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Atlanta police fire cop for shooting fleeing suspect

Former APD Officer James R. Burns (Photo Source-Atlanta Police Department)

Former APD Officer James R. Burns (Photo Source-Atlanta Police Department)

The Atlanta Police department has announced the termination of Officer James R. Burns on Monday of this week related to the shooting of an unarmed and fleeing Black suspect. On June 22, 2016, an off duty officer working at an apartment complex observed a suspect identified as Deravis Caine Rogers, 22, allegedly breaking into a vehicle. The officer stated he called for backup and began to chase Rogers, who he stated got into a silver colored vehicle. When officers arrived at the scene, Burns, who was on duty, fired into the vehicle, hitting Rogers in the head. The car crashed a short distance away into a parked vehicle and Rogers was transported to Atlanta’s Grady Hospital where he later died.

After an Atlanta Police Department internal investigation, Burns’ actions that night were found to be unwarranted. Sgt. Warren Pickard, an APD spokesman stated to media, “The force used was ruled excessive because there was no obvious threat made toward the officer. Chief George Turner has always prioritized officer accountability and professional behavior…He will continue to take decisive action when necessary to hold his employees to the highest.”

Burns entered the Atlanta Police force as a cadet in 2013, and has no record of prior disciplinary actions. The family of Rogers told local media that they were pleased with his termination. However, the family still wants to see the officer face criminal charges.

Deravis Caine Rogers (Photo Source: Facebook profile)

Deravis Caine Rogers (Photo source: Facebook profile)

Deravis Rogers has a troubled past that includes encounters and arrests with law enforcement. In 2014, he was convicted of two counts of entering autos and sentenced. In addition, he has faced previous charges of entering auto and drug charges, according to court records.The case against Burns is now under investigation by the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigations) who have not released any information. It is unknown at this time if Burns will face any criminal charges related to the death of Rogers.



22 Comments

  1. DH on July 12, 2016 at 11:18 am

    You know what these cities need to realize. When you kill black people unjustly, there is a financial costs these cities have to bear for “bad” shoots…even if the cops are not convicted. That should help get these departments inline we hope.

  2. Rainmaker on July 12, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Why isn’t he facing murder charges? Shoot someone fleeing who is no threat to you and all you have to do is find a new job. Where’s the prosecutor in Atlanta?

    • Jason on July 12, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Exactly – why wasn’t he arrested like they would do anyone else out here in these streets? He should have been arrested.

    • Mike on September 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Where’s the video? How do we know the guy wasn’t trying to run over the officer?

  3. Chuck on July 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Lord, please heal & deliver our nation. Amen.

  4. cupcake333 on July 12, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    i believe there is a hidden law the public is not aware of part of police swearing in is private right to protect them .. cause you notice how a cop is taken off duity after ever killing? thats cause cops are exempt from prosecution if someone is accidentally shot those cops end up moving to a different city and re working darren wilson who shot micheal brown can go to virigina and work at a police dept .. and no one will notice since he will wear no badge and he will also do 911 work or detective or swat team work…… where no one will notice him .. they have to leave the state. .. but exornarated mean free of prosecuting later .. grand jury is really bad in all this but they are directed by a higher power ….. we dont nothing about the cops cause a flaw in the constitution amuns them so we dont see any punishment and we get angry …… its not explained to us why these trigger happy cop prevail ……… we need more NAACP NAC AND president obama could advocated against violence

  5. Fedup on July 13, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Quit breaking the laws and you won’t get shot! Why is it so hard to do? Get a job, get 2 jobs, do what’s right and stay away from trouble. None of the young black men that have been shot and killed recently by police officers were upstanding citizens. As a matter of fact, none of the white, brown, or yellow men or women killed during crimes are either. They all had plenty of opportunity to succeed and decided that it was easier or “cooler” to try the gangster life. Criminals of any color are still criminals and no color of criminal is less likely to be hurt or killed in the commission of a crime than another.

    • Dunit on July 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      The penalty for theft is jail not death. The police are denying Americans due process.

      • Mike on September 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        All “police” are? Is that what you are saying? Odd statement.

    • Blake Lee on July 14, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      I hope you’re not serious. No one deserves to be executed by the police committing a petty crime like breaking into a car. You’re insane if you think police are justified in executing people who are running away from committing nonviolent crime like that. Besides that, you have no idea if these kids had “plenty of opportunity to succeed” you have no idea what their life has been like.

      • Keshia on July 16, 2016 at 8:03 pm

        Exactly this whole story is wrong. Tbis guy wasnt even a suspect!!!! It wasnt even him!!! So in part another INNOCENT BLACK MAN KILLED BY ANOTHER COP!

        • Brad Dickerson on September 1, 2016 at 11:39 am

          Not it’s not, he has a criminal record for doing this very thing idiot!!!

        • Mike on September 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm

          Now, Innocent is the wrong word to use because he was a car thief at the time and in the past. What about all the people who kill cops? This door goes back and forth.

  6. guest on July 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Doesn’t mean he will never be an officer again, a lot of these cops that are let go simply go to another city and become cops.

  7. Brian Kirkland on July 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    He had a “troubled past” and, now, he has no future. Auto theft is not punishable by death.

  8. LoLo on July 15, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    He was never a suspect the chief said there was no evidence of any criminal activity check AJC.com . You guys need to do a little more research. And stop being in a hurry to label people suspects and blasting their past

  9. Lamont Williams on July 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    The headline is more than misleading, it is accusatory. He wasn’t a suspect, he was an innocent man driving his car and a gun happy person shot and killed him without provocation. Even in death the man is libeled. SMDH

  10. 26Sweetheart on July 22, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    While the officer needs to be held accountable. This boy needs to be held accountable as well. We have to stop ignoring bad behavior.

  11. Mike on September 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Can we see the actual video of the incident, so we can see what exactly happened? Funny, how that isn’t available to the public.

  12. Mike on September 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I’m so sick of hearing about who is black and who isn’t. Grow up people.

  13. Teresa Gott on September 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    If he wasn’t doing anything wrong why was he fleeing? I’m not judging on either side I’m just wondering how these situations should be handled.