On Thursday, Feb. 18 a Cobb County grand jury determined that the Cobb County police officer who fatally shot 17-year-old Vincent Truitt in the back was justified in the shooting of the teen last summer after a failed traffic stop, according to attorneys for the teen’s family.
Vincent Truitt was shot twice in the back by a Cobb County police officer following a July car chase near the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park. Truitt died at Grady Memorial Hospital the next day.
Following the grand jury decision which is being questioned by Truitt family attorneys, representatives for the family lashed out at Cobb County District Attorney and police officials, insisting that the case is not over. “There is no justice in Cobb County,” said Gerald Griggs an attorney for the family. “A man was shot in his back as he was running away from law enforcement. He posed no threat, and he was shot in the back and killed.”
“Having read the decision of the grand jury, we question whether or not it was is, in fact, a criminal grand jury,” Griggs said regarding the validity of the grand jury decision as presented by Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady. “A criminal grand jury returns either a true bill or a no bill. This appears to be a recommendation of no action. So we would have some questions and concerns for the district attorney regarding this case,” continued Griggs.
Recently released video of the shooting shows the 17-year-old fleeing police in what they believed to be a stolen car. The Nissan Altima with three passengers eventually pulls over near a warehouse and Truitt along with two other teens exit the car fleeing on foot. Those who have reviewed the video point out that the teen had a dark object in his hand when he turned to flee, but it is unclear whether or not the object is a weapon. Police say a gun was later found at the scene.
Cobb County Police said Vincent Truitt and the two other teens that were inside a vehicle refused to stop for police. According to police, they tried to stop the car at a QuikTrip gas station. The car initially pulled in and then drove off through an officer’s car trying to stop them. A brief chase ensued down Riverside Parkway into a dead end behind a warehouse. Bodycam and dashcam video showed the driver get out the driver’s side door and then Truitt behind him.
The family’s lawyer said Marsy’s law was not followed properly and they weren’t told the grand jury was deliberating with adequate time. They also said that the evidence was presented to a civil grand jury when it should have been presented to a criminal jury, because civil means they can only make recommendations.
“I will tell you this. Cobb County, you should be ashamed. You have another puppet who is going to make these side decisions without having any respect or regard for the family. And we’re tired of it. We’re not going away,” Truitt’s grandmother said in a press conference.
They family’s lawyers said, ‘this isn’t over,’ and they also plan to file a lawsuit against the city for $50,000,000.