Officers question court release of suspect

- Police officers said an armed suspect who tried to elude capture was in and out of jail before police wrapped up all the paperwork.

Vince Champion, the director of the Atlanta Police Union, said officers are frustrated by what they see as a revolving jail door.

The latest example he points to occurred over the weekend. It began when a patrol officer got a hit on a vehicle that was listed as stolen.

That officer tried to pull over the 19-year-old motorist but he ran.

It took almost five hours but a squad of officers, including a K-9 officer, tracked down Demone Allen. He was in and out of various Buckhead properties, rummaging through other vehicles, according to a police document.

One alert officer heard a noise in a shed. He and a second officer checked and found the suspect hiding. They said he had a .380 caliber handgun.

APD released bodycam video of the suspect before the trip to the Fulton County Jail.

In just hours, he went before a judge. He was able to get out on a signature bond.

How did that happen? Judge Holly Hughes made the decision after getting a background review report, according to Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk. In that report, there was no criminal adult history listed for Allen. It also showed he had a job.

Kirk said Allen was deemed not to be a threat if he were let out on bond. However, Kirk said, Judge Hughes was not presented with all the facts from the weekend incident. Hughes did not know that Atlanta officers found him in that Buckhead backyard with a weapon, according to the chief magistrate.

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