Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

Anyone who has dealt directly with Dekalb County cops, especially if they've been to Dekalb County jail for any amount of time (a strip-search-for-all Jim Crow throwback joint recently involved in prisoner abuse), already knows how these 'officers' 'conduct' themselves. Rude, antagonistic, abusive, and often downright violent, Dekalb County officers have earned a devilish reputation among those they have confronted. These brutish and sadistic cops have jurisdiction over an area containing roughly 700,000 people, which envelops places as diverse as Clarkston, where about 20% of the population lives below the poverty line, and North Decatur, home to Emory, one of the wealthiest university enterprises in the nation. Given recent developments, more and more Dekalb County inhabitants are wondering what to do about their cop problem.

Dating back to at least 2000, the perfidious acts of Dekalb County thugs have been extravagant in scope and lethal in consequence. In that year, acting Dekalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey (1996-2000) murdered the man elected to replace him as sheriff, Deriwn Brown. Dorsey confessed to the murder from jail in 2007.

A similar top-level turf war exploded years later. In 2003, Terrell Bolton was fired from his position as Dallas County's Chief of Police after myriad corruption scandals, from domestic violence to planting fake drugs on targeted immigrants, all the while crime rates escalated rapidly. Despite this (or because of this?), in 2006, Bolton was given the same #1 spot, Top Dog Police Chief, but this time in Dekalb County, Georgia. Not surprisingly, Bolton's time as leader of Dekalb cops ended in a dangerous, absurd, and costly fiasco. After being investigated for corruption, as active police chief, Bolton hid out in an unregistered RV at Stone Mountain for 9 months. After a desperate gestapo-like campaign for revenge, Bolton was fired for (more) corruption. His subsequent behavior left the Dekalb County CEO (a guilty party himself for hiring Bolton in the first place) feeling so threatened, that he ordered police to be on 24-hour patrol, publicly paid for, outside of his home. Somehow, things only got worse.

In 2009, Dekalb County Sheriff Deputy Derrick Yancey initiated an international manhunt after he killed his wife and another man. Again, the unthinkable happened – he escaped 'monitored' home detention, placing him among America's 10 Most Wanted. For Dekalb County, this kind of police behavior was so normalized that it played out like a bad made-for-TV drama.

Yet the thuggery of Dekalb County cops goes far beyond these fast and furious high-scale battles and murders. The use of police authority to kill and abuse has permeated all levels of Dekalb's force. Archiving Dekalb County police malignancy would be a project fit for a professional historian. Documenting just one month of Dekalb cops' depravity is a time expenditure in itself. But it's an important one.

What follows is a list of transgressions by Dekalb officers that hit the news solely in May 2012. It must be kept in mind that these accounts are given by the corporate media, and that most police (or as they politely call it, 'officer-involved') murder, rape, assault, theft, and other dangerous behavior never becomes public knowledge, and if it does, this usually happens after internal efforts to suppress information have failed. And so, the following account merely for the May 2012 publicly documented villainy of Dekalb County police:

    1. May 4 – 13-year veteran, Sergeant Eric Adkison is placed on restrictive duty after information leaked that he “persuaded” a rape victim not to press charges. Adkison is also found to be running an illegal club that sells alcohol without a liquor license.

    2. May 8 – Officer Jerad Wheeler, who had previously shot and killed a family's chained dog after arriving at the wrong address, kicks 8.5-month pregnant woman, Raven Dozier, in the stomach and chargers her for obstruction.

    3. May 10 – Three officers, one of them Sergeant Anthony Robinson, are indicted for assaulting handcuffed minors. Initially, the officers fled, but later turned themselves in.

    4. May 15 – A cop speeding in his car, which may have not had its lights or sirens on, runs over a pedestrian, killing him. Months later, there is still no explanation given to the victim's mother, and no official statement.

    5. May 17 – A former officer pleads guilty to collaborating with drug dealers and selling them firearms.

    6. May 22 – More information released on Dekalb Sergeant Anthony Robinson, fired for ordering subordinate cops to beat teens while handcuffed – and they did.

    7. May 25 – Dekalb Sergeant Jerry Banks, a 14-year veteran, is arrested for obstruction in confrontation with another woman just days after “horrific beating” of his wife sends her to hospital. Banks had been arrested a year prior to his hiring as a police officer on allegations of simple and family battery.

In one month, we see several public instances of cop misconduct and terror. What dare we to make of these cases? Are these isolatedincidents of mere 'malfeasance', to be dealt with by the very criminal justice system that spawned them? Are police murders, sexual crimes, and beatings, simply 'the price we pay' for being 'protected'? No, and here's why.

In May 2012, the public learned not only that Dekalb County cops were documentedly vile and dangerous, but also, following Dekalb County tradition, their commanding officers were the most culpable of all. This month saw, in this one county, 3 sergeants publicly and directly implicated in massive thuggery. Where top commanders have spilled blood from their high positions, the organization itself is murderous. For what is an organization if not those that construct and command its orders? In other words, a force lead by chiefs that commit atrocities is nothing but an absolutely atrocious force. The story of lower-level officers following Sergeant Anthony Robinson's commands to beat helpless minors is the clearest proof of this full-scale treachery.

So what are Dekalb County inhabitants to do in the face of a police department that has had top-level commanders and their subordinates convicted of murder, theft, and general corruption for years and years? Unfortunately,'internet time' prevents us from even realizing what we're dealing with. So-calld internet time forms our awareness of news and current events. In a 24-hour period, we receive generally one set of information – some of it is mundane, some of it alarms us. We read, we click past, and we go on with our lives. The problem is, the following 24 hours we receive another, different set of information, and the previous set is pushed to the back of our minds, or simply forgotten about. This puts us in a perpetual state of 'starting afresh', giving tyrants and thugs weekly clean slates.

If we take the time to put together the information we receive, over time we can see patterns that help us perceive better the things happening around us. In the case of the Dekalb County Police Department, someone who has kept track of events since 2000 would note that the DCPD is a consistently murderous organization at its highest levels. Yet even though we should, we don't need to go back to 2000. All we need to do is go back over the past couple months to see that Dekalb cops who call the shots and execute the orders are some of the most cold and gruesome people allowed to function in our 'civilization' .

Quick thought experiment: Take another organization – say, a university. Let's say, to keep it in Dekalb County, we take Emory. Let's suppose that at Emory, in one month, several veteran administrators and professors were accused of things like pressuring a rape victim to shut up, beating defenseless minors, vehicular manslaughter, and the battery of a pregnant woman. The thought is so outlandish, it's almost unthinkable. We'd immediately say that Emory University is one cold-blooded, out-of-control organization that must at all costs be stopped. Or so we hope we hope that's what we'd say. We wouldn't spend time saying that these acts were committed by some of Emory's “bad apples”. With all that abuse in one month, we'd probably say that Emory should be shut down. Why do police, those paid by the public, given guns and the authority to lock people away, get such a freakin free pass??

It's past the time to start asking questions. Given their documented ruthlessness, we can no longer take Dekalb cops' stories at face value when they shoot and kill someone. We cannot trust them to use military' -style weapons 'justly' (whatever that means)? And they know we feel this way. The government and its police force know our skepticism, distrust, and outrage are growing every day. (Why are Dekalb County officers being trained in counterterrorism? Is it unreasonable to assume these officers with jurisdiction only over one metro-area Atlanta county are being trained to put down those who at home who would challenge their power? Think it through).

It's more than likely that police all over Atlanta, and the entire US for that matter, are just as dangerous as those in Dekalb County. Just last week a Clayton County cop shot a 13-year-old boy in the head. We all know that in California, New York, and Chicago, police kill again, and again, and again, and again. But we can only confront that which confronts us. And here in Atlanta, in Dekalb County specifically, we have a serious cop problem. Let's do something about it. Whether that be organizing our own communities for self-defense, or taking it to the street in other ways, the time to act is now. They're not protecting us, and they're certainly not defending us. So again, let's not just talk about it, let's be about it. Let's find each other and encourage each other to act boldly. Let's stay safe, but let's also put these cops in their place, wherever that is.


Re: Dekalb County Cop Problem & Officer Pitts

I found this page in a web search after hearing about the recent shooting of Kevin Davis by an Officer Pitts. I also found an Officer Pitts who resigned after shooting a dog last summer.  Sounds like the same person!



Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

cI am glad people are starting to come forth about Dekalb Counties unfinest. I have have my share of run ins with these morons in the past. It goes to show that the law is the last thing on the cities mind by hiring these punk parasites who are worse than most of the people the arrest!

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

tennessee thugs with badges are worse then any police or sheriffs dept in the entire world.these animals with badges that stalk the towns of tennessee will do anything to anyone at anytime not even children are safe from these violant thugs with badges.They masterbate after a kill and go into a sexula frenzy while beating some poor soul who has did nothing but be born poor or AA.You could search the deepest parts of africa and not find any wild savages as mad and sadistic as a tennessee police opinion of the animnals.

Montgomery County(Rockville), Maryland

Important message from retired Circuit Court Judge in Rockville, Md.:

To let you know that our law enforcement is traditionally good but we had to cross the line due to subjects becoming irate and combative. Our crew members just had to do their job. A subject had a heart attack while in police custody but if the person remained calm, he would still be alive today but he went into a coma at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and is deceased. It is the family's problem even though the cops had to do their job for their personal safety. During the 23 years as court judge, I witnessed a prosecutor, sheriff deputy and even another judge being attacked by people that had nothing to lose but to commit crime against our society. This is the kind of world we live in today. Not only every state but every county and even city in the nation will somehow undergo some major event like this. These are the sordid facts of life as we know it!


Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

A recent article in a local newspaper mentioned that in Philadelphia, D.C., New York, Los Angeles and all other major cities and especially Detroit due to looting and rioting on the streets and neighborhoods emanating from the bad economy, cops and judges will consider "justice with a supplement" as this kind of behavior is considered. Yes, tempers do go up with the temperature in domestic circles but when cops cross the line, this is like advocating the mayhem. 37 year old James Wood has animosity toward law enforcement due to his background in stealing cars and selling them for cash to buy drugs in Anacostia in SE D.C. and he stabbed a prison guard and three other prison staff with a knife during an argument about the use of the canteen. He has a long history of being a "renegade" as cops call him. This is a case in point! Law enforcement is a dangerous job and as many of them soon get lazy and look for a way out, crime on the streets will force citizens to look elsewhere for safe haven. With empty areas, this will contribute to looting and rioting and this will be a "war zone" as police and detectives call it.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

It used to be good and decent but I hear rumours of change that can happen in any part of the world. Florida used to be nice but you never hear of law enforcement going bad or crossing the line. Right?

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

Excellent article. As a lifelong resident of DeKalb county who grew up in Clarkston and Stone Mountain, this investigation definitely speaks to my experiences. To be sure, I have known a few friends who have been brutalized or otherwise assaulted by the police here. One friend, in fact, was beaten while handcuffed two years ago. Though the event was videotaped, the Court was remarkabley unconcerned. In this case, "watching" the cops had no effect, and even if the Judge had been interested, it wouldn't have fixed my friend's face or erased the beating from his memory.

This is why we must be careful to understand what conclusions we are trying to put forward here. Do we really just want Cops to simply behave better and follow their own rules? Or, do we realize that the rules are really just a trick, a laugh had at our expense between the Judges, DA's and Police? At what point do we say to ourselves that the police are going to be as violent as they are going to be and we must be prepared to defend ourselves and work towards finally kicking them out of our neighborhoods? These are the questions we need to consider when we discuss police brutality.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

A classic case of the wolf guarding the sheep. It starts at the top, this type of behavior is tolerated by those at the top.  How else could it get so wide spread or commonplace? I guess the thinking is that the society is full of sociapathic people so why not hire a bunch of sociapaths to "PROTECT" them.

The question is how do we change this culture of corruption? Whats the answer.  These are supposedly human beings that are given the power of life and dealth over their fellow man.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

Compost the police!

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

OP here. Thanks for the feedback; it's encouraging.


A new blog is up and running:

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

Copwatch of East Atlanta just got a call from somenoe in Decatur who wants to start up a copwatch chapter out there, so we're going to be doing trainings and getting that rolling.  Give us a call or email to get involved: 678-390-0393, 

Other thoughts: Wow, another cop turned in the 3 cops who beat the handcuffed kids?  It would be very suspicious indeed if something bad were to happen to him/her. You don't usually hear about cops reporting criminal police behavior because the other cops have the power and will to ruin their lives if they do.  It would be cool to do more to encourage cops turning each other in, so each cop wouldn't be as bold about doing illegal stuff in front of others. 

This is textbook: "What I don't want to do is give the impression that a few bad apples are characteristic of most of the men and women that are serving citizens of DeKalb County," (from one of the articles linked to in this article).  Just how well established of a bad apple pattern do we need before we start thinking about composting the whole barrel?

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

As others here have said, this article is great. People need a way to see how larger problems like institutional police corruption unfold on a scale that is comprehensible to the very people who are most effected by those problems. Thanks for posting this.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

Excellent investigative reporting. You've started a match. When more people realize their not alone they'll move toward the next stage of getting this cop force uprooted and phased out.


Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

This is excellent. We need more concrete thought and practice.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem




Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

I'm glad someone wrote this.  The research, the links, the stories are really effective to me.  They give a sense that this is real, this is happening.  This is not some abstract complaint about "the system", these things all happened.  Who can explain them?  I dunno.  But here they sit, demanding explanation - or action, or something.

Re: Dekalb County Has a Serious Cop Problem

"The shootings in the suburban Atlanta county, with a population of 700,000, have surpassed those of New York City and equaled Los Angeles, cities with millions more people and thousands more officers."