Justice for Khari Illidge

Justice for Khari Illidge

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Vinnie Pandolfo started this petition to Senator Doug Jones and

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In 2013, Khari Illidge was murdered by police, and officers were granted immunity from the consequences of their actions due to a "lack of precedent"

"One cool spring evening in 2013, sheriff’s deputies in Phenix City, Alabama, a suburb of Columbus, Georgia, responded to a trespassing call. They found Illidge wandering along a quiet, tree-lined road. The 25-year-old was naked, covered in scratches and behaving erratically.

In the encounter, the deputies shocked Illidge six times with a stun gun before he fell to the ground. As he lay face-down, one deputy shocked him 13 more times as two others struggled to handcuff his wrists, according to their testimony. They then shackled his ankles with leg irons and fastened them to his handcuffs – an extreme form of restraint, known as a hogtie, that many police departments across the country have banned.

A 385-pound officer then kneeled on Illidge’s upper back until he went limp. Illidge was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The autopsy report lists cardiac arrest as the cause of death."

From later court documents:

"One of the officers testified that by the time Mr. Illidge was on the ground, the additional tases served no purpose other than to “inflict pain” and “shut down [Mr. Illidge’s] nervous system."

“They treated him like an animal,” Gladis Callwood, Illidge’s mother, said. “Or maybe even worse.”

Callwood sued the police, alleging excessive force. The cops claimed qualified immunity. They said they did what was necessary to subdue an aggressive man who resisted arrest and who, according to a friend who had seen him earlier, had probably taken LSD. A toxicology report found no traces of the drug in his blood.  

“You have to make split-second decisions,” Ray Smith, one of the deputies who had shocked and hogtied Illidge, told Reuters. Hesitation can be deadly, he said.

Judge W. Harold Albritton in federal district court in Montgomery, Alabama, sided with the cops. In his ruling, the judge said there was no precedent establishing that the officers’ treatment of Illidge was unlawful.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. In in October 2018, the Supreme Court declined to review Callwood’s case. Her lawsuit was dead."

Demand the justice Khari Illidge and for Gladis Callwood. We are calling for the officers to face trial without immunity; as members of the community instead of above it. Failing that, the resignation of Jay Jones. Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.

Sources:

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-police-immunity-scotus/

https://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/crime/article181054551.html

https://www.naacpldf.org/files/our-work/Callwood%20Cert%20Petition%20FINAL.pdf

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