Glynn County Police Department’s use of force under spotlight

GLYNN COUNTY,Ga. – The Glynn County Police Department held a virtual town hall Tuesday night to discuss the agency’s use of force policy.

The meeting took place from 6 to 7 p.m. and could be accessed through the Glynn County Police Department’s Facebook page or Glynn County’s government YouTube page.

The town hall was the latest move to increase public trust after a series of notorious cases involving Glynn County Police Department employees or former employees.

One case that continues to draw questions, even a decade later, is that of Caroline Small.

Small was killed by police in June 2010 after they were called for a report of a woman doing drugs in her car in a hotel parking lot. When officers arrived, Small led them on a 30-minute “erratic low-speed chase” that ended in a neighborhood, according to an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After the chase, the two officers who pursued her fired eight shots into the windshield, fatally wounding her. Their use of deadly force was ruled justifiable.

One of the officers involved in that shooting, Cory Sasser, would later go on to kill his estranged wife and her friend, before killing himself, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Investigators found that the police department knew Sasser was involved in several domestic violence incidents and that during the investigation of those incidents, Sasser was not treated like a suspect but a lieutenant.

The Glynn County Police Department was also indirectly involved with the handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case, as one of their former investigators, Greg McMichael, and his son, Travis McMichael, shot and killed the 25-year-old Arbery, who investigators said was jogging in their neighborhood.

The department has been under intense public scrutiny since a grand jury indicted former police chief John Powell and three former officers earlier this year following an investigation into the department’s narcotics unit. After those indictments, an advisory panel was created to review the Glynn County Police Department’s use of force policy entirely.

Last month, the advisory panel released several recommendations including a revision of the use of force policy and additional training for officers.

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