Sheriff defends deputies

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Video from Sheriff Ronnie Strength's press conference on the Cherry Tree Crossing shooting.

Two Richmond County deputies appear justified in shooting a man who tried to run one of them over Sunday at Cherry Tree Crossing, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Monday. But the incident is still under investigation by internal affairs and the GBI, he said.

"I know last night while we were out, there were many, many, many rumors circulating throughout the county on exactly what took place, but we want everybody to wait until the investigation is completed and to definitely wait until the video is seen by the public, and they will understand the actions of our officers," Sheriff Strength said.

According to the tape, it appears the deputies, Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge, were defending themselves, he said. Neither has been involved in an officer-related shooting in the past. Both have been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

The deputies were responding to a tip about a man with drugs and weapons in an SUV when they boxed in Justin Leonard Elmore, 23, using their patrol cars, Sheriff Strength said. As Deputy Ortiz approached from the front on foot, Mr. Elmore put his SUV in reverse, rammed Deputy Hodge's car and drove toward Deputy Ortiz.

Sheriff Strength later confirmed that Deputy Ortiz fired at Mr. Elmore but was unsure whether Deputy Hodge did, too. He didn't know how many shots had been fired.

Mr. Elmore was in critical condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital late Monday.

"We don't dictate shooting our weapons," Sheriff Strength said. "The bad guys dictate when we shoot our weapons."

The SUV will be searched once the GBI obtains a search warrant, he said, adding that drugs and ammunition can be seen inside.

An angry crowd at Cherry Tree Crossing grew to a few hundred people, and 40 to 50 deputies responded to control the scene, where trash bins and a car were set ablaze, bottles and rocks were thrown at deputies and firefighters and gunshots were fired throughout the night, the sheriff said. Eight extra deputies have been assigned to that area as security.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

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ONLY THE TRUTH
2
Points
ONLY THE TRUTH 12/16/08 - 04:17 am
0
0
Let it be known---U break the

Let it be known---U break the law you might get shot!! Maybe about 20 more of these by the end of the year and we might feel safe in the streets again!!!!

ONLY THE TRUTH
2
Points
ONLY THE TRUTH 12/16/08 - 04:27 am
0
0
The victim here is the

The victim here is the law-abiding citizens paying for his state-of-the-art healthcare trying to save this felon's life. If we are lucky he won't live to spawn more of his kind!!

Blynnk
0
Points
Blynnk 12/16/08 - 04:31 am
0
0
One lady told News6 that

One lady told News6 that "ain't nobody trying to kill the police..." Well, if that's so, why is it that hoodlums fired on Deputies who were patroling the area last night, striking at least one patrol car? Yeah, they're just all innocent, good people. The innocent good people are locked in their apartments in Cherry Tree while the no good thugs roam the streets and continue to start more chaos!

Timco1949
0
Points
Timco1949 12/16/08 - 04:45 am
0
0
it looks like a good shoot

it looks like a good shoot

SMHwhatamessthisis
0
Points
SMHwhatamessthisis 12/16/08 - 05:38 am
0
0
I HEARD this is not what

I HEARD this is not what really happen but if he tried to get away why shoot the man you had enough room to move.why shoot?.they wanted to shoot that's why..where is the tape where your Deputys shot lee johnson?ya'll said he did the same thing as this boy elmore but yet lee johnson tape got missing how odd that is he has a big lawsuit on ya'll and thats good you just can't shoot people when you feel like it..he uphold his offers in anything they do wrong are right.police have no right shooting ppl unless someone fire on them.i think guns should be taking away from all officers and people.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/16/08 - 06:14 am
0
0
SMH, who be lee johnson and

SMH, who be lee johnson and why he uphold his offers and what dat mean and what has this brilliant monologue got to do with the incident at Cherry Tree. I think many of the "residents" think on a similar vein as you and when they see the police, they panic. Especially if their supplier is getting busted.

dasgaslo
0
Points
dasgaslo 12/16/08 - 06:31 am
0
0
SMH, you are an IDIOT

SMH, you are an IDIOT

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 12/16/08 - 06:31 am
0
0
SMHwhatamessthisis, what you

SMHwhatamessthisis, what you heard is obviously inaccurate and what you think is merely your opinion but it also is inaccurate and does not follow the training these officers receive or the laws of the land in which you live. If he tried to get away by raming patrol cars and driving towards police, why shoot? They shoot because it is their sworn duty to STOP the suspect by all means necessary the end the situation at that time. You really would rather he be allowed to simply drive off, get into a police chase and futher endager the lives of the deputies and other citizens? They REACTED appropriately to HIS ILLEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST THEM. These officers certainly don't just "feel like shooting people" because in all of their tenure they have never been forced to fire their weapons as they were the other day. Poilice are certainly to shoot at vehicles raming them or coming towards them because the suspects are making their vehicles weapons and that is what they are trained and instructed to do...moral of the story, stop when you see the blue lights and don't ram the poilice cars no matter who you are or what your race is. These officers are lucky to be alive and deserve praise.

rcac6472
0
Points
rcac6472 12/16/08 - 07:01 am
0
0
It's amazimg how this story

It's amazimg how this story turned from a Black/White thing to a Cop/Thug thing once the officers were identified.One of the many dutuies for an officer is to take out the trash and thats exactly what they did.Does'nt matter if he was Black or White or whatever HE is/was a burden to society,criminal spending his time breaking the law instead of working a LEGAL job for a living and thats the price you pay when you live that lifestyle.

wcr250
50
Points
wcr250 12/16/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
Anyone with illegial drugs

Anyone with illegial drugs should be shot
He is a liberal and he should be shot for that also

spdermn78
4
Points
spdermn78 12/16/08 - 07:23 am
0
0
SMH you are remedial. STOP

SMH you are remedial. STOP LISTENING TO "STREET LAWYERS". You heard? Its ignorance like that which is making our people are acting like striaght fools. Setting fire to the projects, fighting law enforcement and killing each other over words and dope. To live in public housing is a "Privelage" not a right. No light bill, no water bill, $25.00 a month rent all on the taxpayer hard earn dollars. I bet a case of beer that if 75% of the projects were forced to get jobs to pay their light, water, gas bills and rent; there would be NO CRIME. They would be too tired (like the rest of hard working Augustans) after a long days work and getting the kids to bed to even argue, not along shoot and burn up the neighborhood!!

justus4
99
Points
justus4 12/16/08 - 07:40 am
0
0
The black cops had better dig
Unpublished

The black cops had better dig in, because their belief in the support from the top, may be challenged. Of course the public will wait for the investigation to be completed, before passing judgement on the officers. (wink, nod, wink) But the verdict for the brotha has been carried out; a death sentence. And the cops will probably be awarded for valor, while the local society continues to crumble. And the violence continues...

Bored in GA
2
Points
Bored in GA 12/16/08 - 07:42 am
0
0
Thank you RCSD, Take out

Thank you RCSD, Take out more, but let him live God to remain in one of our jails!

spdermn78
4
Points
spdermn78 12/16/08 - 07:48 am
0
0
Justus4 both deputies were

Justus4 both deputies were minorities, working in a neighborhood inhabitated my minorities. Dont strart with you hidden clansman rants now. You are not allowed to say brotha. By the way, What do you do for a living?? Take a day off this week Justus4 and do a ride-a-long with a deputy.. riding an easy beat, say Hephzibah or the hill area. Oh and bring a clear pair undies.. I bet you will need them... Idiot!!!

str8truth
0
Points
str8truth 12/16/08 - 07:55 am
0
0
The only problem I have with

The only problem I have with this incident was the aftermath. Why were the deputies standing there letting these thugs throw bottles and rocks at them? Most of the people throwing objects don't even live in Cherry Tree. There were enough deputies there to take control of the bottle throwers. All the deputies had to do is make a few examples and the rest of these thugs would have fell in place. Excellant interview Sheriff, don't let a certain news reporter compare this to past incidents and "muddy" up your deputies.

Fiat_Lux
15040
Points
Fiat_Lux 12/16/08 - 08:03 am
0
0
Reading comments from people

Reading comments from people like JUSTUS4 and SMH is so enlightening. I used to believe that 'equal access' and all the other legislated social engineering on behalf of minorities, especially black Americans, had made a difference in their lives. But here we have these two who don't seem to believe anything has changed at all. With their incredible, relentless (Justus4's) paranoia and obvious hatred of whites, they sound exactly like nazis talking about Jews. It just makes me wonder how representative of all African-Americans they actually are. Very scary thought, especially in light of the recent mob lunacy in Cherry Tree Crossing.

spdermn78
4
Points
spdermn78 12/16/08 - 08:07 am
0
0
I bet Justus4us and SMH were

I bet Justus4us and SMH were offering free car rides from anywhere in Augusta to Cherrytree the other night. LOL.. They had a hot dog and hot cocoa stand set up to keep everybody energized to act a fool!!

bree026
0
Points
bree026 12/16/08 - 08:11 am
0
0
In reponse to spdermn78

In reponse to spdermn78 comment... good morning... i agree with you 100% that some of these people were acting like straight fools during the shooting in cherrytree crossing... but there are still some good people who lives in area, like me... i have never been in trouble with law, i do not have a criminal history background, i have a high school diploma, i am working as a phlebotomist in a local hospital, and i am full-time nursing(RN) student in college, with a 3.5 gpa, i don't have any childrens... i only live in cherrytree crossing because my mother died from kidney failure, and i was allowed to keep her apartment and finish school, before my mother took sick, she was a hard working mother, who did the best she could for her children.. you are right, there are some people who lives in this project with a slap on hand.. but not me.. i pay $382.00 monthly for rent, 1 bedroom, no food stamps, so i have to buy my own food with my hard earn money... maybe if i sit at home, with no job, maybe i could have cheaper rent, but guess what, that's not the way mother raised me..... please do not think everyone is a low life thug because they live in projects, good bless.......

lady30906
0
Points
lady30906 12/16/08 - 08:17 am
0
0
every individual that was

every individual that was involved in the rioting should be evicted from this public housing area. We the tax payers are funding their ability to live there. Clean that place out, matter of fact,they oughta shut that place down. The decent people that live there will find another place to live, People wonder why "blacks" have a stigma attached to them......this is a prime example. Quit acting like a bunch of idiots and maybe the stereotype will lessen. The police had no choice but to defend themselves, vehicles are death machines when operated by scumbags. I second the opinion that "ole boy" was probably pretty popular in that hood and people were [filtered word] their main supplier was gettin popped. Pathetic!

rcac6472
0
Points
rcac6472 12/16/08 - 08:19 am
0
0
Justus,If it had been a White

Justus,If it had been a White boy who got shot would you be as defendant as you are now?The bottom line is He broke the law by not cooperating then tried to use the SUV as a weapon,THEN as they are trained to do they took approiate action.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/16/08 - 08:22 am
0
0
Hmmmmm looks for the Black

Hmmmmm looks for the Black Panthers.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 12/16/08 - 08:24 am
0
0
SMH, what in the hell are you

SMH, what in the hell are you talking about? No sane member of Law Enforcement wish to shoot anyone. Some times the suspect forces you to use deadly force. I grew up in what was the called SunSet Homes. We had pride in or neighborhood and did not allow it to be over ran by thugs. As a member of the Law Enforcement Community I know that it took great restraint not to engage the MOB that temporarily took over. The vast majority of Resident are good and decent law abiding citizens. The small group that allow these types to fester because they occasionally give them money, or buy their children toys are the problem. You do not have a RIGHT to public housing. It is a privilege that is afforded you. When you participate in the kind of criminal activity that took place there, IMHO you forfeited any assistance that where granted you. You should be charged and immediately evicted for housing and not eligible to apply for a prolonged period of time if ever.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 12/16/08 - 08:27 am
0
0
Thank you Ronnie

Thank you Ronnie Strength...:-) Standing up for your men is the right and proper conduct...Once again you have proven yourself to be an upstanding man to work for...

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 12/16/08 - 08:33 am
0
0
" That Black cop better dig

" That Black cop better dig in"? What does that mean? As a member that just so happen to be " Black " any attempt to make this about race is sickening. As far as the New, Old, Retired Black Panther is concerned, you need to pick your battle more wisely. Nothing that I have heard or seen has given me the impression that these officers over reacted nor did they do anything that any other officer would not have done, given the particular circumstances. When people commit crimes because they feel that they were unjustly treated, they tent to cause any one that were willing to listen to turn a deaf ear towards them. The are legal remedies that one can take to address these situation but at no time is rioting a solution.

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 12/16/08 - 08:35 am
0
0
 SMHwhatamessthisis ...how do

 SMHwhatamessthisis ...how do people like you function..what would you think if the deputies let him go & in his hurry to escape he ran over your child or mother & killed them? God do you even have a brain? Can you just try for moment of thinking about your kid ran over bleeding in the streets because deputies let him go??

usnvet
0
Points
usnvet 12/16/08 - 08:38 am
0
0
That's right Ronnie, stand up

That's right Ronnie, stand up for your tyrants. Police have no business shooting citizens. If we let these tyrants play the "officer safety" card to shoot our citizens for bumping a police car, then we are not a free country. We are a police state!!! Maybe Ronnie needs an Iraqi to throw some shoes at his head to wake his a** up!!

MrsD
0
Points
MrsD 12/16/08 - 08:39 am
0
0
justus4--Are you serious? You

justus4--Are you serious? You do the crime & get caught -- be ready to face the consequences! He was a career criminal that had been arrested NUMEROUS times -- this time HE made the wrong move... I'd like to see how you'd react if someone attempted to run you over with a car! The officers were warranted in their actions. PERIOD.

Here's an idea--If you don't like the cops? Well, next time YOU'RE in trouble, call a CRACKHEAD! I personally support our law enforcement 100%!!!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7337
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 12/16/08 - 08:41 am
0
0
Bree you have my respect for

Bree you have my respect for trying to better yourself and stand on your own two feet, but, to keep it you should report all the participants that you KNOW were breaking the law that night and any other time that are STAYING there! If you don't you're enabling the rest of them!

politicallyNcorrect1
0
Points
politicallyNcorrect1 12/16/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
usnvet...You to,,,what if the

usnvet...You to,,,what if the thug killed your child,,what would you do? Come on answer me. Your child dies because a thug was running from the police?

christian134
1
Points
christian134 12/16/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
Now now usnvet if the time

Now now usnvet if the time ever happened that your little person mentality ever needed help I feel certain the local garbage people, mail persons or even the water meter reader will be jumping up and down to come to your aid...Think about it before you speak with what appears to be a mentally challenged statement....

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