Video shows officers bumping car, quickly firing on driver

Apr 15, 2022, 2:06 PM | Updated: 2:56 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — Police video released Friday shows officers bumping a car on a Georgia interstate to get it to stop and then almost immediately firing on the Black driver, who climbed out a window and ran across the highway and down an embankment.

The dashcam and body-worn camera video was released by lawyers for Devin Nolley, who say their client was paralyzed from the neck down after officers shot him in the legs and back in December 2018. A Fulton County grand jury last week indicted two of the East Point Police officers involved, who are no longer employed by the department. Nolley filed a lawsuit in 2019 seeking damages.

When the shooting happened, East Point police told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that an officer in an unmarked vehicle identified a stolen black Nissan sedan about 11 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2018. Officers in the unmarked car and two marked police patrol cars followed the sedan to a grocery store parking lot and uniformed officers got out and approached the car.

The driver of the Nissan, later identified as Nolley, reversed into the unmarked police vehicle, and uniformed officers fired their guns at the car, the GBI said in a news release at the time. The driver of the Nissan then drove off toward Interstate 285. East Point officers pursued the car and South Fulton officers joined the chase.

That’s consistent with the videos released by Nolley’s lawyers. A dashcam video shows an officer holding his gun as he gets out of a marked car with its lights on that’s stopped in a shopping center parking lot facing the front of a black sedan. As the officer approaches, the sedan reverses and then moves forward. The officer fires at the car as it drives off and a second officer runs into the video frame with a gun drawn. Then the first officer gets back in the car and pursues the sedan.

Other dashcam video shows the sedan traveling in the left lane of the interstate when a police car bumps it, causing it to spin around. Even before the car stops moving completely, a man is seen climbing out of the driver’s side window and running away. Within seconds, officers can be seen firing at him as he runs.

At least four officers can be seen pursuing the man down an embankment into a wooded area, where he is seen lying facedown. As the officers approach with their guns drawn, they shout at the man not to move. Officers cuff the man’s hands behind his back and roll him over.

The indictment filed on April 4 charges former East Point officers Rodney Etienne and Shiron Nicole Varner each with two counts of violating their oaths and one count each of reckless conduct, aggravated battery and aggravated assault. The races of the officers could not be determined immediately. No one responded to a phone message left at the East Point Police Department.

Phone numbers for Etienne and Varner could not immediately be found Friday, and neither had a lawyer who could comment on the charges listed in the criminal case file online.

The aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges, as well as one violation of oath count, are related to Nolley’s shooting. The reckless conduct charge and the other violation of oath count stem from the officers firing their guns at the shopping center, where they endangered the safety of a woman, the indictment says.

The GBI said at the time of the shooting that one of the rounds fired at the shopping center hit a drug store in a separate lot and a woman was cut by falling glass.

Filed in Fulton County State Court in October 2019, Nolley’s lawsuit originally named Etienne and Varner, as well as the East Point Police Department, the city of East Point, a South Fulton police officer, the South Fulton Police Department and the city of South Fulton. The case was moved to federal court the next month. The claims against the two cities and their police departments have been dismissed.

The lawsuit says Nolley was unarmed when he exited the vehicle and ran away and “posed no danger” to the officers, “who had no reason to believe Mr. Nolley posed a safety threat to anyone as he fled on foot.” When the officers fired at him, he was hit twice in the legs and twice in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, the lawsuit says. There was no legal justification for the use of force, according to the lawsuit, which called the shooting “unreasonable and excessive.”

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and asks for $30 million in damages, as well as legal costs and fees.

After being told at a hearing that the Fulton County district attorney’s office planned to bring charges against two of the officers in the case this month, U.S. District Judge Charles Panell last month stayed the civil case until mid-May.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer speaks inside the Recorders Office, Nov. 9, 2022, in...
Associated Press

Dominion conspiracies highlighted by Fox lawsuit have election officials concerned for safety

Maricopa County officials are bracing for what could happen when it comes time to replace its contract for voting equipment.
2 days ago
A building is damaged and trees are down after severe storm swept through Little Rock, Ark., Friday...
Associated Press

Tornado causes widespread damage to buildings, vehicles in Little Rock

A tornado raced through Little Rock and surrounding areas Friday, splintering homes, overturning vehicles and tossing trees.
2 days ago
FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks with reporters while in flight on his plane after a cam...
Associated Press

Worries grow that Trump indictment could undermine public confidence in other investigations

Trump’s attempts to overturn those results amid false claims of widespread fraud are at the heart of two other ongoing investigations.
2 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Superior Court of Arizona in Yavapai County)...
Associated Press

Arizona judge has cases reassigned following DUI arrest

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that all cases currently assigned to a Yavapai County Superior Court judge recently arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI will be reassigned to other judges.
6 days ago
Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
9 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Video shows officers bumping car, quickly firing on driver