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JUSTICE FOR ANDREW MESSINA: POLICY & PROCEDURE CHANGE TO PROTECT JUVENILES FROM DEADLY FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
  • Petitioned Senator Brandon Beach, GA House of Representatives, GA State Senate

This petition was delivered to:

Senator Brandon Beach, GA House of Representatives, GA State Senate
State Representative, District 20
Michael Caldwell
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

JUSTICE FOR ANDREW MESSINA: POLICY & PROCEDURE CHANGE TO PROTECT JUVENILES FROM DEADLY FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

    1. Susan Coker
    2. Petition by

      Susan Coker

      Alpharetta, GA

Justice for Andrew Messina Petition

The following petition applies to any and all U.S. Federal, State and Local law enforcement entities.

We, the undersigned, are a group of concerned citizens of the United States of America, who petition Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia House of Representatives, Georgia State Senate, to change the policies and procedures as they relate to the use of deadly force against juveniles by law enforcement officers. In conformance with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice policy 19.3, page 3, level 6, O.C.G.A. § 17-4-20 states as follows:

“The Investigator will determine the level of force necessary by the subject's actions and behavior, (e.g., compliance, resistance, aggression or overt hostility), and the circumstances of the subject. The Investigator will take into account the age, size, gender, level of physical skill and/or disability and other disparate factors of the subject as the Investigator determines the degree (level) of force necessary to stop or have the subject stop his/her inappropriate, unlawful or dangerous behavior. Investigators will make use of all other means of non-deadly force before resorting to deadly force, including contacting counselors, physicians, and family members”.

Furthermore, the Georgia Constitution imposes upon Georgia Sheriffs the duty to transport mental health patients to hospitals or mental health facilities for treatment.

It is the opinion and belief of the undersigned that size, age, skill, disability and other disparate factors were in fact not taken into account in the May 1st 2012 incident where Andrew Messina was needlessly shot and killed by a sniper while emotionally distressed. It is the opinion that means of non-deadly force were not considered or used prior to the use of deadly force.

Andrew was a distraught ADHD 10th grade teenager, with a history of being bullied. Andrew originally picked up an unloaded handgun and threatened to hurt himself. Andrew’s mother called 911 for assistance and informed the 911 operator the gun was unloaded. The 911 operator instructed Andrew’s mother to leave the house, which she did. At that time the gun was not loaded.

When the police arrived, Andrew was alone in his house with no hostages. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, SWAT Team, and negotiators showed up in force with weapons pointed and stationed two team members approximately ten feet from the front door. As previously stated, Andrew was distraught and threatening to hurt himself. Andrew repeatedly pleaded with law enforcement that they not come near the house.

It is the further opinion of the undersigned that, as there were no hostages, there was no imminent danger to the public. The undersigned feel that Andrew’s parents and suicide prevention or mental health counselors should have been engaged to diffuse the situation.

Instead, in this case, Cherokee County negotiators failed to establish a rapport with Andrew. It is the further opinion of the undersigned that the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department exacerbated the situation and provoked a confrontation. In just over an hour, after Andrew used the gun to break a glass in the front door, a Cherokee County sniper shot and killed Andrew with a single bullet. The sniper stated that he fired this deadly shot thinking the sound of breaking glass was gunshot.

The undersigned further believe that the policies and procedures, as related to deadly force, should be amended to require that law enforcement officers reasonably attempt to ascertain the juveniles mental and emotional state, or other extenuating circumstances through witness accounts or other means available (i.e., family, counselors, physicians), before deadly force is applied and to make no overt action to exacerbate or aggravate the situation as long as no imminent or immediate danger exists. Tactics used by Cherokee County law enforcement escalated a situation that could have been diminished by proper training, by using available family and mental health counselors, and/or by having clearer definitions of how to proceed with juveniles in crisis. It is the opinion and belief of the undersigned that law enforcement on the scene attempted to rush a conclusion when backing off or buying time to calm the situation was called for.

The undersigned further believe that law enforcement should investigate non-lethal means of disabling a juvenile in crisis.

If you would like updates on our progress, please like facebook page "JUSTICE FOR ANDREW MESSINA"

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. For updates....

      Susan Coker
      Petition Organizer

      Follow our news and progress on facebook page "JUSTICE FOR ANDREW MESSINA"

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. We have reached 550 Signatures !

      Susan Coker
      Petition Organizer

      I want to personally thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to sign the Petition for Justice for Andrew Messina. God Bless you all. This is an extremely important issue that could change the way law enforcement interacts with Juveniles in Crisis. This could affect your children, or even your grandchildren. We must protect our children from any chance of this EVER happening again. We need at least 500 signatures to take this to the Georgia State Legislature, however, presenting the petition with thousands of signatures will be a bigger Impact for getting attention. Your continued support is needed. Please share this with your friends, and family. If you have not visited our facebook page, Justice for Andrew Messina, please 'like' our page to show your support. Together we are strong. Thank you. And as Andrew would have said, Peace and love to you all.

    5. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Marc Covert SANTA ROSA, CA
      • 7 months ago

      To shoot and ask question later is not the answer. Do your due diligence first. You'll find better solutions.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jayne Cates LOS ANGELES, CA
      • 7 months ago

      Americans deserve to keep their rights to live freely and without persecution by the government via police or soldiers....Whatever happened to talking to the human that is in crisis?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joel Muzik WOODSOCK, GA
      • 9 months ago

      overuse of police force needs to be stopped. this is not a military occupation!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gary Morgan EULESS, TX
      • 9 months ago

      Deuteronomy 16:20 comes to mind, as well as "compassion to the wicked is cruelty to the just." If by no measure than utter indifference to life, these police are wicked; a wickedness compounded by the subversion of the very principles upon which their authority rests.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Anwer Abbas ROSWELL, GA
      • 10 months ago

      He was like a son to us; there is no reason to use lethal force against anyone under 18. They are kids and should be treated as kids.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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