Records reveal officer in Kingsland shooting has checkered past

Incident reports: Police had at least 8 interactions with man fatally shot

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Frank Powers - Assignment manager, Colette DuChanois - Web producer

KINGSLAND, Ga. - Records from the Kingsland Police Department provide insight into the pasts of the two men involved in last week's officer-involved shooting.

News4Jax on Monday obtained Officer Zechariah Presley's personnel file, as well as incident reports involving Anthony “Tony” Green, through an open records request, and has been combing through the hundreds of pages of documents. 

Presley, 25, who has been on the force for just over a year, was placed on administrative leave by the Police Department after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he shot and killed Green, 33, following a short chase Wednesday night.

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 inquiring, including domestic violence, marijuana use and repeatedly shouting at people. The Police Department still hired Presley in June 2017.

According to the documents in his file, before the police-involved shooting, Presley had nine incidents during his year and a month on the force.

The incidents documented in his file included:

  • A supervisory review investigation found Presley drove at 100 mph in his own car while off-duty, trying to catch a driver who was operating recklessly. The driver got away. The Police Department suspended Presley for one day without pay. 
     
  • There was a traffic stop for an unspecified reason. A man wrote a letter to the Police Department, saying he felt he was in fear of his life from Presley and another officer, who would park in front of his house. An Internal Affairs investigation found the claims to be unfounded. That man was black.
     
  • There was another traffic stop that resulted in a verbal warning. A woman felt Presley had racially profiled her. But when invited to talk to his supervisor, she didn’t show up for an appointment. She was black.
     
  • During another incident, Presley dropped a woman off at a hospital for a voluntary Baker Act, because she was suicidal. He didn’t search her and missed a handgun in her purse, which upset the hospital staff. There was no mention of the woman's race.
     
  • Presley Tasered a man who was drunk and disorderly, and who threatened to “throw bullets” at officers. He was black.
     
  • Presley Tasered a man acting suspiciously who would not show officers the contents of a bag. It was drug paraphernalia. He was white.
     
  • Presley subdued an armed drug suspect by taking him to the ground. He was white.
     
  • Presley Tasered a man who showed up with no appointment to speak to the Camden County School superintendent and refused to leave. He was white.

In the reports, Presley was advised he needs to improve procedures and protocols. 

None of the nine incidents involved Green. 

In Presley's personnel file, there was also a letter dated Dec. 11, 2017, from a citizen, commending Presley for his professional approach to law enforcement. That man was black. 

News4Jax also went through the Police Department's incident reports involving Green. Police files show that Green was given a traffic ticket in March for a suspended license. Green was arrested once in 2016 on a misdemeanor charge. According to incident reports, police had interacted with Green at least eight times, during which he either called police, police made a traffic stop or an officer initiated the interaction.

In the documents, News4Jax found only one incident report in which Presley and Green were both named

The incident report from March 12 shows a woman called police, and Presley and another officer responded to the call. The caller accused Green and another woman of trespassing, but no arrest was made. 

About three months later, according to the GBI, Green was driving with an unidentified passenger about 10:42 p.m. Wednesday when Presley followed the vehicle. Green stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Lily and North East streets, and he and the passenger ran off, authorities said.

According to the GBI, when Presley caught up with Green about two blocks away, "a brief altercation" ended with the officer firing multiple shots that killed Green.

The GBI reviewed video from Presley's patrol car and video from his body camera but said efforts were being made to enhance the video for a clear view of the events that occurred.

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