Rookie Georgia officer, who shot Black man during traffic stop, charged with voluntary manslaughter

This undated photo provided by the Kingsland Police Department shows Officer Zechariah Presley. Presley was in jail on Thursday, June 28, 2018, charged with voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath of office, after state investigators said he fatally shot a black man who was running away from him on June 21. (Kingsland Police Department via AP)


A Georgia police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after state investigators said he fatally shot a Black man who was running away from him.

Wednesday, Officer Zechariah Presley surrendered to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation obtained warrants for his arrest.

According to a GBI statement, on June 21st Presley was following a vehicle that stopped at an intersection when the driver and passenger both got out and ran away. Presley pursued the driver, who was later identified as Anthony Marcel Green.

At one point Presley, 25, caught up with Green, 33, and briefly made physical contact, but Green got away and fled, “at which time Presley fired multiple shots resulting in the death of Green,” the statement says.

Green’s family attorney, Reginald Greene, released a statement stating that the family is now  “seeking justice.”

“Tony Green was gunned down in cold blood by Officer Presley,” the statement reads. We are encouraged by his swift arrest, but we intend to remain vigilant until he is brought to justice and the family is able to get answers as to why this happened in the first place. The senseless killings of Black men by police must stop,” the statement said.

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According to NBC News, the department also released Presley’s personnel file which shows a number of weird interactions for someone who worked for law enforcement. Presley was hired last year despite admitting that he physically fought his wife, bought and sold marijuana, repeatedly shouted at people, was involved in “2-3” accidents and had been arrested for “reckless, eluding, speeding.”

The officer also had nine questionable incidents during his one year in the police department including parking outside the house of a Black man who complained to the Chief, prompting the man to believe that Presley had him fearing for his life.

For his safety, the 25 year old is being held in the Glynn County Jail rather than the Camden County Jail, where he once worked as a guard before joining the police force.

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Meanwhile, several news outlets report that Green’s only crimes were receiving a traffic ticket in March for a suspended license and a 2016 misdemeanor arrest. He was one of the managers at a fast-food restaurant in Kingsland, but most importantly, he was the father of three children who ranged in age from 13 to a young son who is nearly four years old.

“He always kept a big smile on his face,” his pastor, Rev. Mack De’Von Knight of Refreshing Oasis Church told the Associated Press. “He found a joke out of everything — he was always making you laugh.”