the officer could’ve used to subdue him. Chestnut said that his law firm would be launching an independent investigation.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into the shooting.