Son of officer-involved shooting victim in South Georgia plans 60-mile march

The son of a man allegedly shot and killed by a Georgia State Patrol trooper in 2020 is planning to march 63 miles from where his father died in Screven County to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Savannah, Georgia, to demand federal prosecutors to step in and indict the trooper. 

Attorneys representing the family of 60-year-old Julian Lewis announced Lewis' son, Brook Bacon, plans to begin marching on Sept. 16 and it is expected to reach the U.S. Attorney's Office on Monday. The idea to march came from conversations after the grand jury's decision not to indicate the state trooper, who was arrested after the shooting. 

"This march is my response to the Grand Jury’s failure to Indict the trooper who killed my father," a statement attributed to Bacon said. "What the Grand Jury did was worse than what Jacob Gordon Thompson did when he shot my father in the head. It was murder when Thompson killed my father. But what this Grand Jury has killed is any faith Black people can have in this Justice System. So I must appeal to the Federal Government like so many other people have had to do across American history."

On the night of Lewis’ death, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jacob Thompson was on duty in Screven County when he tried to pull Lewis over for a broken taillight.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Lewis did not pull over and a low-speed chase ensued. The investigation found that Thompson used a PIT maneuver to force Lewis to crash. After the trooper got out of the car, the family’s attorney said Thompson shot Lewis in the face as he sat in the driver’s seat. Lewis was unarmed.

Thompson was charged with felony murder and aggravated assault after shooting Lewis during the Aug. 7, 2020, traffic stop. He was released from jail in December on a $100,000 bond.

The GBI arrested Thompson and the GSP fired him. In June, a Screven County grand jury recommended that the case not move forward.

Attorneys said Monday the case is still in the hands of Screven County District Attorney Daphne Totten. The family asked for federal intervention by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia. 

Attorneys also have advocated that body camera video be released.

Attorney Francys Johnson said "the push for justice" in police killings has waned since the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick in 2020

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