US & Canada

Anthony Hill case: Murder charge sought for US policeman

Anthony Hill in uniform Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption The Air Force veteran had reportedly been suffering from mental health issues

A police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Air Force veteran should be charged with murder, a state prosecutor has urged.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said he would ask a grand jury to indict Officer Robert Olsen, who shot Anthony Hill last year in Georgia.

Mr Olsen was responding to a call about a man behaving strangely outside an apartment building.

Hill, who was 27, had mental health problems, according to his family.

Mr James said the case will be presented to a grand jury on 21 January.

He will ask jurors to indict Mr Olsen on two counts each of felony murder and violating an oath of office, and a count each of aggravated assault and making a false statement.

An emergency caller told police a man had been "acting deranged" and was "crawling around on the ground naked".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Olsen shot Hill twice

DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said Hill charged at the officer despite being told to stand down, and Hill was shot twice and died at the scene.

Mr Olsen was placed on administrative leave.

Hill was black and Mr Olsen, who has been on the force for seven years, is white.

A series of officer-involved shootings, largely involving white officers and unarmed black males, have stoked racial tensions across the country.

Hill's girlfriend Bridget Anderson, who had been urging criminal charges, said the news was "surreal".

She now hopes the grand jurors will think the charges are just.

Mr James believes there is a good case.

"We don't seek indictments when we don't believe the facts and circumstances are present and the information is available for us to present to a grand jury to have a positive outcome."

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