SAVANNAH, Ga. – A former Georgia police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a fleeing man now faces a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for wrongful death.
The suit filed Monday in coastal Camden County says 33-year-old Tony Green was killed "without justification or excuse" when he was shot multiple times June 20 even though he was "unarmed and did not pose an imminent threat." Atlanta attorney Reginald Greene sued on behalf of Green's minor daughter, identified in the lawsuit only by the initials T.G.
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages from the city of Kingsland and from Zechariah Presley, who was fired as a Kingsland police officer after the shooting. Presley is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 30 on charges of voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath as an officer.
The ex-officer is white and the man he shot was black. The shooting outraged African Americans in Kingsland, a small city of about 16,000 people near the Georgia-Florida line. Some of Green's friends and relatives argued that the manslaughter charge was too lenient.
Video footage recorded by police has been reviewed by investigators, but hasn't been released.
A grand jury that indicted Presley in November declined to charge him with murder. Under Georgia law, voluntary manslaughter is punishable by one to 20 years in prison.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released few details about the shooting, saying only that Presley was following a vehicle Green was driving when Green got out and began to run. The two men got into a brief scuffle, the agency said, before Green began to flee again and Presley fired multiple gunshots, killing him.
Presley's attorney in the criminal case, Adrienne Browning, said Tuesday she does not represent him in the civil case. She referred a reporter to attorney Patrick O'Connor, who did not immediately return a phone message. Kingsland city attorney Stephen Kinney also did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.