COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Five months after a Cobb County SWAT team killed Johnny Bolton, 49, and on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, Bolton’s family spoke for the first time, saying they’ve heard nothing but silence from the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office. They joined their attorneys for a press conference on May 25, 2021.
“We have been looking for answers. We know from the Medical Examiner that he was shot multiple times,” said Bolton’s son, Kyrie Turner. ”He hasn’t met his [granddaughter], my daughter, my child, and they took that away from him,” said his daughter, Diamond Bolton. “We demand they identify the Cobb County Sheriff’s Officer personnel who shot and killed my brother,” said Daphne Bolton, his sister.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Will Your Monthly Check Be?
The incident happened on December 17, 2020, while officers were executing a no-knock warrant at 505 Springbrook Trail in Smyrna. “Bolton was sleeping on a couch in the apartment where he lived in the living room,” said Zack Greenamyre, an attorney with Mitchell & Shapiro LLP who represents the Bolton family. “None of the apartment’s occupants were identified in the warrant.” The Cobb County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. “Bolton stood up in response to the SWAT team breaking down the door and then was immediately shot multiple times. Where is the accountability for the killing of an unarmed sleeping Black man by law enforcement,” Greenamyre said.
Sheriff Craig Owens referred the case to District Attorney Flynn Broady Jr.s office. “Just because the DA’s office is looking at a case, it doesn’t mean the sheriff can’t answer questions,” said Edmond, Lindsay & Atkins LLP Attorney Bill Atkins, who also represents the family. The attorneys say it also doesn’t mean the sheriff can’t release the video and the name of the officer who fired the shots. There are also questions about whether a no-knock warrant was needed. “We will not be silent any longer. We will not play their game any longer,” Atkins said.
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office issued this statement:
The Cobb County Sheriff’s Office is fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations regarding the 2020 death of Johnny Bolton. The GBI has turned over all investigative findings to the Cobb County District Attorney, who will convene a grand jury.READ MORE: DeKalb’s Tenant-Landlord Assistance Coalition To Reopen Applications After Cyberattack
Attached is a letter from the county attorney, at the request of Sheriff Owens, sent to the attorneys representing the Bolton family. Given that a grand jury will review this case, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office will refrain from further public comment at this time.
Upon taking office, Sheriff Owens called for a review of all internal policies and procedures to ensure the Office follows best practices. These reviews are critical to earning a Triple Crown rating and becoming a national model for community-oriented law enforcement.
Sheriff Owens remains committed to establishing a culture of truth, trust, and transparency between the public and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.
“Justice will come, and my brother’s life will not be in vain,” said Daphne Bolton. “Their actions to date in the aftermath of Johnny’s death show they do not believe that Johnny’s life mattered,” Greenamyre said.
The District Attorney’s Office issued this statement:MORE NEWS: APD Reports Two Shootings Overnight
Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady, Jr. extends his condolences to the family of Mr. Johnny Bolton. DA Broady plans to meet with the family. This is an open and ongoing investigation. Per our office’s standard procedure in officer involved shootings, this case will be presented to a grand jury. To maintain the integrity of this investigation, we will not make any other statements prior to the presentment.