SAVANNAH, GA (May 24, 2018) – On behalf of the former Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, we have received and respect the grand jury’s findings. We also respect the process which produced this result – a process that compelled our silence pending conclusion. Between the tragic events of Jan. 23 and the decision, the public has been subjected to a one-sided, calculated campaign of misinformation. The evidence and independent witnesses’ statements, which have been presented to the grand jury and the media, undercuts and disproves these allegations.
We have intentionally remained quiet throughout the course of this process in an effort to preserve its integrity. At each stage of the events leading up to, during and following this tragedy, we have neither interfered with nor attempted to influence the outcome. The public should have total confidence in the process and its result.
On Jan. 23, U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Mr. Boyd for murder. The warrant was issued by an independent judge after he determined probable cause existed to arrest him for murder.
In the immediate aftermath of this incident, this department and the U.S. Marshals voluntarily agreed to turn the investigation over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The GBI, an independent state agency, has extensive experience investigating officer-involved shootings. When the evidence supports as much, they do not hesitate to arrest and prosecute police officers and other officials for unlawful conduct. There should be no question as to the GBI’s qualifications or impartiality.
The results of the GBI’s investigation were delivered to the district attorney, another independent office with an extensive track record of prosecuting police officers and other officials. Consistent with state law and her legal obligations, the case was presented to the grand jury, which was empaneled by an independent Chatham County Superior Court judge.
We look forward to these other agencies releasing their facts and findings of their investigations for public review. We encourage everyone, including the media, to objectively review the evidence and witnesses’ statements in their entirety. Please do not receive pieces or information taken out of context to further an agenda or promote divisiveness within our community. We have learned the U.S. Department of Justice intends to review this case. We welcome this and we will fully cooperate. In conclusion, on Friday this department will release its own records, which include the incident reports and body worn camera footage. We believe the evidence shows that our police officers acted professionally and appropriately, and we will continue to honorably and respectfully serve our citizens.