Mayor Robert Reichert offered no new answers Thursday to questions from City Council members about the Dec. 21 fatal shooting of Sammie Junebug Davis Jr. He instead repeated a call for patience as he spoke to the councils Public Safety Committee.
Reichert acknowledged that people are frustrated at the slow pace of the inquiry, but he urged calm and patience.
Justice is in process, he said.
Davis was shot three times in the chest by Macon police officer Clayton Sutton outside the Pio Nono Avenue Kroger grocery store. Investigators found no weapon in Davis possession.
Reichert said results of forensic tests will come back soon from the GBI, but he couldnt provide a specific date. Only then will District Attorney David Cooke decide whether to file criminal charges.
If Cooke finds no criminal conduct by Sutton, who has been on administrative leave since the incident, then the police department itself will convene a shooting board to review whether any departmental discipline is warranted, Reichert said.
In addition to those steps, we have reason to believe a civil action may be filed by (Davis) family, he said.
Councilman Henry Gibson disagreed with Reicherts characterization, saying no ones rushing the GBI.
Whats tormenting the community is the ongoing conduct of officers in the Macon Police Department, and it appears they are out of control, with no supervision, said Gibson, a retired police captain.
The slow pace of the Davis investigation is part of a pattern, he said, citing several other incidents involving officers over the past few months. In each case discipline -- including firings, arrests and criminal charges -- should have come quicker, Gibson said.
In a related update, Gibson said his recent call for all city police officers to carry Tasers came in response to Davis shooting as he tried to think of any way it could have been prevented. Council members were surprised to hear that only the 17 members of the city SWAT team now have Tasers.
Committee Chairman Virgil Watkins said an e-mail that committee members received Wednesday put the cost of equipping all officers at $369,000, with $18,000 more needed for training.
Police Chief Mike Burns said there are 60 Tasers in the budget for this fiscal year.
We have enough Tasers in our five-year capital plan that within five years every officer will have a Taser, he said.
In less than a year, however, city police will be merged with the Bibb County Sheriffs Office as Macon and Bibb County governments consolidate. All Bibb deputies already are equipped with Tasers.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.