Henry County 9-1-1 received a call claiming shoots fired and a woman screaming for help. The caller didn’t have an exact address, but police were dispatched to the general location.
What happened next depends upon who you talk to and who you believe.
According to the police, they arrived at the home of David Powell around 11pm and were confronted by a man, David Powell, with gun. They claim that they identified themselves as law enforcement and ordered Powell to put down the gun, but Powell refused. That’s when the police officers opened fire, striking Powell in the neck. Powell died from his wounds.
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According to Powell’s brother in law, Clifton Worn who lives on the property, Powell was woken by someone shining a flashlight into his bedroom window. Thinking it was an intruder, Powell grabbed his handgun and went out his garage door to investigate who was outside. That’s when police opened fire and shot Powell in the neck in his driveway.
Worn said that the police never identified themselves before the shooting took place. He believes that police are already trying to cover up their mistake in the shooting death of his 63-year-old brother in law.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the 9-1-1 call indicated that the police were at the wrong house to begin with. The shooting is under investigation by the GBI.
The tragic wrongful death of David Powell is not the first time a law abiding citizen was killed by police for defending his property.
In 2013, 73-year-old Jerry Waller of Fort Worth was killed by police in a similar manner as Powell. Shortly after midnight, they were woken by a neighbor’s burglar alarm and bright light. Like a good neighbor, Waller grabbed his handgun and went to his garage to investigate the alarm. Waller lives across the street from the where the alarm was sounding. He was still behind his own house when the next thing he knew, two rookie police officers had opened fire on him, shooting him 6 times in the chest. Waller was instantly killed.
In most states, including Georgia and Texas, a homeowner has the right to use lethal force if necessary to protect their homes. That’s all Powell and Waller were doing.
I have always been a supporter of law enforcement at the city, county and state levels. They place their lives on the line every day in order to keep a relative sense of peace and order in our society. Without the police, we would be a nation of anarchists and criminals (other than the ones in Washington D.C.).
However, police are human and sinners and sometimes they act wrongfully. When they do make a mistake as in both of these cases, they need to do the right thing and own up to their mistake and do their best to make it right. If a citizen makes an honest mistake that costs someone’s life, the police will definitely hold them accountable, and the police need to be held just accountable, if not more so.