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Man previously Tasered by Kingsland officer questions hiring

Records: Zechariah Presley involved in 9 incidents during his 13 months on force

KINGSLAND, Ga. – A Kingsland police officer who's charged with voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath of office in the shooting death of a black man has been fired.

But one man who recorded an encounter then-Officer Zechariah Presley earlier this year wants to know why the Kingsland Police Department hired Presley in the first place.

Presely will have a bond hearing Friday afternoon after he surrendered Wednesday to the Camden County Sheriff's Office. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation obtained warrants for his arrest after it said Presley fatally shot 33-year-old Anthony "Tony" Green, who was running away from him the night of June 20.

Jeffrey Travers told News4Jax on Thursday that he was Tased by Presley earlier this year, and believed the then-officer escalated the situation too quickly.

Travers is waiting for his day in court. He faces charges of disorderly conduct and resisting police stemming from his March 16 arrest.

According to a police report, Travers showed up with no appointment to speak with the Camden County School superintendent and refused to leave. He was then Tased by Presley, the police report states.

The Navy veteran said he recorded the incident on Facebook Live.

In the video, words are exchanged and then the officer can be seen Tasing Travers, who was later taken to jail.

Jeffrey Travers
Jeffrey Travers

Travers said he believes Presley was too aggressive and said he's not surprised Presley was involved in last week's shooting.

"When I initially heard about the shooting, my initial thought was that it was Presley," Travers said.

Travers said he doesn't trust Presley. But he added that he doesn't want the shooting to overshadow the Police Department's good officers.

"I do believe that a strong majority of our officers are here to do the right thing," Travers said. "Sometimes, they slip through the cracks. I think Officer Presley slipped through the cracks and, unfortunately, it ended this way."

The March 16 incident was one of nine that Presley was involved in during his 13 months with the Police Department, according to his personnel file obtained by News4Jax. 

READ MORE: Records reveal officer in Kingsland shooting has checkered pastKingsland officer shot fleeing black man 'as result of sudden, violent ... passion'

Among the documents included in Presley’s personnel file was his application. In the application, he was found to have 10 flags that warranted further inquiry, including domestic violence, marijuana use and repeatedly shouting at people. The Police Department still hired Presley in June 2017.

When News4Jax tried to ask why the Police Department decided to hire Presley, the agency said it was "not talking to the media."


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