On Friday, March 15, scores of people rallied and marched from Tatnall Square Park to Macon City Hall in an effort to send a message to the city's police department and the Macon-area District Attorney, David Cooke.
The protest march was the second in the past three months and comes in response to the Macon-area District Attorney explaining to the public on Tuesday, March 12 that Clayton Sutton's actions on December 21 were 'justified' after receiving a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) report in late February.
Cooke said he carefully evaluated the case file from the GBI, agreed with their conclusions and deemed the Sammie Davis case closed. Additionally, Cooke reiterated that Officer Clayton Sutton would not be brought up on any charges and acted appropriately.
On Saturday, March 16, a Justice Department official will visit Macon and will answer questions as part of a community forum organized by the Macon Chapter of the NAACP .
The meeting will be held at the Unionville Baptist Church in Macon.
Some city officials including Henry Gibson, who currently serves on Macon City Council along with being a former captain of the Macon Police Department, believes there are many more questions that haven't been answered in this case.
There were several people at the Kroger who witnessed what happened on December 21, but the account of only one of the eyewitnesses was used in the GBI report.
There was a struggle, but the details are still sketchy.
Gibson commented to The Macon Telegraph in regard to why Sutton felt the need to shoot Davis after he had pushed himself away from Davis.
“The immediate danger disappeared,” said Gibson, a retired police officer. “He had Mace. As a police officer, if you’re outmanned, it still doesn’t justify you using lethal force with a gun. You have to fight for your life. You can’t just take a life.”
Davis, 49, did suffer from a diagnosed mental disorder, but the question remains whether Sutton's actions were justified in shooting an unarmed 49 year-old man with no previous criminal history in the chest three times during a December 21 encounter at a Kroger store on Pio Nono Avenue in Macon.
The coordinator of the march spoke to Macon's WMGT-TV and said the following:
"We've been dealing with situations in our community for a long time and the people have been crying out about injustice," Daryl Jackson said. "Its sad that it took Sammie Davis' death to shed light on other issues with law enforcement in our community."
Jackson further explains that Cooke's decision not to charge Clayton Sutton a slap in the community's face and believes it's a cover up. Jackson says he'll continue marching until justice is served.
Sammie Davis' family are exploring other legal avenues and this includes requesting the U.S. Attorney for the Middle Georgia Judicial District-Michael Moore-- to bring in the Justice Department to further investigate the case because they believe Sammie Davis' civil rights were violated.
As a result of consolidation, in January 2014, the Macon Police Department will be dissolved, and the Bibb County Sheriff Department's power and jurisdiction will expand while its top official --the Bibb Co. Sheriff-- becomes the 'top cop' in Central Georgia's largest and most progressive city--Macon-- in addition to unincorporated Bibb and Lizella.