Fired Atlanta Police Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of Black Man

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Atlanta Police Officer James Burns
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A former Atlanta police officer, terminated July 1 for his part in the shooting death of a robbery suspect, has been charged with felony murder, reports WSB-TV Atlanta.

The Fulton County District Attorney's Office announced that an arrest warrant has been issued for former Atlanta Police Officer James Burns, 34, who shot and killed Devaris Rogers, who was suspected of breaking into a car.


Burns is charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of violation of oath in the death, reports the station.

In June, Burns reportedly received a call for backup from a security officer at a Midtown apartment complex regarding a car burglary. When he arrived on the scene, Burns said that he spotted Rogers and, according to his report, Rogers jumped into a car and tried to drive away. Burns opened fire and shot Rogers in the head.


“We know the officer did not ID the person in the vehicle,” Atlanta Police Sgt. Warren Pickard said at the time of Burns’ termination. “We have not been able to determine that this was an aggressive situation, and we have not been able to determine if the person that was shot posed any immediate threat to the officer.”

Police said the evidence suggests that the officer fired his gun without really knowing who was in the car and that when he discharged his gun, he violated the department’s policy.


Prosecutors say that Rogers made no attempt to strike officers, and Burns was standing safely at the rear of his own squad car when he opened fire. They also say that Burns wasn’t provided with any facts describing Rogers as a threat to the officer or the public.

Rogers had been on the APD force since 2013.

Read more at WSB-TV Atlanta.

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