Georgia Family Outraged After Police Shoot 34-Year-Old Homeless Man In The Head
Nicholas Bolton was unarmed when officers opened fire, and now he is fighting for his life.
A Georgia man is fighting for his life after a police officer shot him in the head on June 30 following a brief car chase, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Like what you're reading?
Get more in your inbox.
Nicholas Bolton, a 34-year-old homeless man, was sleeping in his car in a parking lot behind a T-Mobile store in suburban Atlanta when police officers approached him. When they knocked on his window at around 2:30 a.m., he moved to the front seat.
They asked him to exit the vehicle and show ID because they said he was loitering, but he started his engine and sped off, leading to a short car chase.
Two separate police vehicles chased after Bolton and eventually forced his car to spin out. The two cars boxed Bolton in, and bodycam footage obtained by NBC showed an officer exiting his vehicle and firing one shot into the windshield.
The shot hit Bolton in the head, and officers can be heard immediately calling for emergency services.
Bolton is now fighting for his life at Atlanta Medical Center, and his family is questioning why officers decided to open fire despite the fact that he was unarmed.
“They could have taken him into custody. Instead, they delivered an injury that may cost him his life,” said Bolton family attorney Tanya Miller.
“You saw that the officers had guns drawn from all angles, and clearly Nicholas was boxed in with no place to go," Miller continued. "Rather than take him into custody, shooting to kill was apparently easier, with the limp excuse that he was trying to hurt them. The police video speaks for itself.”
On July 3, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office released a statement calling the officer's action's “necessary and justified.”
The officer who fired the shot, Deputy John Collins, is on leave. None of the other three officers at the scene have been reprimanded. Collins has only been on the force for 16 months, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now looking into the case.
Bolton's father and brother told Atlanta's Channel 11 that the video alone evidences that the shooting was unnecessary.
"It was not justified, because my son, he was sleep in the car. He was not bothering anybody, he was minding his own business," Irwin Bolton Sr. said.
"It shows that he was in fear for his life. You could see it in his face," Bolton Sr. continued. "He wasn’t aware of what was going on. He was just coming out of his sleep.”
“He’s always been a loyal, hardworking person ... He had just hit hard times, and that’s where we got to this point,” Irwin Bolton Jr. said. "He's clinging to his life. The doctors and the nurses are giving him the best care as they possibly can."