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Azziz responds to investigation into GRU officers

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 1:30 PM
Last updated Wednesday, June 4, 2014 1:12 AM
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Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz says he will not tolerate conduct by university employees that has the potential to harm others, calling campus safety his highest priority in an e-mail to faculty, staffers and students Sunday.

GRU Public Safety Officer Martin shoots at car driven by Keith James (body camera)
GRU Public Safety Officer Martin tases Austin Brown (Taser camera)
GRU Public Safety Officer Martin tases Frederick Gibbons (Taser camera)
GRU Public Safety Officer Martin tases Frederick Gibbons (body camera)

The e-mail was made in response to an investigative story by The Augusta Chronicle about allegations of abuse of power by the university’s public safety department, particularly incidents involving GRU Public Safety Officer Wesley Martin.

Azziz, who sent the e-mail the day the story was published in The Chronicle, said he will work to ensure unbiased policing on the school’s campuses.

“I am also committed to ensuring that encounters involving our Public Safety officers are conducted with professionalism and fairness to everyone,” he said.

The Chronicle began its investigation after the July 11, 2013, acquittal of Fredrick Gib­bons, whom Martin repeatedly stunned during a traffic stop. During the trial, Martin admitted that he lied about his reason for stopping Gibbons when he filed his police report, when interviewed by the officer assigned to investigate Gibbons’ complaint against Martin and when he testified before the jury.

Since the trial, Martin has been involved in two incidents in which he has drawn and fired his .40-caliber Glock, most recently in an incident at University Village.

On Feb. 22, he fired 10 shots at GRU student Donte Stewart. In a GRU police report, Martin, who used his patrol car to block an entrance while officers responded to a noise complaint, said he shot at Stewart’s car because he believed the student was trying to hit him and his position prevented him from moving out of harm’s way.

Through use-of-force documents gathered by The Chronicle, it was learned that Martin had used his stun gun against 13 people in three years, more than twice as often as any other GRU officer.

“The February shooting at University Village was unfortunate for everyone involved, and while we are eager for its resolution, we must allow for the conclusion of official investigations and judicial processes before passing judgment on the student or the officer involved in the incident,” Azziz wrote.

Azziz wrote that regardless of the outcome, the university will continue to examine its policies and procedures to ensure a safe campus environment.

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Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 06/03/14 - 01:57 pm
15
1
Thanks to the Chronicle

Thanks to the Chronicle and commenters for FINALLY getting Azziz to exercise some leadership to protect his students and those near GRU. Shooting students in the head at loud music complaints does not go in the brochure to attract potential students.

One of the 5 categories medical students rate medical schools by is "environment and safety of the campus." MCG is rated dead last in the nation. Shooting students in the undergraduate school at loud parties does not make the med students feel safer.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 06/03/14 - 02:32 pm
10
1
Fired ten shots-its lucky

Fired ten shots-its lucky that collateral damage didn't kill a few students with that many bullets flying-that is purely irresponsible. The man need to be relieved of duty now

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 06/03/14 - 02:55 pm
8
1
I wonder if Martin is getting

I wonder if Martin is getting his resume together. I think this will be his "oh crap" moment.

nocnoc
42411
Points
nocnoc 06/03/14 - 03:16 pm
11
1
AZZZZZZZ Speaks

But we have all heard him make promises before.

BTW: We are in June 2014 and Badge holder Martin has serious DOCUMENTED problems for over 2 years ......

The only reason we are seeing any movement is the GRU Image and enrollment has been impacted by the Augusta Chronicle bringing this
to light in a Factual manner that MUST BE ADDRESSED.

The GA. Regents likely understand too many people including possible New Students know this Elephant is in the room and sticking its nose from under the carpet.

AFjoe
2878
Points
AFjoe 06/03/14 - 03:55 pm
6
1
Question?

Why is this loose cannon still on the payroll. Lawsuits are a coming.

Little Lamb
45818
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Little Lamb 06/03/14 - 04:08 pm
5
1
Tsk, Tsk

From Azziz’s e-mail:

. . . continue to diligently evaluate. . . .

Here he is the president of a major university and he splits his infinitives. Tsk, tsk.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 06/03/14 - 04:13 pm
6
2
13 times in three years isn't

13 times in three years isn't an overly excessive amount. My memory isn't perfect, but I thought last year they reported approximately 24 deployments in approximately 2 years; which would equal two per month.

I remember this because it stood out to me as being an incredible number. Now, if it's 13 in 3 years; that is not very excessive. I've been as critical of Martin as anyone, but this number doesn't shock me and seems pretty normal, being just over 4 per year.

Still, with his admitting to lying about his probable cause; he wouldn't be working for me!!

Fiat_Lux
15342
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/03/14 - 04:29 pm
5
1
Azizz has a very narrow definition of "potential to cause harm"

and absolutely does not include all the chaos and dislocation of long time faculty and staff that has resulted from the massive and poorly though-out changes he and his buds has forced upon the institution.

Again, the name change is the very least of it.

And Martin is just one example of the "Get on the bus or get left" idea that is resulting in a "act now, think later" kind of confusion.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 06/03/14 - 04:40 pm
3
3
Fiat they use to have great

Fiat they use to have great benefits there for faculty and staff in the 90's. Have they been gutted? Perhaps like Tedesco who offered the early retirement to reduce dead weight and made too sweet a deal, the public could offer to pay Azziz to retire and leave. Make him an offer he can't refuse. It sounds like the Mafia but that sort of stuff seems to work.

Little Lamb
45818
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Little Lamb 06/03/14 - 04:50 pm
3
1
. . . continue to diligently evaluate. . . .

Hey, the last time I visited this thread, they had Azziz’s entire e-mail in a sidebar. How else could I have lifted his juicy split infinitive and post it here?

Why did The Chronicle take the sidebar down?

Travis Highfield
224
Points
Travis Highfield 06/03/14 - 04:55 pm
2
0
Wasn't intentional, LL.

Not sure where it went. We'll get it back up shortly.

Bizkit
31244
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Bizkit 06/03/14 - 05:12 pm
3
3
We can email Azziz and

We can email Azziz and discuss our concerns-like seriously dude? Having family members as alumni ,perhaps like the billionaire Tom Steyer who bought influence, they can join funds and offer Azziz 100 million to GRU if he leaves. We can start a fund "The Buy Azziz Fund" that would conditionally offer millions over to GRU the next five years if he leaves. Watch the Board of Regents light up. I can be a community organizer to get this done-perhaps after that set my sites on President. LOL. i think everyone would agree that like Obama I came from a dysfunctional family and smoked some dope, I too appear to be educated but obviously I am a moron just like Obama-which I think must be a qualification, and finally I too can come up with idiot solutions to our problems with no basis in logic or fact. Bingo-Obama and Biz like peas and carrots. Hey we both had white mamas but unlike he I was actually raised by a black women-so I'm probably more black than Obama. LOL.

Riverman1
83470
Points
Riverman1 06/03/14 - 06:05 pm
4
1
To Boldy Go....

LL said, "Here he is the president of a major university and he splits his infinitives."

You can't find a modern grammar book or style guide that says you can't split infinitives. It's interesting how that idea came about. Henry Alford wrote a book in 1864, The Queen's English, where he proposed the idea since it is accurate in Latin. One of the former Chronicle staffers wrote a long piece in the old forums years ago explaining the fallacy that I always recall.

bclicious
718
Points
bclicious 06/03/14 - 07:33 pm
3
1
GRU / MCG Police Department is a joke...

I have been in law enforcement for over 10 years, I have 2 degrees in criminal law, and I am a 3 time veteran of OIF.

With all that said; one of best friends who is infinitely more qualified than I am, applied at GRU PD during the merger, and they gave him the run around for 3 months, only to give the jobs to lesser experienced and younger officers.

My point is; these guys wonder why they have so much of a problem, but they hire the absolute lowest quality officers they can find.

If you ask me; Major Ernest Black needs to retire. That would surely be a good step in the right direction.

Bizkit
31244
Points
Bizkit 06/03/14 - 08:38 pm
0
1
I trash my spelling and

I trash my spelling and English language daily. I now wear it proudly like a badge of honor because it reminds of SLRubenstein on Wikipedia. He was a prolific editor on the site and now has a page after his passing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Slrubenstein
He wrote very well but daily editing and communication was like in some strange shorthand of misspelled words. He was hilarious.
His family came up with this idea:
http://action.ajws.org/site/TR/Events/AmericanJewishWorldService?pxfid=4...
Wikipedia was a waste of time-find yourself arguing with a 13 year old, but there were several editors like SLRubenstein who made it worthwhile and are highly respected.

Little Lamb
45818
Points
Little Lamb 06/04/14 - 07:53 am
0
1
Split

Yeah, you are right, RM. Many grammarians accept the use of the split infinitive. Many, but not all. Sometimes it's good to remind people of past usage conventions. I just like to keep the language on a higher plane, and not get down in the gutter of the unwashed.

Actually, this morning I am among the unwashed. I haven't taken my bath yet.

nocnoc
42411
Points
nocnoc 06/04/14 - 08:18 am
2
1
Gramma vs Blogging

I literally write what I speak.
I use Dragon Naturally Speaking a lot (VOICE TO TEXT) .

An yes, I need to train it better.

my.voice
4801
Points
my.voice 06/04/14 - 08:18 am
1
1
Time for this cat to split.

Time for this cat to split.

avidreader
3166
Points
avidreader 06/04/14 - 08:20 am
3
0
A Travesty!

Below is a commentary that I posted on July 10, 2013. Some of you may remember it, concerning the Frederick Gibbons trial. As a follow up, Mr. Gibbons eventually did file for civil litigation.

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. Mr. Gibbons stood up for himself at the risk of a serious blow to his life if he lost his case. Thank God he hooked up with Victor Hawk.

Mrs. Gibbons had to leave the courtroom after the verdict was announced. I have never been so happy to see a woman cry so deeply.

As fedex comments, I'm sure a petition for litigation will be filed immediately, and I must say, sometimes it is deserved -- and this is one of those times.

Sweet son
10323
Points
Sweet son 06/04/14 - 01:57 pm
0
0
Azziz says he will wait for the investigation to run it's

course. Somehow it will end with Martin getting off scot free but if with the unlikely chance it shows brother Martin is at fault it will be interesting to see if the good Doc sees fit to fire him.

I don't know who it would be but some consultant needs to look at that department from top to bottom. And I don't just mean policies and procedures. Position by position should be evaluated and recommendations for firings or at least probationary status should be mandated for those who have history. Those at the top need to be first.

The saga continues!

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/04/14 - 10:46 pm
1
0
Amazing

Amazing this Martin guy has continued as long as he has.

jack2006
95
Points
jack2006 06/05/14 - 06:05 pm
0
0
Nothing good is happening there!

Once the most respectable place in Augusta, now the most distrustful talked about place in Augusta.

Just wondering what name will they change to next?

Martin has done more damage than good for that institution. Soon, he will start costing GRU future financial gains in so many areas of their business.

As long as he is allowed to patrol the streets like Richmond County Deputies, I guess you could say that part of town you should definitely stay away from due to unnecessary police harassment.

We could only imagine how many students aren’t returning and transferring to other places because of him. Yes, Safety First but not harassment, getting shot at, or the possibility of getting shot without being questioned first.

No parent should have to worry about sending their kids to any higher education institution and having to worry about the possibility of them getting shot by the Public Safety. Young adults will do stupid things in their first years of college but it doesn’t constitute that they need to be trial, be judged without due process, and be executed on sight by any Public Safety Officer.

Yes, I really do think that their policies need some adjustments.

Until then, drive at your own risk surrounding GRU because the would-be Barney Fife will stop you.

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