Officers Back Ex-Cop in Death

Officers Back Ex-Cop in Death

There are 37 comments on the WXIA Atlanta story from Dec 28, 2007, titled Officers Back Ex-Cop in Death. In it, WXIA Atlanta reports that:

More than three dozen Atlanta police officers gathered in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday in support of a former officer who is in jail.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WXIA Atlanta.

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Judy

AOL

#1 Jan 26, 2008
I think this has been an injustice in the Officer's defense. I wonder what any of us would do as an individual if an SUV were delibertally trying to run us down. This Police Officer was acting in self defense and had announced that he was a Policemen and to stop. What do we expect our officers to do anyway?
Atticus Finch

New York, NY

#2 Jan 27, 2008
Judy wrote:
... What do we expect our officers to do anyway?
Be honest. Not lie.
John Doe

United States

#3 Jan 27, 2008
Atticus Finch wrote:
<quoted text>
Be honest. Not lie.
Says Paul Howard. This case I am very familiar with. I do now know what or if he laid, but I do know that he was cleared by internal affairs, APD homicide, GBI, and the FBI. Paul Howard (who's family is friends with the Ward family) had to shop for 3 years to find an expert witness that would dispute what the current and former GBI experts reported to. If he lied, perjury is a great charge, as far as murder, the facts of the case don't support that.
Atticus Finch

New York, NY

#4 Jan 27, 2008
John Doe wrote:
<quoted text>
Says Paul Howard. This case I am very familiar with. I do now know what or if he laid, but I do know that he was cleared by internal affairs, APD homicide, GBI, and the FBI. Paul Howard (who's family is friends with the Ward family) had to shop for 3 years to find an expert witness that would dispute what the current and former GBI experts reported to. If he lied, perjury is a great charge, as far as murder, the facts of the case don't support that.
I am not sure I understand. This case doesn't sound like a case where expert witness testimony would be much helpful. It sounds like a he-said/she-said. Those kinds of credibility disputes are supposed to be decided by juries, not by other law enforcement agencies.

Certainly if th facts were reversed, and the shooter claimed that a popo was trying to run him down in an SUV when the popo took a bullet or three in the noggin, then you would want to see an indictment and trial at least, wouldn't you?

IA has no place in a murder investigation. That is not an internal affair.
John Doe

United States

#5 Jan 27, 2008
I see you don't actually know the details of the case. The issue is when the shots were fired. All the original investigations and experts show the shots being fired while the vehicle was coming towards him (self defense). Paul Howard finally found somebody 3 years later to testify that the shots were fired from the side as opposed to the front (vehicle not a threat, not self defense). This is were the real argument comes from. The fact is Ray was hit by the vehicle, pinned between that and his unmarked car (with blue lights flashing). You have seen many of my posts, I defend police as a whole, but am first to line up against cops that do wrong. This one is a bad situation to be in, but the officer did not murder this kid.
John Doe

United States

#6 Jan 27, 2008
About 3 a.m. on July 14, 2002, Officer Bunn and his partner, Officer Terry Mulkey, were in an unmarked police vehicle patrolling “Buckhead,” a tough nightclub area of Atlanta that routinely experiences burglaries, car thefts, break-ins, shootings, brawls, and riotous drunken behavior. Suddenly they heard the breaking of a car window and a vehicle alarm sounding.

Suspecting a vehicle theft, they turned on the blue police flashing lights on the windshield and rear and exited the cruiser yelling “Police, Police! Stop!” Both officers were wearing pullover shirts with the words “Atlanta Police” on the front and back, and chains around their necks that secured their Atlanta police badges.

A black male (later identified as Jamal Smith) jumped out of the broken window of a Buick SUV and ran to a Chevy Tahoe, where he got in the back seat. The officers were about 25 feet in front of the Tahoe and were approaching it when the driver, Corey Ward, hit the gas and accelerated in reverse, screeching the tires, and coming to an abrupt stop. As the officers walked toward the stopped car, Ward suddenly punched the gas pedal and began speeding straight at the policemen. The officers retreated to the front of their cruiser, but the Tahoe driver seemed determined to run them down!

Officer Mulkey was able to jump out of the way, but Officer Bunn was trapped and about to be run down by the Tahoe. Officer Bunn jumped to his right, firing his service revolver twice at the Tahoe. The Chevy Tahoe hit Officer Bunn, pinning his leg between the two vehicles and injuring his knee. One of the shots fired hit Corey Ward, who died of a single bullet wound to his head.

The investigation of the incident determined that the police officers believed their lives were in danger. Two of the passengers in the Tahoe said that they and Corey Ward were fully aware that they were encountering the police.

A study using the Vetroniz Crash Data Retrieval system that can recover data from airbags in a severe crash showed that the Tahoe was traveling at 26 miles per hour five seconds before the crash and at 14 miles per hour one second before it hit Officer Bunn and the police cruiser. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined that Officer Bunn was five feet or less from the Tahoe when he fired his revolver.

Corey Ward had two ounces of cocaine in his pocket. A large knife and seven bags of marijuana were discovered in the Tahoe, along with two stolen cell phones.

Following the incident, Officer Bunn, a former Marine, was called for duty in Iraq by his National Guard unit and served there for one year, returning in January 2004. He resigned from the Atlanta P.D. in July 2004, taking a position with a firm that provides security for the Department of State personnel in Iraq.

On December 9, 2005, Ray Bunn was indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury, charged with murder and felony murder — both capital offenses in Georgia — plus aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of oath. The indictment was the result of intense pressure from the black community on Paul Howard, the District Attorney. No trial date has been set.
John Doe

United States

#7 Jan 27, 2008
I see you don't actually know the details of the case. The issue is when the shots were fired. All the original investigations and experts show the shots being fired while the vehicle was coming towards him (self defense). Paul Howard finally found somebody 3 years later to testify that the shots were fired from the side as opposed to the front (vehicle not a threat, not self defense). This is were the real argument comes from. The fact is Ray was hit by the vehicle, pinned between that and his unmarked car (with blue lights flashing). You have seen many of my posts, I defend police as a whole, but am first to line up against cops that do wrong. This one is a bad situation to be in, but the officer did not murder this kid. In Atlanta, IA investigate all officer involved shootings in conjunction with Homicide.
Atticus Finch

New York, NY

#8 Jan 27, 2008
John Doe wrote:
I see you don't actually know the details of the case. The issue is when the shots were fired. All the original investigations and experts show the shots being fired while the vehicle was coming towards him (self defense). Paul Howard finally found somebody 3 years later to testify that the shots were fired from the side as opposed to the front (vehicle not a threat, not self defense). This is were the real argument comes from. The fact is Ray was hit by the vehicle, pinned between that and his unmarked car (with blue lights flashing). You have seen many of my posts, I defend police as a whole, but am first to line up against cops that do wrong. This one is a bad situation to be in, but the officer did not murder this kid.
These sound like good defenses for Bunn and his popo friends to try to raise at trial. If the jury believes them, then great. If the jury chooses to believe the other witnesses, and discount the popo testimony as biased, and perhaps faked, then bacon in the pan.

I just think that juries are better at investigating allegations of serious police misconduct than are police. Because police (not you, but most police) will lie with great impunity to get another policeman out of a jam. that may or may not be happening here, but I trust a jury to make the correct decision as to whether Bunn is executed or put in prison for life or whatever.

It is difficult to take the "facts" you post at face value because they may have been tainted by pro-police bias. If you can get me the testimony of non-police witnesses, and if they all seem to agree, then that would be convincing to me at this early stage of the proceedings. Otherwise, i would consider the situation as inconclusive prior to a trial.

I mean, Ryan Frederick has been charged with murder, and his claim of self defense is much, much, much clearer than this mess.
John Doe

United States

#9 Jan 27, 2008
you find the police might be biased, but Paul Howard isn't?
Atticus Finch

New York, NY

#10 Jan 27, 2008
I think when you have a conflict between biased witnesses, and some kid is dead, then that is generally a jury matter and not an IA matter. the FBI can be helpful in doing the investigation, but they should not be the ultimate decider either. When they say better to be tried by 12, I think it means just that: TRIED by 12.

I mean he will probably get acquitted. You probably saw the video in the case of Airman carrion, where the video showed the officer ordering Carrion to get up, and then shooting him for following the order. They acquitted Ivory Webb. If a jury will acquit where there is audio and video of a lawless shooting, then they will probably acquit Bunn also. At least a trial would be better justice than what Peyton Strickland got.
Keep Movin Forward

United States

#11 Jan 29, 2008
Atticus Finch wrote:
I think when you have a conflict between biased witnesses, and some kid is dead, then that is generally a jury matter and not an IA matter. the FBI can be helpful in doing the investigation, but they should not be the ultimate decider either. When they say better to be tried by 12, I think it means just that: TRIED by 12.
I mean he will probably get acquitted. You probably saw the video in the case of Airman carrion, where the video showed the officer ordering Carrion to get up, and then shooting him for following the order. They acquitted Ivory Webb. If a jury will acquit where there is audio and video of a lawless shooting, then they will probably acquit Bunn also. At least a trial would be better justice than what Peyton Strickland got.
Atticus Finch (lawyer, HA) if you are going to take the time to post a comment you should then take some time and do some research. what you are talking about so you don't sound like a complete idiot!!
You are the one that seems to have a bias AGAINST police officers. There is NO conflict between biased witnesses. The DA's Office called ONE witness...the one Paul Howard shopped around for!! and spent a fortune on. They did not bother to call the 2 "citizen" witnesses that confirmed the police officers events of that night. The defense did!! Along with the officers partner, the medical examiner, the GBI, FBI and 2 APD officers that investigated!! And lets not forget that 2 of the occupants of the SUV said that they knew that they were police officers and didn’t know why the driver did not stop. All the occupants of the vehicle were given immunity. This case is about a corrupt DA helping out is wife's friend. He needs to have charges filed against him.
Farces

Buffalo, NY

#12 Jan 29, 2008
Keep Movin Forward wrote:
<quoted text> ... The DA's Office called ONE witness...the one Paul Howard shopped around for!!...
Sounds like the prosecution will have a hard time at trial then. Juries like to acquit popo's, and if all the eye witnesses agree then the defendant will probably avoid a conviction. We'll see, I guess. Certainly the policeman should not accept a plea deal at this point if he is innocent.
Stephen

Tampa, FL

#14 May 31, 2008
While I am not familiar with GA law, I would venture that if this "one witness" is all he has, a directed verdict of acquittal is a possibility; unless of course Howard has another family friend on the bench. When the race card gets played, and I suspect it will, all bets are off. I agree, this does have a NIFONG atmosphere.
The Sage

United States

#15 May 31, 2008
Paul Howard is friends with this little PERP'S grandmama. That's the only reason charges were filed. Witness saw these kids lurking and snooping around cars. They found stolen radios in the perp's car. All of the kids, including the dead one, have criminal histories all over metro Atlanta for breaking into cars.

Paul Howard is a moron and should be disbarred, just like that idiot in the Duke rape case. Paul Howard is doing the exact same thing to this cop.
Gloria

Atlanta, GA

#16 Jun 11, 2008
Atticus Finch you have a total disrespect for police officers (calling them "popo") and you expect them to ever protect scums like you! I don't wonder there is so much crime in the black community .. I say don't send any police into black communities and let them deal with each other the only way they know how. If you believe police lie ... what is the "no snitch" pledge among blacks ... and, you expect me to believe a black never lies (especially when they are caught red-handed). Shame on you!!!!
Atticus Finch

Buffalo, NY

#17 Jun 11, 2008
"total disrespect for police officers (calling them "popo")"
No, just the ones that lie and the ones that cover up for the liers. The honest ones are cool with me. They are all popo tho. That is a fact.
Gloria

Atlanta, GA

#18 Jun 11, 2008
And, what exactly is a "popo" ...?
Gloria

Atlanta, GA

#19 Jun 11, 2008
I get it .. it's some of that - black lingo .. Po (police) Po (police)~~~
Let me ask you .. Mr. Finch... have you have lied???? What about the "no snitch" that is prevalent among blacks .. isn't that covering up?? I noticed you didn't address that in your response!
The Sage

Columbia, MD

#20 Jun 11, 2008
This is not a case of "biased witnesses." Witness saw these worthless thugs, who all have criminal records for breaking into cars, trying to break into cars when APD happened upon them. APD, the GBI, and the FBI all investigated and agreed these THUGS were a threat to the officer who shot at their vehicle. Only because grandmama of the dead THUG is good friends with Paul Howard is there an indictment. Paul Howard shopped around until he could find an "expert witness" who would say what he and "grandmama" wanted him to.

But I guess Finch has nothing to say about this injustice, since it is just an innocent cop being screwed over by a corrupt D.A..
Gloria

Atlanta, GA

#21 Jun 12, 2008
When are the "thugs" going to realize that sooner or later something bad is going to happen when they "play with fire" ... and when is society going to learn that the blame on police is just a cover-up that a select group of our society uses to justify their crimes!... just as uses what happened 400 years ago is an excuse for behaviors that are not acceptable regardless of who you are.

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