Retired police officer weighs in on bodycam footage related to activist shooting

Retired Fulton County Sheriff Lieutenant Charles Rambo analyzed bodycam footage of the Jan. 18 incident at the future site of training center.
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 6:06 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Retired Fulton County Sheriff Lt. Charles Rambo analyzed bodycam footage of the Jan. 18 incident at the future site of the Atlanta public safety training center.

“I did not see anything that would shock anyone’s conscience,” Rambo said. “These officers, in my reasonable officer estimation, pretty much did it by the book. Was there some language that was used? It was consistent with the circumstances they were coming up against.”

PREVIOUS STORY: GBI responds to speculation trooper caught in crossfire during activist encounter

The video shows Atlanta Police officers surrounding tents in a heavily wooded area with their guns drawn. There is one clip raising concerns for some across social media. You can hear the officer say you *blanked* your own officer up moments after multiple gunshots rang out.

“We don’t know essentially what happened at the actual scene,” Rambo said.

The officer appears to say this in response to another officer saying that the gunshots sounded suppressed, which would be consistent with a law enforcement officer’s weapon.

PREVIOUS STORY: Body cam footage released of fatal shooting outside Atlanta training facility

“These are officers who are a distance away from and are just reacting to what they’re hearing on the radio as well as what they’re hearing in their actual environment,” Rambo said.

This prompted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to respond Thursday saying that in the videos, at least one statement exists where an officer speculates that the trooper was shot by another officer in the crossfire. The GBI said speculation is not evidence and their investigation does not support that statement.

“It’s unfortunate that this young man lost his life, it’s unfortunate that the officer was injured, but again I will say this for the public record that’s why bodycams are very essential to be on at all times when you come across these circumstances,” Rambo said.

The Atlanta Police Department sent the following statement:

In reviewing our officers Body Worn Cameras footage, it is apparent the shooting situation evolved quickly and our officers had no immediate knowledge of the events at the shooting site at the time the shooting occurred. Several responding officers are heard commenting about the shooting as they approached the site. We have found no evidence to suggest these officers had any information on the events surrounding the shooting prior to their comments.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation into the shooting. We are confident in their abilities to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into this incident.