ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Political gridlock is keeping the alleged police brutality cases of Rayshard Brooks and two college students tased by Atlanta police officers from moving forward, according to the attorneys representing the families. They’re calling on Attorney General Chris Carr to take action.
“A special prosecutor needs to be appointed by the attorney general effective immediately,” said Attorney L. Chris Stewart, who represents Brooks’ widow Tomika Miller and Taniyah Pilgrim, one of the college students.READ MORE: Hillsborough County Public Schools Avoid State Takeover With COVID-19 Money
This is after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis recused herself from handling the cases of Brooks, Pilgrim and Messiah Young, the other college student, saying a special prosecutor would be better suited for the cases.
“She believes that she has a conflict because the office has been tainted because of alleged misconduct by the former district attorney,” said Harold Spence, a partner with the Bozeman Davis Law Firm, which represents Young. ”While these two young people attempt to recover, we’re having this jurisdictional battle about who is going to handle the criminal prosecution of this case.”
The families say it’s like reopening the wounds of the events that led to the cases, when Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe shot and killed Rayshard Brooks during an arrest, and when officers tased Pilgrim and Young.
“Ms. Willis addressed us this morning. She said, ‘Hey, I’m a parent.’ Well, be a parent. Take off all the political stuff and just be a parent,” said Charles Young, Messiah Young’s father.
“I just want resolution for this whole thing. To just see where she was and where she is now is gut-wrenching,” said Toine Pilgrim, regarding his daughter Taniyah.READ MORE: 'A Birthday Present To Ahmaud': Georgia's Citizen's Arrest Law Is Repealed
Their attorneys say Willis asked Attorney General Chris Carr to take on the cases. He denied the request. “It seems like this is a football, a political football that keeps getting kicked to one place, another place,” said Attorney Justin Miller, who also represents Miller and Pilgrim. “They can’t move on with their lives, because this can’t get off the ground.”
A spokesperson for Carr’s office issued the following statement:
Our office maintains that the reasons provided by the Fulton County District Attorney in the first and second requests fail to meet what is required to invoke the conflict statute. In her letters, the Fulton County District Attorney makes a good case for why her predecessor has a conflict but not her own. The primary role of the Attorney General is to follow the law as written.
CW69 reached out to Willis’s office. There was no immediate response.
“Let’s get this jurisdictional turf battle resolved over who is going to prosecute this case, so that the terror that we saw these two young people go through on video tape, can be addressed by a court of law, and that those responsible for that terror can be held accountable for it.” said Spence, regarding Pilgrim and Young.MORE NEWS: Norcross Inn Homicide Suspect Arrested
The outrage that sparked several protests following these events last year has since dwindled, and they are concern the cases could go unprosecuted. The attorneys say they’ll continue drawing attention to the them in hopes Carr will reconsider his stance and to bring justice and closure to the families.