The family of Julian E. Lewis reached a settlement with the state of Georgia to receive $4.8 million after Lewis was fatally shot by a state trooper in 2020.

According to CNN, Hall and Lampros, Attorneys at Law released a statement which read,

“While the record-making settlement does not bring back her husband for widow Betty Lewis and other family and loved ones, it sends a powerful message to the State and those in law enforcement and other positions of power that unnecessary use of force against innocent citizens is unlawful, morally corrupt and carries legal consequence.”

In a press release, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said a preliminary inquiry found State Trooper Jacob Gordon Thompson, 27, attempted to make a traffic stop when he saw Lewis, 60, driving a Nissan Sentra with a broken taillight on Aug. 7, 2020. A chase then ensued and Lewis led Thompson down several roads in Screven County. Thompson then performed a Precision Intervention Technique forcing Lewis into a nearby ditch. At some point during the encounter, Thompson fatally struck Lewis in the head, killing him on the scene.  

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Thompson on Aug. 14, 2020 and charged him with felony murder and aggravated assault after finding the trooper used excessive force. 

However, on June 28, 2021, a grand jury decided not indict Thompson even when presented with evidence that the Trooper made a false claim and said he fired his gun because Lewis attempted to hit him with his car, ABC 6 reported.

Lewis’ son told ABC 6, “I am shocked and in disbelief. What the Grand Jury did today was worse than what Jacob Gordon Thompson did when he shot my father in the head. It was murder when Thompson killed my father. But what this District Attorney and Grand Jury have killed is any belief Black people can have in this Justice System.”

Shortly after the fatal encounter, the Georgia State Patrol fired Thompson for his actions. Lewis’ family says that is not enough and has demanded a second grand jury indict him and has asked the federal government to launch an investigation into Lewis’ death, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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