Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Charges against Waycross Police Officers; GBI Report Finds Use of Deadly Force against Man with Knife Was Justified

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Charges against Waycross Police Officers; GBI Report Finds Use of Deadly Force against Man with Knife Was Justified

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

The two Waycross police officers who fired on and killed Jack Lamar Roberson Oct. 4 did so to protect themselves and other residents of the house where Roberson lived and will not be prosecuted, Ware County District Attorney Brad Collins said.

Officer Casey Caswell and Lt. Scott Rowell were dispatched to a home on Reed Street after Roberson's girlfriend told a 911 operator he had swallowed two handfuls of his fluid pills, had consumed alcohol and said he wanted to die, according to recordings of her call.

A Georgia Bureau of Investigation report said that once inside the house, three officers found two women, Roberson's mother Diane Roberson and his girlfrind Alicia Herron, Collins said.

Roberson came from the kitchen into the living room at the same time Diane Roberson screamed that her son was "grabbing knives,'' Collins said.

The officers asked the women to leave the house as Roberson came toward them "while holding a bladed weapon in an aggressive manner,'' Collins said.

The officers gave Roberson several commands to drop the knife, but he continued toward them with it so they used deadly force, Collins said.

Collins said he found no violation of Georgia law and found the officers actions justified under the law.

In a release, Collins said the GBI findings were confirmed by audio tapes from personal recording devices the officers were wearing.

City Police Chief Tony Tanner said the two officers have been on administrative leave since the shooting and his office will complete its own internal affairs investigation before either officer is allowed to return to work.

"We've got to talk with them one more time,'' Tanner said.

The GBI investigation cleared the offices of any criminal wrongdoing, but the police department must make sure they also abided by city policy on the use of deadly force, Tanner said. …

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