Suit filed over deadly police chase

Bobby Jones' mother, Delinda Bryant
Bobby Jones' mother, Delinda Bryant

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

June 24, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A federal wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Albany Police for the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit chase involving Albany Police Corporal Gary Price a year ago that killed Bobby Jones and innocent driver Billy Klewitz.

Jones' mother Delinda Bryant filed the suit, and for the first time is speaking out about the chase that killed her 32-year-old son. Jone's family also questions why the chase was taken as far as it was if the city has a no chase policy and ADDU's policy says officers should back off if a chase reaches unsafe speeds.

Delinda Bryant couldn't bear to watch video of her son, Bobby Jones, running from drug agents. Jones was killed when he crashed head-on into 21-year old Billy Klewitz. Klewitz was killed, too. Bryant says the crash would never have happened had drug agents not been chasing her son.

"I've asked myself that question several times, but I can't answer that question, it's just a lot of question marks on the whole ordeal," she said.

They describe Jones, the father of 11-year-old Mercedes and 10-year-old Bobby as a good-hearted, loving, and caring. They say despite his past offenses, they too feel the distance Jones was chased was unwarranted.

"Certainly nobody deserved to be chased down like an animal, I don't agree with that," his mother says.

"Their chase didn't justify the means, of losing a life and having another family suffering," said Family friend Charles Jones.

"I certainly feel sorry for the other family, plus I know they're probably going through the same thing I'm going through," Ms. Bryant said.

Like the Klewitz' Bryant has also filed a lawsuit against Albany Police and Chief James Younger, but their claim is a wrongful death and defamation of character lawsuit, filed in federal court. They say it seems law enforcement couldn't decide why they chased Jones whether it was because of the drugs, or previous warrants, in fact they say police have never acknowledged them.

"It's kind of hard to move forward without giving the facts of the case ADDU, the Albany Drug unit, giving her an explanation of where it happened, what it started from, and the ends results," says Jones.

"It's like my whole life has been stripped away from me," Jones' mother said.

Stripped away by a chase they say should have never gone that far.

It was after the chase that Albany Police Chief James Younger announced that Jones was the suspect in the June 4th shooting at the Travelers Inn, where two people were shot and three other people were robbed.