GBI: East Dublin Police Lacked Arrest Powers in 2010 | News
East Dublin's entire police department, including the chief, lacked the power to make arrests throughout 2010 because they failed to undergo required training.
That's according to court documents filed by the family of a man shot to death by an East Dublin officer last year. Those documents appear to detail the GBI's investigation of the East Dublin department.
The family of Melvin Williams is asking for an arrest warrant against officer Jeffery Deal.
Deal shot Williams to death on May 14, 2010 after a traffic stop, according to East Dublin police. Williams' sister filed a complaint last month arguing that, without arrest powers, the office lacked the legal authority to shoot him.
A Laurens County magistrate judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday on her warrant application.
An advocate working with Williams' family, the Rev. Kenneth Glasgow of The Ordinary People Society of Dothan, Ala., released documents in the case to 13WMAZ.
They include a record of emails between the GBI and the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training council about certification of the East Dublin department.
They say Deal, Chief William Luecke and five other officers lost their powers of arrest for failing to complete training on the use of deadly force.
Three of those officers had their arrest powers reinstated earlier this year after completing their training, according to Glasgow's documents.
Deal, Luecke and two others still lack those powers, according to the documents.
Luecke appeared before the the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training council Wednesday to ask them to reinstate his arrest powers. Glasgow says he asked the state council not to grant the chief's request, and told the state board, "Chief Leucke's conduct shows a blatant disrespect for accountability and transparency, and a definite lack of leadership to say the least."
Glasgow also argues that a dashboard video of the shooting contradicts Deal's account of the arrest, that the traffic stop was not warranted, and that East Dublin's department lacked any training or policy on the use of deadly force.
In a summary of the case, Glasgow wrote, "Note that in August 2010, Chief Luecke adopted a policy on Tasers, but there is no policy on firearms? That is crazy."
The GBI, POST and Chief Luecke did not return our phone calls Wednesday.
Dublin-area District Attorney Craig Fraser says he couldn't discuss details of the case because it's an ongoing investigation.
He says he expects it to go to a grand jury this month.
He says the case of Williams' shooting was closed and but was reopened months ago when other issues arose. He wouldn't say what those issues are.