Moultrie man shot by police is remembered - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moultrie man shot by police is remembered

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November 23, 2006

Moultrie -- One week ago Thursday night, Willie Banks, a convenience store worker in Moultrie was shot and killed by a police officer. More than 150 people gathered at the site of the shooting to remember him Thursday night.

Friends and family organized this candlelight vigil Chevron One Stop convenience store. Banks was working when several Moultrie officers came to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. They say Banks resisted arrest and pulled out a knife. Sgt. Bruce Hamm shot and killed him.

Banks' co-workers say he had a box cutter in his hand because he broke down boxes at the store and violence was not in his nature.

When his employer Billy Patel was asked if Banks ever caused trouble, Patel said "No never a problem."

"This what happened here he did not deserve this, and I honestly truly in my heart know it could have been handled in a different way. And I think every police officer in Moultrie knew Willie knew this could have been handled in a different way," said Banks' sister Christine Gambel.

Family members collected donations toward Banks' funeral at the vigil. The GBI is investigating to determine whether the officers' actions were justified.

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