Grand Jury Recommends Lowndes County Deputies Buy Body Cameras

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-31 15:07:04-04

VALDOSTA, GA (WTXL) - The Grand Jury is recommending that the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office purchase body cameras for its deputies after making a decision in the death of a man who was shot and killed by a deputy.

Dexter Parnell Bethea was shot and killed by a Lowndes County Deputy on April 8, 2015 after he attempted to flee a drug bust set up by the department, according to court documents released by the Superior Court of Lowndes County.

The Jury ruled that because Bethea attempted to quickly flee in his vehicle in the direction of two officers, the officer that shot Bethea was justified in his use of deadly force.

The courts say in addition to recommending that the District Attorney close his investigation, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office and County Commissioners should buy body cameras for any deputy that deals with the public.

In the Jury's statement to the court they clarify, "While we understand that these cameras will not prevent incidences where a death or serious injury may occur they certainly can help show more clearly what occurred during the incident."

Southern Circuit District Attorney, J. David Miller, released a statement saying he agrees with the Grand Jury's findings.

Miller also said, "In light of certain cases which have attracted national and state attention, it will be the policy of our office going forward that we will present every case involving the death of an individual, in which law agent officers have a contributing role, to the local Grand Jury of our five counties."