Ms. Caroline Small, slumped over in the front seat of her car after police had shot at her multiple times on June 18, 2010 (photo courtesy of Daily Kos, 2015) …
GLYNN COUNTY, Georgia – On the afternoon of June 18, 2010 Caroline Small of Glynn County, GA. found herself between a rock and a hard place. Alone. Scared. Confused. And without the aid and comfort of family and friends Caroline Small began what would be her last days on this earth.
Before last week I had never ever heard the story or read any accounting of the out-and-out eventual murder of Caroline Small. But the accounting of her murder as written by the Daily Kos explains in quite graphic and obligatory detail of the slaughter of a lonely and deeply troubled woman.
WARNING: I think it only fair to warn you that the details of what you are about to read are both graphic and horrible in nature. If you have small children or are weak of personal constitution then you shouldn’t read anymore past this paragraph. If not? Then I welcome you into further reading…
On June 18, 2010, an unarmed mother struggling with a mental health breakdown was executed by two Glynn County Police officers in southern rural Georgia. Hyperbole aside, it was a firing squad. It shouldn’t have happened. The officers who did it weren’t threatened and they should be in jail right now for the murder of Caroline Small. Not just tragic and disturbing, what happened to her was criminal and the fact that the two officers who killed her are still in law enforcement shows just how outrageously corrupt the system is. It’s not broken, though—it’s working just how those who are running it intend. – By Shaun King, “The disturbing police execution of Caroline Small, an unarmed [M]other in need of [M]edical [A]ttention” written on Monday July 20, 2015
And thus begins the painting of a very disturbing portrait into the life of a cornered woman, a mother, literally.
Crime scene photo(s) in the execution of Caroline Small on June 18, 2010 by Glynn County Sheriff’s Deputies (photo courtesy of Daily Kos, 2015) …
Alone and battling severe bouts of depression and alcoholism, according to this A.J.C. Investigations report from earlier this year, on the slow, agonizing, and painful death of Caroline Small.
This poor soul never stood a chance! And as Glynn County Sheriff’s Deputies, who shot and murdered Small, bragged to each other about their ‘expert marksmanship’ and the ‘top of Caroline Small’s head exploding’ it becomes clear that Glynn County’s finest neither cared to aid and assist Caroline Small much less allow her to live and get some much-needed medical attention.
“If she moves the car, I’m going to shoot her,” an officer yelled. […]”
But this has come to be rule rather than exception throughout the Peach State. Shoot first. Ask questions later. Compassion. Consequences. And the Rule of Law be damned.
And even though Caroline Small’s shooting and eventual death, a death by the way that took five days in a medical facility, was thoroughly investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or G.B.I. – and later ruled ‘justifiable homicide’ – almost immediately a cover up ensued by Glynn County Officialdom in the hopes of ‘letting this one blow over’.
Now retired. Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Special Investigator, Michael McDaniel, who supervised the 2010 Investigation into Caroline Small’s death told WSB-TV 2 News, Atlanta that it was quote, “[…] one of the worst cases that I’ve ever investigated… it was a bad shoot.” No basic milk of human kindness was allowed to be rendered by a bystander that was medically trained. Police forbid them, according to this Special Report from WSB-TV 2 News, Atlanta.
“She’s D-O-A (dead on arrival). I got her right between the eyes,” Simpson tells an eyewitness, who was a former emergency medical technician who wanted to render aid.
But instead of checking to see if Small was alive, the officers discussed their marksmanship.
“I hit her right in the face,” Sasser remarks on the recording.
Simpson replies, “I watched the bridge of her nose. I pulled the trigger and I watched it hit her at the same time.”
Small lived for five more days without ever waking up.
“They were acting more like they shot a deer or were out hunting,” said McDaniel. “It’s not what I would expect an officer’s reaction to be after they were in fear of their lives and shot somebody.” – Taken from WSB-TV 2 News, Atlanta Special Investigative Report on this 2010 Shooting
It shouldn’t get any more disturbing than that, BUT unfortunately it does, BECAUSE what follows is the biggest cover up since the Bombings of Birmingham, AL. during the Civil Rights Movement.
Lies. Distortion. Tampering with Evidence. Etc. All lead Investigators, Attorney’s and Members of Caroline Small’s own family on the wildest goose chase known to modern man.
At the same time the GBI conducted its investigation, Glynn County police were doing their own and questioning the witnesses, as well.
“Looking back at it now, I’m pretty sure they were trying to interfere with us and keep us from doing our job,” said McDaniel.
He remembers one officer telling him the department only called in the GBI for public perception.
That’s something Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering firmly denies.
“If an officer said that, it’s inaccurate,” said Doering, “I don’t call the GBI in for public appearance. Now if they felt that, that might have been what they felt, but I never expressed that to anybody.”
GBI Director Vernon Keenan said he’s never seen another agency behave like the Glynn County Police Department.
“They wanted to argue with us about investigative steps that we were taking, and they were criticizing agents’ actions,” said Keenan.
Keenan says he changed the state agency’s policy as a result of the conflict and controversy in this case, and he now keeps local departments at arm’s length during these kinds of cases.
Doering said his agency has a good working relationship with the GBI, but he did complain about how one investigator treated his officers.
“You have to be impartial and you have to make certain that you don’t become accusatory when you interview an officer, even if you personally feel an officer’s actions was unreasonable and inappropriate,” said Doering.
The chief also defended an animated video his department created, which shows Small easily steering her car through a gap between the patrol cars and running over officers in the process.
McDaniel says it was misleading. “Those measurements in that cartoon are not correct. They’ve got the car turning coming through at the officers, which you and I know can’t happen,” McDaniel said.
Plus, Simpson’s patrol vehicle, which was parked somewhere in that gap, was moved before the GBI arrived at the scene. It’s not pictured in the animation at all.
But Doering says that’s not relevant.
“I felt the officers following the law, as I know the law to be, were justified,” said Doering, “That’s what I ruled then and I rule now.”
A year after the shooting a grand jury agreed and, in a split decision, voted to clear the officers.
But when Channel 2 Action News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution started digging through the records, there were contradictions.
“There was nothing in my mind that justified them shooting her,” said former Waycross District Attorney Rick Currie, who reviewed the case as a second opinion for the Glynn County district attorney.
He cites Trooper Malone’s heroic actions, indicating he was not in fear for his life at that time, or he wouldn’t have run up to Caroline’s car. He only retreated when he looked up and saw officers Sasser and Simpson pointing their guns in his direction.
“They should have been prosecuted, there’s no doubt about that,” said Currie, “Everything was right there on the tape; I really don’t know how the grand jury didn’t indict.” – Taken from WSB-TV 2 News, Atlanta Special Investigative Reporting on this 2010 Shooting, all under the Subtitle of “A Tainted Investigation?”
But it doesn’t end there, as IF Caroline Small doesn’t have enough nails in her crypt. Enter Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson.
Glynn County, GA. District Attorney Jackie Johnson, holding a gun, (photo courtesy of 11 Alive News, Atlanta, 2013) …
Attorney Johnson is known to all in Glynn County as ‘friendly’ towards police, even going so far as to ‘cut deals with police’ and keeping grand juries from seeing all of the evidence for cases against police, but most especially against the officers involved in shooting and eventually killing of Caroline Small on that June 2010 day.
Known as ‘Tacky Jackie Johnson’. She will cut a deal for a cop quicker than she will hear confounding and compelling evidence and eyewitness testimony in a case(s) similar to that of Caroline Small where someone in Glynn County, GA. has ended up dead or severely hurt at the hands of state and local law enforcement.
What’s even more troubling is that she will be in her place of power until the year 2024 when she is presumably up for re-election, according to the Daily Kos report.
“She definitely wasn’t pushing for an indictment, no question about that. It kind of seemed like she wasn’t trying to prove anything.” — Mr. Chuck McManus, Grand Jury Member in the Caroline Small Case, 2010
Ms. Caroline Small…
So the deck was stacked from start to brutal finish.
No matter how much Caroline Small begged, pleaded, hinted she needed help, her cries, from the depths of her soul, went unanswered by mortal man. Willfully.
A woman, who once had hopes and dreams as big as all outdoors, a wife, a mother, and now just another number, statistic or notch in the law enforcement community’s utility belt because they felt threatened. Threatened by what? A multi-mile low-speed chase that started in a hotel parking lot? An empty Mountain Dew bottle on the front seat of a nearly broken-down-anyway car perhaps? The sad, lonely look of a person at their last notch on life’s rope, with but a finger tip grasp?
“I want to be productive. I want to give back to the community that for so long so freely has given to me…That was what I ultimately wanted to do, to escape [whenever I did drugs or drank too much alcohol, I just wanted to escape it all. And I now know and understand that, that was wrong, and that by doing that I not only hurt myself I also hurt the ones that I love, and that love me.]…” — Caroline Small, 2005 Drug Court Graduation Quote, Courtesy of WSB-TV 2, Atlanta
All Caroline Small wanted was for someone to listen. Someone to help her to help herself. No qualms. Or strings attached. Just help her. That’s all. And instead of being helped she was hurt, violently, and left to die, a slow and agonizing death because a member(s) of the law enforcement community for Glynn County, GA. ‘felt threatened’.
And because they felt threatened. And because Glynn County’s finest knew that the Lady D.A. would protect them, regardless, they decided to hunt down, maim, and destroy a very kindhearted, but deeply troubled soul that was simply seeking a shoulder to cry on, and deliverance from personal and social ills brought on by a bitter divorce from her husband, the loss of a child to protective services, loss of her home, her job, her car, family and friends.
Boxed In…Caroline Small’s means to an end (photo courtesy of the Daily Kos, 2015)…
Alone! Cornered on a quiet, unassuming street in the The City of Brunswick, GA. Caroline Small had come to the end of a road not of her own making.
And that is the sad fact of it all. Police didn’t have to shoot her, they didn’t even have to chase her. Had the officer who first confronted her in that hotel parking lot, where they were called because Caroline was suspected of doing drugs there by hotel staff, which she wasn’t, just setting their, in her car, drinking a Mountain Dew, and minding her own business, elected to help instead of confront Caroline, chances are she would still be alive, and getting well today. Instead this officer elected to spook her, and she ran.
She meant no harm. She was simply trying to get help. She was down on her luck and needed a helping hand. Nothing more, nothing less.
But police couldn’t bring themselves to do that. To offer that helping hand to a fellow human being. That would never do. And what with Glynn County’s finest having a reputation to maintain of shooting first, and asking questions later one has to wonder why the officer who confronted her in the hotel parking lot didn’t go ahead and kill her right then and there?
No! And instead they had to begin to end the life of Caroline Small simply because they were called on suspicion and they felt threatened. [The hunt was on!]
The law enforcement gathers at a staging area, late last night, in Ferguson Township, MO. U.S.A. …
Caroline Small’s story is indicative of the kind of shoot first ask questions later mentality that has entered the hallowed halls of the law enforcement community almost overnight. She is but a microcosm of a macrocosm. A reed on the killing field of Police State USA.
But in a nation where civil discourse, passion, compassion, and empathy are removing the lethal liquid of deadly force altogether. Ferguson. Baltimore. Cincinnati. Cleveland. Arkansas City, KS. Salt Lake City. And even Chicago. Citizens are awaking and arising to a fact that is stranger than fiction itself. The Protect and Serve Community is killing US one by one and that MUST BE STOPPED!
They are drawing a line of demarcation in the sand of human frailty and saying, “Enough that is enough. You only get to go so far, and no farther. You have proven yourself unworthy of the opportunity to protect and serve us…”
Representative of the 12-year-old children who organized the burning of Charm City, U.S.A. in 2015 (photo courtesy of Al Jazzera English)
Folks! Caroline Small’s head, and face were blown off her skull. Her brain was exposed. Sinuses. Naval passages, teeth and more were exposed as well. She had a sucking chest wound, and her left jaw had been severed at the front and rear of her face, her jaw could be seen hanging by tendons and bone fragments.
Any mortal man would have died in an instant, but not Caroline Small. She lingered, for five days, unconscious, in a hospital before she succumbed to her injuries. No family. No friends. No one came to see about Caroline Small. She died alone, in her hospital bed, with not a penny to her name.
This still is the United States of America folks! And no one, should be or go without in this country. Even if it’s a person who has proven otherwise in the nature and nurture business. That human being has a right to Life, Liberty, to be Happy, Secure, and I might add, to not be shot by police because of this, that, thus or so!
Caroline Small was rendered moot and faceless by the bullets of ‘expert marksman’. She never, ever got to tell her side of the story, BUT we should. We should speak for Caroline and all those who cannot speak for themselves.
And today I’m inviting you to do exactly that by add your name to this petition imploring Federal, State, and Local Authorities to Reopen this Case.
There is absolutely no reason why Caroline Small should not be alive, and getting well today. To this day! She should have a voice. Have the opportunity, as she said in 2005, “..to be productive … to give back to [my] community that for so long so freely has given to me.” What an amazing quote. From, what I believe, to have been an amazing person. A person that, when given the chance I believe, would have given back. Would have been a productive member of civil society. But we will never know for sure. But at the very least, maybe, just maybe, we can give Caroline’s daughter the chance to succeed. A chance to be that productive member of society that her mother wanted to be?
But we must act fast! Time is ticking away. The window of opportunity closes a little more every day for that little girl. Join me in helping her to pick up where her mother, unfortunately, left off in the area of productivity. Add your name to this petition today. Thank you!
— Rhett E. Column
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