No criminal charges against ADDU officers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

No criminal charges against ADDU officers

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - No criminal charges will be filed against an Albany Dougherty Drug Unit agent who killed a suspect in a bizarre shooting earlier this year. Officer Mark Farley shot Clayton Lewis eight times, and accidentally shot himself as Lewis sped off during a traffic stop January 20th.

A special prosecutor who looked into the case says no charges should be filed.

This investigation was handed off to Cordele Judicial Circuit because Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards sits on the drug units task force. And after months of reviewing the evidence from that night, the decision to clear these officers was made.  

 The results from an investigation are that the use of deadly force against Mr. Lewis was justifiable. The incident began January 20th after Albany Dougherty Drug Unit agents got a tip that Clayton Lewis was involved in a drug transaction.

Dougherty Deputy Mark Farley and Officer Clayton Bryant stopped Lewis on North Slappey at the Bypass. That was when he drove off and ran over another officer's foot with Farley in the backseat. "There is a reference to the notion that Mr. Lewis had a weapon. How he was using that weapon? The report indicates that Lewis's gun was unloaded at the time. That was later found in a median of the bypass. But a magazine clip for that gun was found in the glove compartment of that Chrysler," said Edwards.

"There can be nothing that may start off as routine that may escalate unexpectedly into something that is just not contemplated. And this essentially is why the officers involved in this case were cleared. We can only hope that through training and with the best judgement that a person can make that they can do the best thing for that particular situation."

Cordele Judicial Circuit District Attorney Denise Fachini said the evidence shows this was the case. And ADDU board members will now refer to the circumstances in this incident when they review their policy and protocol.

"We will try to do what we can to anticipate this type of thing," said Edwards.  

This investigation doesn't stop here. ADDU board members will now review these results to decide whether Dougherty Deputy Mark Farley and Officer Clayton Bryant will back to patrolling the streets.

The Albany Dougherty Drug Unit board members will likely make that decision some time next week.

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