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Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Police Killing of David Hooks

     David Hooks, a respected and successful businessman lived with Teresa, his wife of 25 years, in an upper-middle class neighborhood in East Dublin, Georgia. Hooks' construction company did a lot of work on area military bases such as Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. This meant that Hooks had passed background investigations conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and the ATF.

     On September 22, 2014, a meth-addled burglar named Rodney Garrett broke into Mr. Hooks' pickup truck. The burglar then stole the family's Lincoln Aviator SUV. The next day Garrett surrendered to deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff's Office.

     Perhaps to curry favor with the police, Rodney Garrett told deputies that in Mr. Hooks' pickup he came across a bag that he opened hoping to find cash. Instead he found 20 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale. Before searching Mr. Hooks' house for drugs, officers knew they would need more than the word of a meth-addicted burglar and car thief to get a judge to sign off on a warrant. In an effort to bolster this unreliable evidence a deputy sheriff told the issuing magistrate that in 2009 another snitch said he had supplied David Hooks with meth and that Mr. Hooks had resold it.

     The local magistrate, based on the word of a meth-using thief in trouble with the law, and the six-year-old word of another snitch in another case that had gone nowhere, issued a warrant to search 
David Hooks' residence for methamphetamine. By no stretch of the imagination was this warrant based upon sufficient probable cause.

     To execute the Hooks drug warrant, the sheriff, in typical drug enforcement overkill, deployed eight members of a SRT (Special Response Team) to raid the dwelling with officers armed with assault weapons and dressed in SWAT-like combat boots, helmets and flack-jackets.

     At eleven in the morning of September 24, 2014, just two days after Rodney Garrett broke into the Hooks pickup truck and stole their SUV, Teresa Hooks, while on the second-floor of her house, heard vehicles coming up the driveway. She looked out the window and saw several masked men with rifles advancing on the residence.

     Teresa Hooks ran downstairs into a first-floor bedroom where her husband was sleeping. She shook him up and screamed, "the burglars are back!" Mr. Hooks jumped out of bed, grabbed his shotgun and walked out of the bedroom as members of the raiding party broke down his back door and stormed into the house. In the course of the home intrusion officers fired eighteen shots. Mr. Hooks did not discharge his weapon. At some point in the raid he was shot twice and died on the spot.

     According to the official police version of the fatal shooting of this man in his own home, Mr. Hooks came to the door armed with a shotgun. Officers reported that they had broken into the dwelling after knocking and announcing their presence. When Mr. Hooks refused to lower his weapon the officers had no choice but to shoot him dead. 

     A 44-hour search of the Hooks residence by deputy sheriffs and officers with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation failed to produce drugs or any other evidence of crime.

     On October 2, 2014 the Hooks family attorney, Mitch Shook, told reporters that the police had forced their way into the house without knocking or announcing themselves to execute a search warrant based upon bogus informant information. The attorney said Mr. David Hooks had been a respected businessman who had never used or sold drugs. The police, according to Mr. Shook, had no business raiding this house and killing this decent man.

     Attorney Shook, on December 11, 2014, made a startling announcement: When the police shot Mr. Hooks in the back and in the back of the head, he was lying face-down on the floor. The attorney said he had asked the FBI to launch an investigation into the case.

     In July 2015, a Laurens County grand jury declined to indict any officers in the David Hooks killing. According to a crime lab toxicology report David Hooks at the time of his death had methamphetamine in his system.

     The FBI decided not to launch an investigation into this SWAT related shooting death.  

1 comment:

  1. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that the "crime lab" wrote a bogus report in order to protect some dirty cops.

    ReplyDelete