Former Atlanta Officer charged with murder

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Arrest warrants have been issued for a former Atlanta police officer who has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a black driver in June, an official said on Friday.

The Fulton County district attorney, Paul L. Howard Jr., said the former officer, James Burns, faced charges of felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as well as two counts of violation of oath, in the death of Devaris Caine Rogers. Mr. Burns has since been removed from the Atlanta Police Department. On June 22, an off-duty officer working at an Atlanta apartment complex reported seeing a suspicious person at that location.

As three police units responded, Mr. Burns attempted to block the path of a 2011 Ford Fusion that was leaving the scene, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The vehicle made no attempt to strike Mr. Burns, who was standing at the rear of his patrol car when he fired one shot into the Fusion’s passenger side, according to the statement. Mr. Rogers was struck in the head and his vehicle crashed into a parked car.

Mr. Howard said that Mr. Burns was not provided with any information characterizing Mr. Rogers as a threat, nor as being the man the off-duty officer had reported. The case will be presented to a grand jury next month.

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