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Defendant testifies in Taser case; jury to begin deliberations

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 11:45 PM
Last updated Thursday, July 11, 2013 12:34 AM
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Fredrick Gibbons had already had one bad experience with Georgia Regents University police officers when he was stopped on Wrightsboro Road about 3 a.m. March 1, 2012, and saw GRU Officer Wesley Martin in the patrol car behind him, Gibbons testified Wednesday.

Gibbons rolled his car window up so that there would just be room to pass through his license and any other documents the officer wanted and he called the Richmond County sheriff’s dispatcher in hopes of having a witness to any
exchange with Martin, Gibbons said.

Martin, Gibbons told the jury, ran up to his car yelling “open the door” and immediately stuck his hand through the window and began shocking him with a Taser. The first jolt threw him back onto the car seat and he dropped his phone.

It happened so fast that Gibbons wasn’t even able to give the dispatcher his name and location, he testified. By the time he regained control of his limbs, other GRU officers had arrived at the scene and were beating on the car window, Gibbons testified. Between the screaming and the pounding, he didn’t know if they heard him say he was opening the door. As soon as he did, Gibbons testified he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed.

Gibbons was indicted on a felony charge of obstruction of an officer for allegedly causing Martin harm. Martin testified Gibbons rolled the window up, trapping his hand and that caused him to shock himself with the Taser.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury will deliberate the case Thursday.

Gibbons filed complaints against GRU officers after an October 2010 traffic stop and the March 1, 2012, stop. Each time, Martin had stopped Gibbons for driving with a car dealer’s paper tag. However, driving on a dealer’s paper tag is legal.

GRU Officer Kim Turner testified Wednesday that she investigated both internal affairs complaints involving Martin. She testified she found no reason for any disciplinary action against Martin for either incident.

But Turner agreed with the defense attorney that Martin violated the department policy to warn a person that the officer would resort to using the Taser before using it.

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JRC2024
8105
Points
JRC2024 07/11/13 - 09:08 am
9
1
I would think that the

I would think that the Medical College police force would be there to handle crimes or problems on the campus streets and not traffic issues on a main street. Leave that up to Richmond County. Sounds to me like the officer had a history with the driver and is overstepping what he is supposed to do.

avidreader
3019
Points
avidreader 07/11/13 - 02:25 pm
8
1
to JRC

You are correct! I was a member of the jury. Mr. Gibbons was acquitted today at 12:30. Victor Hawk, the defense attorney, referred to Officer Martin as a "Rogue Cop". He nailed it. This was not a boring trial. The prosecuting DA was blindsided by his own desperate witnesses. I felt bad for him; he had nothing to work with. Two of his witnesses committed blatant perjury. Victor Hawk is a dynamic defender. I was amazed by his preparation and his skill as an orator.

I walked away today with a different perspective on life.

Little Lamb
44083
Points
Little Lamb 07/11/13 - 02:32 pm
3
0
Juror

Thank you for your service, AvidReader. This story as printed in yesterday's edition was hard to follow. This story here is much clearer (but it could stand to be more complete than it is).

I hope there is disciplinary action for Martin.

Even yesterday, I was wondering what led the District Attorney to decide to prosecute such a weak case with such an unsympathetic victim (i.e., Martin).

avidreader
3019
Points
avidreader 07/11/13 - 02:43 pm
5
1
to LL

I was also perplexed that a Grand Jury signed off on this indictment. A felony conviction would have ruined Mr. Gibbon's life. Thank God he hooked up with Victor Hawk.

I have never felt so happy to see a woman cry as I did when Gibbon's wife heard the verdict.

nocnoc
38852
Points
nocnoc 07/11/13 - 04:54 pm
6
0
OK the DA goes after a motorist that was shocked to hell

by a vindictive MCG Safety Officer doing traffic stop off of MCG property.

But still has failed to bring to trial 2 ARC commissioners and a Contractor for gifts and bribes?

An what about the female PDA that has that ring problem?

Will the perjury allegation be looked into or will they get a pass also?

Wondering out loud if the DA remembers the equal justice prosecution clause?

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 07/11/13 - 06:40 pm
4
0
Answers:

Contractors- No.

PDA- No.

Perjury -especially to the benefit of cops - No.

Equal justice prosecution- No.

Why did the grand jury sign off on this bull? "The DA can get an indictment on a ham sandwich," is a stereotype, and all stereotypes spring from experiences, regardless of who is offended by them.

Riverman1
79841
Points
Riverman1 07/11/13 - 07:14 pm
8
0
Grand Jury

We need more citizens on grand juries who are not afraid to think and act independently. From what Avid Reader says, the wrong person was on trial. I've said this before, but if they put me on a grand jury, I'll ask the DA to leave the room if something like this comes up. I'd rather call the witnesses and ask the questions in a situation like this. The grand jury has tremendous power if they don't allow the DA to steer.

seenitB4
81914
Points
seenitB4 07/12/13 - 08:44 am
2
0
Victor Hawk

He is the lawyer I would choose if needed....something else isn't he :):)

citygirl
16
Points
citygirl 07/12/13 - 03:18 pm
1
0
It appears that GRU/MCG

It appears that GRU/MCG officers like to patrol 15th street.
Everyday I see them using their speed guns and pulling drivers over. I agree, they should stick to patrolling their campus and not main roads. Beware of the 'white eels'.

donna658
50
Points
donna658 07/13/13 - 02:25 pm
0
1
The DA should be ashamed of

The DA should be ashamed of themselves. How much did this frivolous prosecution cost Mr. Gibbons? How much did it cost the county? Mr. Gibbons should sue the county, MCG and the officer and he should be well paid for his inconvenience. The officer should be fired and prosecuted for perjury. My sympathy is entirely with Mr. Gibbons, the officer is an extremely rotten apple and should be canned and vilified. Disgusting.

the white eels
3
Points
the white eels 07/14/13 - 01:08 pm
1
0
I believe the Officers of GRU

I believe the Officers of GRU do a wonderful job. Everyone is human and everyone has their flaws. GRU officer's shouldn't run traffic on Richmond county streets? For those who don't know the streets run through the GRU campus. Officer's focus on traffic to deter crime coming, and leaving the campus. Also focusing on traffic like speeders, with their "Speed Guns" help prevent struck pedestrians, traffic crashes, and fatalities on the roadways. If you are unaware GRU and GRMC have alot of pedestrian traffic that cross the "Richmond County Roadway". Slowing cars down help reduce the number of accidents on the roadways. RCSO cant be everywhere all the time to do traffic and that is why GRU officer's assist with traffic. Until you put on the uniform and try to preform the duties that the officers face everyday keep your ignorant comments to yourself. Keep up the good work Georgia Regents Police Department. Goooo White Eels!!!

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