Friday, July 9, 2010

About that Teilhet Ad featuring the Mother of Kenneth Walker

Democratic candidate for Attorney General Rob Teilhet will go up with a new statewide ad today featuring the mother of Kenneth Walker who was slained by a Muscogee County Deputy.

Here's the AD:

Hodges was the Special Prosecutor of that Case in November 2004, in which a Muscogee County Grand Jury, which did not indict former deputy sheriff David Glisson for his role in Kenneth Walker’s death. Glisson shot Kenneth Walker during a traffic stop related to a drug investigation. He was unarmed at the time of the shooting and no drugs were found in the vehicle.

Back on July 7, 2007, here's what the Department of Justice (DOJ) & the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, (which was run by GOP candidate for Attorney General Max Wood), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said:

There was insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against a Muscogee County Sheriff’s Deputy who shot and killed Kenneth Walker on December 10, 2003.

An independent investigation, which carefully considered all of the evidence into the shooting incident, was conducted by the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. During the investigation, federal officials reviewed a Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigative report; a Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office investigative report; forensic evidence reports; a videotape of the incident; and the autopsy report for Kenneth Walker. FBI agents also interviewed a number of witnesses and medical personnel who had not been interviewed by local investigators. The Walker family and local civil rights groups were also afforded the opportunity to provide information to investigators. After carefully reviewing all of the evidence, the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI determined that the tragic incident did not constitute a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes.

In order to prove a violation of the applicable federal criminal civil rights laws, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a Constitutional right. To act “willfully,” for purposes of the federal statute, means to act with a bad purpose to disobey or disregard the law. An accident, mistake, fear or bad judgment is not sufficient to establish such a criminal violation.

Experienced civil rights prosecutors reviewed the voluminous reports generated during the investigation. Based on that review, federal officials determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the deputy who fatally shot Kenneth Walker acted willfully, that is with the specific intent to do something the law forbids. Accordingly, the Department has closed this investigation without prosecution.

The Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI devoted many hours and significant resources to a complete and careful review of the events surrounding Kenneth Walker’s tragic death. The decision not to pursue criminal charges is based on painstaking analysis of the facts developed during a lengthy and thorough investigation. The Department of Justice remains committed to investigations of this kind and stands ready to devote the resources required to ensure that all allegations of serious civil rights violations are fully and completely investigated. The Department of Justice aggressively prosecutes criminal civil rights violations whenever the evidence developed in these investigations warrants doing so.

In the Ad, Walker's mother stated: But the officer got off because the prosecutor, Ken Hodges, forgot to swear him in, tried to hide the video, and then refused to reopen the case. I could never get an answer why.”

The DOJ report stating it was properly investigated, and Ken acted gracefully.

More facts on the case:
The Facts of the Case:

· Hodges allowed police officer David Glisson to make an unsworn statement in front of a grand jury. Glisson shot Kenneth Walker after pulling him over for a standard drug investigation, yet found no evidence of drugs in his vehicle.

· The Walker case incited ill will in the state’s black community, who rallied together to state that Hodges should be “ashamed” of his actions and called for a second grand jury investigation, after the first grand jury failed to indict Glisson.

· In the 2009-2010 state legislative session, legislators filed bills that would amend grand jury procedure regarding indictments of peace officers. The legislation attacked every erring committed by Hodges during Glisson’s trial.

Now no doubt this is a strong ad, but will it be enough to propel Teilhet to the General Election? And what will be the reaction of the Hodges Campaign to this ad? Have to wait & see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is Melissa Sams (not anonymous)

This is the statement by Greg Edwards, co-counsel on the Walker case and current DA of Dougherty Co. I think it clears up the ad and reveals Teilhet for the dirty politician that he is:

"I am Greg Edwards, District Attorney of Dougherty County.

I’ve known Ken Hodges for 17 years, and I can tell you he is a man of integrity and a committed prosecutor.

I served as co-counsel with Ken Hodges on the Kenneth Walker case.

Ken Hodges was totally committed to investigating and bringing to justice any person or persons that may have violated the law in relation to the tragic death of Kenneth Walker.

My heart goes out to Ms. Walker and her family. The loss of that young man’s life was inexcuseable and a tragedy.

I am also sad and disgusted that Rob Teilhet has resorted to exploiting a grieving mother for his own selfish political gain.

After seeing his ad featuring Ms. Walker, I must address the many factual errors in the ad.

1. It was stated that Ken tried to hide the video.

Here are the facts. The video was shown repeatedly to every member of the grand jury. This is a blatant falsehood. I personally presented the videotape to the civil lawyer and grand jury.

2. It was stated that Ken refused to retry the case.

Here are the facts. Ken Hodges has said, and it has been documented numerous times, that if any new evidence came to light that he would bring the case back before the grand jury. No such evidence ever came to light. I personally sat with Ken in Ms. Walker’s home to explain these facts to her.

3. It was stated that the reason the grand jury did not indict was because the officer was not sworn in.

Here are the facts: The officer gave the exact same testimony several times to law enforcement officials. His statement before the grand jury was consistent. Not swearing him had no bearing on the grand jury’s decision.

This “win at all cost” strategy from the Teilhet campaign is, frankly, unacceptable. It’s negative campaigning at its worst. It is most disappointing that persons have used a mother’s loss and grief and outright misinformation for political purposes via a particular negative campaign ad.

Your next Attorney General should be an experienced litigator and an experienced prosecutor. Ken Hodges has personally prosecuted hundreds of cases and supervised thousands more.

I support Ken Hodges for Attorney General and I hope you will too.

Thank you."

The fact of the matter is that Teilhet does not have the qualifications or experience for this office so he has to go as negative as possible, even reverting to lies, to try and win the primary.

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