Camden County to present traffic stop shooting evidence to grand jury

Zechariah Presley charged with manslaughter in death of Tony Green

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

KINGSLAND, Ga. - A Georgia district attorney told News4Jax on Friday evidence will be presented to a grand jury in last month's police-involved shooting death of 33-year-old Tony Green.

Green was shot and killed June 20 by Kingsland Police Officer Zechariah Presley after Green ran from a traffic stop, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Why he was pulled over and other details have not been released.

Presley is charged with voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath of office. He's being held in jail in neighboring Glynn County. 

According to the arrest warrant, Presley acted "solely as the result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion, resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person."

Presley was also fired by the Kingsland Police Department.

Concerned Citizens of Camden County started a petition drive demanding the voluntary manslaughter charge against Presley be upgraded to murder. 

"We are not going anywhere," said Mack Knight, senior pastor of the Refreshing Oasis Church. "We are going to continue to galvanize until we see changes." 

Their demands became one step closer to becoming a reality Friday when the district attorney's office confirmed to News4Jax that it would bring the case to a grand jury.

"Very ecstatic, excited ... That sends, definitely, a sense of hope," Knight said. "We have been pushing for that so I am glad that they have heard our cry and they have responded."

The district attorney's office could not get into many details due to the ongoing investigation. The new development came as the latest organized protest of the shooting took place Friday afternoon.

About 50 people could be heard chanting as they marched through the streets of Kingsland, demanding answers in the death of the father of three and pushing city leaders to speak up. 

"Since they are so quiet, our dollars are going to be quiet," Knight said. 

Demonstrators boycotted local businesses earlier this week, and said they plan to continue doing so until they heard. 

Kingsland business owners told News4Jax they feel targeted.

"Businesses didn't have anything to do with it," said Van Morris, owner of Van's Barber and Beauty Shops. "So why hurt the businesses instead of taking whatever other measures they can come up with?"

Loved ones of Green said they won't stop until they get answers.

"You see they are frustrated. And then imagine how the community feels," Knight said. "We are more frustrated that this situation happened and nobody is saying anything."

Friday's protest was the third demonstration this week. 

Presley's next hearing on the manslaughter charge is set for Tuesday.

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