Summary: A Grand Jury will be meeting on June 18 to decide if David Hooks will receive justice or not. For those unfamiliar with this story: A Georgia SWAT team shot and killed an armed homeowner during a September 24 drug raid sparked by the word of a self-confessed meth addict and burglar who had robbed the property the previous day. No drugs were found. David Hooks, a completely innocent man, was murdered in his own home in the middle of the night based off of a bogus no-knock warrant by the very people that were supposed to protect him. As he lay dying from gun shots on the floor his wife and son were handcuffed for several hours. The police did not identify themselves and fired in excess of 16 bullets into the home. David Hooks was hit by four bullets. The last two while he was already on the floor with a shot to his rear shoulder and one to the side of his head which was the fatal shot.
Table of Contents
Will a Grand Jury Finally Give David Hooks Justice?
By Tom McCain.
Edited by Alan Wood
Laurens County, Georgia Sheriff Harrell caused the death of an innocent man when he led a raid team one fateful night in September of 2014. Very shortly, on June 18, 2015 a Grand Jury will convene and decide the fate of his executioners.
Will the people charged with this awesome responsibility be faithful to their sworn duty and give the family of David Hooks justice by issuing indictments and seeking the truth or will the Hooks family join the ranks of so many other families where Grand Juries have dropped the ball by failing to indict police who have killed and maimed so many other innocent people.
The recent news that Matthew Ajibade’s death at the Chatham County jail has been ruled a homicide is at least a good sign that those officers may possibly be indicted for murder in addition to just being fired. Savannah is only a short drive down I-16 from where David Hooks was executed in a military style assault operation in Laurens County.
David Hooks is no longer with us. But had he survived, he would have been found innocent, as they did not find any contraband described in the warrant. Sheriff Harrell and his deputies went to David’s home with a search warrant based on dubious and incomplete evidence, largely provided to them by the very man named Rodney Garrett who had burglarized David and Teresa Hooks’ property the night before David was killed.
They did not exercise any due diligence in independently corroborating their witness’ statement. They omitted the fact that “a prior narcotics investigation” in which David’s name allegedly was mentioned, used as supporting evidence to the word of the thief, happened several years ago and that no charges were ever filed against him.
Armed with that Search Warrant, which did NOT contain a signed “no-knock” provision, they crept up on the residence. They did not approach and give verbal notice of who they were, as required by OCGA 17-5-27, and as would gentlemen at the unreasonable hour of 10:50 p.m.
Instead, they drove up a driveway 7/10th’s of a mile long with no headlights, no emergency lights, no sirens in a military style stealth approach you would expect to be not too dissimilar to the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. But instead this was an innocent Grandfather and government contractor with a security clearance. It also happened in rural Georgia not Pakistan, by police not a Navy SEAL team, and on an innocent American citizen not a murderous terrorist.
They gave no indication of their presence to the Hooks family that they were outside the property or who they were before they bashed in the back door of the house dressed in camouflage and hoods and fired approximately sixteen rounds. David Hooks was hit by four bullets. The last two while he was already on the floor with a shot to his rear shoulder and one to the side of his head which was the fatal shot. The very people charged with protecting Mr. Hooks and solving the home invasion he had suffered the day before decided to instead execute him in a botched raid over the word of that very same home invader.
Any reasonable person that is startled by strangers breaking into your backdoor late at night will naturally assume you are about to be robbed and probably murdered. Now imagine someone had just robbed your home the day before and you would likely be 100% confident the same home invaders are back to kill you and your family. Now also imagine you were sound asleep when the door was bashed in and you are awakened by a screaming and terrified wife in fear for her life. You are still groggy from sleep but now are placed in a life or death situation but before you can even wake up or process what is going on you an assault team breaks in your home and shoots you dead in cold blood. The final two shots also happened while Mr. Hooks was lying on the floor already with two bullets inside of him. He was shot in his back and head even though he was wounded, unarmed, and suffering.
While they will claim they made a “good faith effort” at giving verbal notice as required in OCGA 17-5-27, the silent manner in which they approached the home belies any good faith at all. When they kicked that BACK door in, the only thing David could have assumed, the only thing any reasonable person who had been burglarized the night before WOULD have assumed, was that his home was being invaded by the same people as before.
They went to David’s residence “prepared” to kill, as evidenced by their camouflage, masks, military gear and the presence of an ambulance standing by. Were they, perhaps, “expecting” to kill?
David Hooks, in the process of exercising his right under OCGA 16-3-23 to defend his “castle”, was gunned down; hardheartedly, callously, and in our minds, criminally. Remember, Sheriff Bill Harrell led that raid. The Sheriff, who left the scene of a Use of Deadly Force Incident before the GBI investigators arrived. Kinda makes one curious about what had previously been in the “ONE (1) BLACK, METAL, SENTRY SAFE BOX RECOVERED FROM FRONT YARD OF RESIDENCE” which GBI agent J. Kirk Smith logged into evidence.
David’s grieving, still-in-shock wife was then essentially kidnapped and falsely imprisoned when she was roughly escorted out of her home, handcuffed to a chair, in a state of near undress, and left there while her husband’s killers milled around her home.
Since the execution of David Hooks, the Laurens County Sheriff’s office and Sheriff Bill Harrell have released appallingly minimal details on the shooting and have made no apologies or comments. Furthermore, a former FBI agent hired by the Hooks family to investigate had his interview with cut short after only six minutes. On Oct. 1, in a room at the Laurens County jail in Dublin, Georgia, P.I. Christopher Frost had only been talking to Garrett for six minutes when a deputy removed Garrett from the room, cutting the conversation short. The very next day Garrett was transferred 50 miles away.
These officers acted as THUGS would act, as a GOON SQUAD would act; certainly not as men and women who believed in The Peoples’ Rights, or in simple human decency for that matter. Therefore they should be indicted as the thugs and goons they are.
Special Prosecutor Chuck Spahos will present this case to the Laurens County Grand Jury on June 18th, 2015. It is our fervent desire and plea that this Grand Jury uses the intelligence and common sense that God has given them in the exercise of every power they are armed with, and that they seek the whole truth underlying this gross miscarriage of justice. Anything less would be a travesty.
The 15th of June, 2015 is the 800th Anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, one of the primary documents used by our Founding Fathers as the basis for our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Rally For Justice to Be Held at Noon June 15, 2015
On that historic and auspicious date, at noon, a group of concerned Georgia citizens will hold a press conference and rally prior to filing a petition with the Laurens County Clerk of Courts, directed to the Foreperson of the currently impaneled Grand Jury, pleading that the death of David Hooks be investigated as a Felony Murder.
Any citizen of legal age in the United States may sign this petition and please do sign! Only with a loud outcry and support can we have any hope that any sort of justice will be found for David Hooks. There is an additional petition here as well if you prefer.
All media outlets are invited and encouraged to attend this event, as is every concerned citizen. Among the speakers will be Elder Charles Sumblin, a long time Civil Rights Activist; Former Police Chief and Judge Paul Nally; Candidate for U.S. Senate Derrick Grayson; and Catherine Bernard, Founder of Spartacus Legal Foundation.
This is not a group of lunatics, presenting some half-baked theory. We are not rioting as in Baltimore and Ferguson. We are not burning and looting. We are a coalition of former law enforcement officers, former military personnel, attorneys and interns, candidates for public office, old Freedom Fighters and Wounded Warriors, republicans, democrats, black, white, young, old, from every social strata. We have gathered signatures for this petition from all over the United States. We have the expertise, experience and just plain ol’ common sense to call this what it is and ask for an accounting.
Too often our police have just been “given passes” by Grand Juries, mostly because of the way a State’s Prosecutor (DA, ADA, etc.) presents the case, but also because of the Grand Jury’s ignorance of their awesome duty, or their lack of understanding the powers they have to perform that duty. The Grand Jury normally “stops” investigating when the prosecutor “stops” presenting. The Grand Jury has much more power than that. Indeed, they have a DUTY to demand any information they may think pertinent to a presentment.
Grand Jury Oath of Office
“You, as foreperson [or member] of the grand jury for the county of _____________________, shall diligently inquire and true presentment make of all such matters and things as shall be given you in the court’s charge or shall come to your knowledge touching the present service; and you shall keep the deliberations of the grand jury secret unless called upon to give evidence thereof in some court of law in this State. You shall present no one from envy, hatred, or malice, nor shall you leave anyone unpresented from fear, favor, affection, reward, or the hope thereof, but you shall present all things truly and as they come to your knowledge. So help you God.”
Let’s examine that oath a bit;
“diligently inquire and true presentment make of all such matters and things as shall be given you in the court’s charge or shall come to your knowledge touching the present service;” A Grand Jury is under no obligation to cease its inquiry simply because the Prosecutor completes his presentment. “OR shall come to your knowledge touching the present service”. If you have knowledge of information that was not presented by the prosecutor, you should demand that it be looked into.
“You shall present no one from envy, hatred, or malice, nor shall you leave anyone unpresented from fear, favor, affection, reward, or the hope thereof.” Many in Laurens County fear the Sheriff. That’s a fact, and apparently an understandable one. As to favor, affection, reward or hope thereof I cannot judge their hearts. Only they themselves and the good Lord, whose name they use in their Oath, can judge that.
Following is an example of what WE fear, and I hope that each Laurens County Grand Juror will remember that NOT ONE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED IN THE DAVID HOOKS FIASCO HAS PUBLICLY EXPRESSED ANY KIND OF REGRET OR REMORSE.
Since peace officers and public officials have the right by law to receive notice and present evidence to a Grand Jury in which an indictment is sought against them, I’m sure that, if they choose to exercise that right, there will be a show of tears and sadness as they try to drag their asses out of the sling Sheriff Bill Harrell has put them in. However, they will be the tears of the crocodile, or perhaps the school bully trying to escape punishment.
Make sure and also read the history of the self-proclaimed “Drug Czar” Chris Brewer who played a very prominent role in this bumbling and amateurish assault who has a long and troubled history in law enforcement according to a former D.A. . Many people are responsible for the murder of David Hooks, but Deputy Christopher Brewer is certainly the one that started this chain of events as he asked for the warrant based off of a tip from a meth head that had just robbed the victim David Hooks.
If you imagine an entire team of Barney Fife’s in camouflage with assault weapons and flash grenades and you aren’t far off the mark, but Sheriff Bill Harrell is no Andy Taylor. Instead imagine Ernest T. Bass is in charge.
Unless the Grand Jury chooses to get to the truth, this team of poorly trained hot-headed goons will view this as a free pass to carry out more assaults on other innocent victims. All of these thugs need to be indicted and prosecuted as a felony murder and only then can Laurens County begin to heal. Send the message that the execution of an innocent American inside his own home is not okay and there are repercussions.
Other Media Links:
Meet 59-year old David Hooks, the latest drug raid fatality Washington Post
Attorney: Hooks Shot in the back and Head CBS Affiliate 13 WMAZ
Sheriff’s Office Cuts Off Jailhouse Interview After Deadly Raid Huffington Post
SWAT Team Shot David Hooks at Home after Tip From Meth Addict Huffington Post