The reason why Colin Kaepernick kneeled and has been banned from the NFL is that there is police brutality against Black people. Now, in the very place where the Super Bowl will be held, two young Black men have been gunned down by police. One was Jimmy Atchison, a 21-year-old who was reportedly unarmed and shot in the face. He was just buried Thursday and now his father and family attorney are speaking out and demanding action from elected officials like Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Jimmy Hill, Atchison’s father and Tanya Miller, the attorney for the family, spoke out Friday on “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126. Miller had a direct message for Mayor Bottoms:
“We are calling on a Keisha Lance Bottoms. We are calling on chief Erika Shields of the Atlanta Police Department,” Miller said. “We are calling on all law enforcement agencies in this community that are responsible to this community and are responsible for making sure that law enforcement uphold the law when they go into our communities.”
She continued, “We want to have a fair and transparent and thorough investigation. We want this family to be treated with dignity in the process. We do not expect to sit by idly and watch this thing to be silenced or deaded or to have his character assassinated. It’s really simple, this is Atlanta this is the birthplace of Martin Luther King. This is the city where African-Americans come here from other places in the country. This is the black mecca of the south. We expect that this very important issue of police brutality and the way that policing happens in African-American communities will be given the kind of treatment that we would expect from Atlanta by African-American community leaders who are responsible for this. We are calling on everybody, from the mayor to the police chief and everyone in between to come to the table to meet with this family and to talk about this very important issue community in our community.”
Jimmy Hill said his “was a wonderful young man. He was a caring man. He was a loving man. He loved his family. I tell people, if you would’ve just came to the service, you would’ve seen how many friends were devastated. He loved everybody… I just want people to know, I don’t care if you’re living on the street or if you are a top official — if Jimmy was your son would you want answers? Would you want justice?”
On Jan. 22, according to Miller, an officer entered an apartment complex in southwest Atlanta around 7 a.m. The police “came in with military assault-style rifles to execute a run-of-the-mill warrant for robbery.”
Atchinson had been accused of a robbery but Miller explained, “We still don’t know all the details behind that and it certainly is not in his character.”
Atchinson was in his girlfriend’s apartment before fleeing out of apparent fear. He then entered the apartment of a friend who also lived in the complex. Police found him hiding in the closet and, according to Miller, he was surrendering with his hands up and he had no weapon. Then he was shot in the face by the police.
Miller stressed, “There is no real good explanation for why he could not have been taken into custody alive.” The police have not confirmed if he was unarmed or not but all witness reportedly said he wasn’t. “They don’t want to come out and say that he was unarmed but the reason why you know he was armed is that if he was armed the first thing that they would have said in their press release is that he was armed.” She added, “Instead they’re being coy and they’re not answering the question on if he was armed. We have no answers from them in that regard.”
Miller says the officer’s name is Sung Kim. He has been suspended pending investigation “but we are hearing he is still coming to work on desk duty and accumulating the coveted Super Bowl overtime.”
Just a few days before Atchison’s death, an off-duty Atlanta police officer shot and killed D’Ettrick Griffin, 18.
A candlelight vigil has been planned for 7 p.m. Friday at city hall in Atlanta. Atchinson’s family, pastor and the NAACP representatives will all be in attendance. Listen to the full interview below with Jimmy Hill, Atchinson’s father, and the attorney.
Rest in power, Jimmy Atchinson.