Cop in 2012 Kroger shooting fired by Bibb sheriff

jkovac@macon.comJune 10, 2014 

Macon police officer Clayton Sutton

The Macon cop who shot and killed a man outside a Pio Nono Avenue Kroger in December 2012, sparking political and racial unease, was fired last week for not following orders.

Clayton Sutton, who has been a Bibb County sheriff’s deputy since the police department and sheriff’s office merged at the beginning of 2014, was ordered to desk duty after a March shooting episode involving a dog.

On June 4, having been told not to “engage in any law enforcement functions,” Sutton stopped some people “acting suspiciously” on Ga. 247, Sheriff David Davis said Tuesday.

Sutton’s actions were “counter to my original order,” the sheriff said, and Sutton was fired Friday.

Sutton, as a Macon policeman in March 2013, was cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Sammie “Junebug” Davis Jr.

Sutton, in his early 30s, is white. Davis, 49, was black.

After a GBI investigation concluded that Davis lunged at the officer and grabbed his neck, the Bibb District Attorney’s Office declared the shooting justified.

Up to then, as GBI’s independent probe continued, for weeks city officials were mum on particulars of the unarmed Davis’ death. Protests were staged, and some said Sutton should lose his badge.

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon as word of his firing emerged, Sutton declined comment.

“I can’t talk to the media without approval, so I’m gonna just have to leave it at that,” he said. “Without the sheriff or somebody saying that I can tell you whatever, I can’t say nothing. I guess you’ll have to call and ask him.”

Said Davis, “The sheriff’s office has no control over him. He doesn’t work for us anymore.”

About three months ago, a man claimed that Sutton fired shots toward him after Sutton shot a dog in the leg. The GBI was called in to investigate.

“During the time that he was awaiting the results of a GBI investigation,” Davis said Tuesday, “he had been reassigned to (the training division) where his duties would be administrative. And I specifically, in writing, had sent word to him through his supervisor that he would not engage in any law enforcement functions.”

Davis said that last Wednesday, while Sutton was driving a county car near the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, “he came upon some people acting suspiciously and he took it upon himself to follow them and engage them and take a couple of them into custody.”

The sheriff said those arrested were accused of misdemeanor metal theft.

Sutton is eligible to appeal and request a civil service hearing.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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