Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Georgia NAACP Out to Get Ken Hodges Before the Primary?

The Georgia State NAACP, Columbus NAACP, Grassroots Unity Movement for Change, and others will hold a news conference Tuesday May 11, 2010 at the Columbus Government Center.

The NAACP news conference will take place immediately after the Ken Hodges for Attorney General Campaign’s press conference to kick off his campaign. Ken Hodges is supposed to be in Columbus at 12:00 noon. He will be in Atlanta at 9am and Macon at 3pm after leaving Columbus. There is a letter attached herein that has gone forward to those cities and more cities to come.

President Edward O. Dubose will be addressing the subject of Ken Hodges coming into the very community he failed and robbed of justice subsequent to the December 10, 2003 shooting and killing of an unarmed African American male with an Mp5 submachine gun by a Muscogee County Sheriff’s deputy while face down in the southbound lane of I-185. Kenneth Brian Walker was shot twice in the head and later died. Ken Hodges on November 23, 2004 failed to secure a grand jury indictment, failed to recommend the grand jury return a True bill in the homicide death of a human being, and allowed former Deputy David Glisson to give unsworn testimony at grand jury by neglecting to administer the oath. Subsequently Ken Hodges failed to convene a second grand jury in the Walker case when Attorney General Thurbert Baker made it perfectly clear the decision was Ken Hodges’ to make. Ken Hodges justified not convening a second grand jury claiming there had to be new evidence in the case. Hodges’ never produced any law, statue, or code supporting his claim or the requirement for new evidence. The shooter in the death of Kenneth Walker never faced a judge or jury in a criminal trial.

Here's more:

Georgia Primary voters should acquaint themselves with the December 10, 2003 story of an unarmed African American male shot and killed in the southbound lane of I-185 in Columbus, Georgia by a Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office deputy. The 39 year old victim was shot twice in the head with a 9mm MP5 submachine gun. Dougherty County DA Ken Hodges was appointed to handle the case by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Kenneth Brian Walker, the victim, was the only son of Emily Walker and the husband of Cheryl Walker. He was a good father of a 4 year old daughter. He came from a good family. He had a good job, a good education, and was a good family man living in good middle class neighborhood. He was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. However, with all those character assets in Kenneth Walker’s favor as a victim of violent death at the hands of another, on November 23, 2004 Ken Hodges failed to secure a criminal indictment for either felony murder or involuntary manslaughter from a Muscogee County grand jury. Thereafter, the citizens of Columbus learned Ken Hodges allowed the shooter, a former deputy at the time of grand jury, to testify at grand jury without bothering to swear in the witness or place the witness under oath. Further investigation revealed to the public that Prosecutor Pro Tem Ken Hodges failed in this homicide case to make recommendation that the grand jury return a True Bill so the matter would at least go forward to trial before a judge and a jury.

Civil rights groups and many concerned citizens from the African American community appealed to Ken Hodges to bring a second grand jury. Attorney General Baker left the decision entirely up to Ken Hodges. A second grand jury was never convened in the homicide death of Kenneth Walker at the hands of Deputy David Glisson. Ken Hodges admitted to the family he had made a mistake by not swearing in the former deputy. There are accounts that Ken Hodges said he would certainly bring a second grand jury. Subsequent to any statement that he would bring a second grand jury in the case, Ken Hodges reneged on his word and later publicly claimed that he would only bring a second grand jury if there was new evidence to present. The requirement for “new evidence” to convene a second grand jury was never supported by any Georgia law ever presented by Ken Hodges to a family and city both stricken with sorrow and shock over the shooting death of Kenneth B. Walker. The new evidence requirement was simply a self-imposed standard to justify not bringing a second grand jury in the Walker case. It could just as easily have been a clever stratagem and the very calculated decision of a politician with personal aspirations for higher office in the future. Whatever the case, there was no second grand jury convened by the special prosecutor.

Presently, Ken Hodges wants to be the Democratic nominee for Georgia State Attorney General. Regrettably, he has secured endorsements from such noted figures as former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, which only adds to the psychological pain, emotional anguish, and terrible disappointment yet felt here in Columbus by the Walker family and tens of thousands of other citizens across Georgia. Ken Hodges’ grand jury blunders or oversights betrayed a seriously wounded city that was crying out for justice and clinging to hope, but justice was denied our hope trampled and crushed. We were stabbed straight through the heart. When he did not secure a simple grand jury indictment in the homicide of an unarmed citizen, made no recommendation in the matter, allowed the trigger man to give unsworn testimony, and, to add insult to injury, refused to convene a second grand jury when it was in his immediate power to do so, Kenneth B. Hodges III actually then failed all Georgians on the justice front. Georgia Senate Bill 313 pertaining to unsworn grand jury testimony this year passed the Georgia Senate 53-0 and the Georgia House of Representatives150-0. It will go on to be signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue. Georgia Democrats should remember when they cast their votes in the July 20th Democratic Primary that under Ken Hodges and on his watch, there was no justice for Kenneth B. Walker or his family. Ken Hodges failed the people in a quest for justice in a very high profile case. His failure should not be rewarded with an opportunity to serve in higher elected office when the other Democratic candidate is well-suited to be elected and highly capable of serving as Georgia’s next State Attorney General.

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