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Gwinnett DA: no indictment in police killing of teen

By Kalin Thomas Contributing Writer | 2/15/2013, noon
Anita Harris says she will continue to seek justice for her grandson Dawntree Williams who was shot to death by a Gwinnett County police officer. (Photo by Vincent Christie).

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard recently called the fatal shooting of 19 year-old Joetavious Stafford “justified” in a statement released in December regarding the October 15, 2011 killing of the teen at the Vine City MARTA Station by MARTA police officer Robert Waldo.

Waldo shot and killed Stafford as officers responded to several fights following a high school football game at the Georgia Dome.

Police disputed witnesses who said Stafford was unarmed when Waldo shot him three times in the chest and back.

The family is still reeling from the decision, but filed a civil lawsuit last year.

Howard turned over the case of 19 year-old Ariston Waiters -- who was shot by Union City policeman Luther Lewis on Dec. 14, 2001 -- to a grand jury that chose not to indict Lewis.

But the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Lewis and Union City.

Waiters allegedly struggled with Lewis who was trying to detain him, police said. But witnesses said Waiters was on the ground face down with one hand handcuffed behind his back when Lewis shot him at point blank range.

The case is now in the hands of U.S. Attorney Sally Yates and the FBI.

Community leaders and supporters say too many black men’s lives are treated like they have no value.

“We have to hold politicians and police departments accountable,” said WAOK radio personality and former Atlanta city councilman Derrick Boazman, who plans to take the issue to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“I’m angry, but I will continue to fight for justice for my grandson and the truth shall come out!” Harris said.

(Kalin Thomas: kthomas@theatlantavoice.com)