attribution: Family photos used with permission
Kevin Davis did the right thing. On December 29, Kevin called 911 for help. His girlfriend, April, had just been stabbed and the man who did it, Terrance Hilyard, fled the scene. Within minutes, the family dog, Tooter, and Kevin were each fatally shot by Dekalb County Police Officer Joseph Pitts. According to April:
Tooter ran out the door and she and Davis heard at least one gunshot. A wounded Tooter came running back inside the apartment. At this point, she and Davis were convinced that Hilyard had returned with a gun. At this point, not even the police are trying to claim that JR Pitts identified himself as a police officer, either before or immediately after shooting Tooter without warning. The neighbors all agree that police did not identify themselves until Davis was himself shot and police backup had arrived to assist JR Pitts.After a wounded Tooter ran inside, Davis approached the door to his apartment with the gun in his hand. Before he exits the apartment, he was shot by Pitts. April and her neighbors agree that it was only after Davis was shot that Pitts said anything. His first words? “Drop your weapon.”
Instead of being hailed as a hero, Kevin, for the final two days of his life, was treated like a violent criminal and charged with crimes he did not commit.
The police took the fatally wounded Kevin Davis to Grady Memorial Hospital. There, in a decision that is incomprehensibly cruel, police prevented his family from visiting him for nearly 48 hours as he died and took the opportunity to criminally charge Davis with aggravated assault on his death bed.
Kevin Davis and his girlfriend, April Edwards, lived on the outskirts of Decatur, GA, a predominantly black community just outside Atlanta. Davis, 44, was a longtime employee at Sawicki’s, a sandwich shop located in the more affluent downtown area of Decatur, where Edwards also worked. By all accounts, he was kind-hearted, generous, never late, and a visible contributor to his relatively small community of family, friends and colleagues.
As previously reported in the deaths of Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, and Eric Garner, nothing reveals how police really think and feel about citizens more than how they treat them after they shoot them.
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