The jury in the trial of a Georgia police officer charged with fatally shooting a naked, unarmed black man has yet to reach a verdict, one week after it received the case.
Jurors went home Friday afternoon without issuing a decision on the charges against former DeKalb County police officer Robert “Chip” Olsen. Judge Latisha Dear-Jackson had indicated an early release because one of the jurors had travel commitments this weekend.
“You cannot talk about the case unless all twelve of you are all together,” she reminded the jurors.
Deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Monday.
Olsen is accused of killing 26-year-old Air Force veteran Anthony Hill in March 2015. Hill was naked and unarmed at the time, and trial testimony indicated Hill struggled with mental illness.
Olsen faces two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, violation of oath of office and making a false statement.
On the day Hill was shot, someone in his neighborhood called police to report a man “acting deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked,” then-DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said after the shooting.
Olsen was dispatched and “when (Hill) saw the officer he charged, running at the officer. The officer called him to stop while stepping backwards, drew his weapon and fired two shots,” Alexander said.
Hill had a history of mental illness and struggled to get the support he needed from the Department of Veterans Affairs, his girlfriend, Bridget Anderson, previously said. She said he stopped taking his medication shortly before his death.
During closing arguments, the prosecution claimed Olsen did not follow protocol for using force. Assistant District Attorney Lance Cross said he could have used a baton.
Defense attorney Amanda Clark Palmer put her hands on Olsen’s shoulder and said he’s “a good cop who had to make a tough decision.”
“Chip Olsen is not a murderer and is not guilty of any count in this indictment,” she said.
Olsen had no history of violence, and he never faced accusations of using excessive force during his time with the department, the defense said.
Witnesses said Olsen asked Hill several times to stop as he ran toward him and that Hill slowed down just before Olsen pulled the trigger.