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Justice for David Hooks

Plaintiff
David Hooks was shot to death by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office (LSCO) on September 24th 2014 during a no knock drug raid. The LSCO was looking for drugs on the property and found none. David was shot four times, two of which happened after he was already facedown.

Background:

Mr. Hooks was a successful construction company owner who owns his own property and businesses and was vetted to do construction work on high security military bases. A reportedly known meth head stole a vehicle and some hunting rifles from Mr. Hooks on Monday. Mr. Hooks knew who the guy was and called him. Said "If you don't return my truck, I'm going to kill you."

The individual decides to turn himself into the LSCO because he “fears for his safety. A bag of methamphetamine is found in the truck and the known drug user says "Oh, that's not mine, it must've been in the truck already."

LCSO requests a regular warrant to investigate Mr. Hooks. LSCO receives a regular Knock and Serve paper (Not a NO KNOCK warrant) to investigate the claim that the drugs found in the truck were Mr. Hooks.

Estimated 17 members of Laurens County Sherrif's office drive up to Mr. Hooks yard after 11pm only two days after his house was robbed. There were no lights, no announcements, and they were wearing black masks.

Mr Hooks grabs his (unloaded) shotgun because his wife is freaking out and they both assume the robbers are coming back. Before he even gets to the door, he is shot in the back through a window and they shoot their weapons 17 times.

They handcuff the wife while her husband is dying on the floor and don't allow her to go to the hospital.

They search his house top to bottom for 48 hours and do NOT find a single piece of contraband, Mr. Hooks son lives within walking distance. When he heard the commotion and walked to the house they handcuffed him as well. Since the incident there has not been one single word from the LCSO about the event. No suspensions or justification.

I am seeking justice for David Hooks and asking for governmental regulation on the militarization of the police.
vs.
Sheriff - Ricky W. Chastain

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    • [-][+]My resolution
    • 12 Points
    • 4 years ago
    Shaneisha W. (Neutral)
    From the information provided, and the information available online, what you are seeking, may be possible. Because of the inconsistencies and problematic practices with an abundance of a lack of communication, it appears that it is not only the people who are seeing issues with how things occurred that night. As of last month, Chuck Spahos, the Executive Director for the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia, has been named as the special prosecuting attorney for this case; therefore, what you are seeking for Mr. Hooks and his family may actually come into existence. In addition to you seeking for the governmental regulation on the militarization of the police, that may be in the works, as with the many unjustified killings of civilians, and the the unjustified use of force by many officers now being captured and shared on social media, the people are getting tired of today's current situation, and this may come to pass in the near future. The best thing to do right now is to keep growing the knowledge base for for this case, in addition to growing the support for issues like this and similar to show lawmakers that a change is not only needed, but demanded.
      • [-][+]My resolution
      • 4 years ago
      Brian W. (Neutral)
      First, we need to acknowledge the tragic death of David Hooks and the pain his family is experiencing. And sadly, no resolution to this issue will bring him back or undo the past. There seem to be a number of issues at play in this trial that need to be addressed to resolve the situation. The Hooks family would like answers as to why the events unfolded the way they did on September 24 and would like someone held accountable for his death. The community wants to be safe and also wants to have a voice in how they are policed – for example, the “militarization” of the police. The police need to be able to protect the community and each other from harm and want to see criminals off the streets.
      I’m going to make a few assumptions here. I assume that David Hooks was innocent (at the time of his death, he had not been convicted of a crime and no subsequent investigation has produced evidence of criminal behavior). I assume that when Mr. Hooks grabbed his shotgun, he did so to protect himself, his wife and his home from illegal invasion by would-be thieves and that he had no intention of harming any police officers that night. I assume that when the officers opened fire, they did so believing that Mr. Hooks posed an immediate and lethal threat to the officers and by extension to the community at large. I assume that the officers (including the one who fired the fatal shot) had no intention of killing an innocent man who meant them no harm and who was only trying to protect himself, his wife and their home from illegal invasion by burglars. Even if vindicated though an investigation, I assume no officer takes pride in killing a man who meant him/her no harm. I assume that police department desires a good relationship with the law-abiding citizens of Laurens County. I assume the people of Laurens County want to be safe in their homes both from criminals and improper use of police force. I assume that judges and the bar want warrants issued and served in a way that does not unnecessarily place innocent people at risk. Lastly, I assume the Hooks family, the Laurens County Sherriff’s Office, the local court system and the community as a whole, would like to see steps taken so this type of event does not happen again to another family.
      I think an investigation is warranted here. That said, I think the results of an investigation will ultimately be unsatisfying to one or more of the parties involved – and perhaps unsatisfying to all. Investigations in these matters tend to focus on how individuals’ behavior comported with rules and policies, and often deference is given to the police, particularly when encountering an armed suspect. So, while the results of an investigation may help explain the past and punish wrongdoers, I imagine it will do little to address the questions of how things will operate moving forward. Because of these complexities, I do not think there is so much a single “solution” that can be offered, but rather I suggest a process that will lead the parties to their own solution: something that looks like “Restorative Justice” (RJ).
      Restorative Justice is a process that lets victims, wrongdoers and the community come together to repair harm while satisfying each’s concept of justice (Macfarlane, 2003). There does have to be sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge – so if an investigation into this event did not produce such evidence, then the process would be called something else, but would still “look” similar. This would require the services of someone trained in restorative justice – Georgia State University has a resource center (http://rjclearinghouse.org/). A process like RJ not only looks to correct sins of the past – to the extent possible – but also to identify restorative outcomes going forward. It engages not just victim and offender but also broader community involvement. While RJ is not an “answer” per se, it is the process that I think will best “resolve” the awful tragedy of David Hook’s death.
        • [-][+]My resolution
        • 4 years ago
        Tom M. (Advocate for Plaintiff)
        Just as a minor correction, David Hooks was only hit three times, though more than 20 rounds were fired. I've read the Medical Examiner's report. I have sketches of the bullet hole locations in the home. It was a shooting gallery. This was an ill-conceived, ill-executed Search Warrant. To make things even more egregious, the LSCO has not issued a statement other than "We do not comment on open investigations". We'll never know the truth, because the only witnesses are cops. The wife was hiding in a closet. Her story is another example of what morons these folks are. They cuffed Ms. Hooks to a chair and left her sitting there, in her nightclothes, without even the OFFER of a blanket. The only PROPER resolution to this is for every officer involved, including the Sheriff, to step down. David Hooks' death was totally avoidable.
          • [-][+]My resolution
          • 4 years ago
          Gwmac (Advocate for Plaintiff)
          My thoughts as a Georgia Watchdog advocate – I have written several articles about this on my website. I run a Georgia Watchdog blog that examines corruption, abuse of power, and police fatalities like this case. Visit gwmac.com and type in David Hooks on the site search to see several articles. This was a long series of egregious errors. At any point it should have been stopped.
          Mistake #1. The magistrate should have never issued any warrant whatsoever.
          Mistake #2 The LCSO should have served a warrant in the day and if they chose to do it at night turn on their sirens and lights and identify themselves and simply knock on the door. Or simply announce from a loudspeaker outside to open the front door and come out with hands raised.
          Mistake #3 They should not have used rear entrance. They should have identified themselves clearly. Everyone is going to assume your house is being burglarized under those conditions.
          Mistake #4 David Hooks had no prior record. That alone should have made them cautious and use a traditional daylight and knock on the door with identification . The fact that the guy that robbed David Hooks shortly before was the tipster raised no red flags at all for the LCSO which suggests they are morons, eager to seize assets from a drug raid as $$$ dance in their heads, or they are simply incompetent. My guess is all of the above.

          As far as a resolution, it is clear that many people are at fault. The magistrate that signed the warrant, Deputy Chris Brewer that asked for the warrant and seems to have been the lead, the Sheriff who was also informed and possibly there at the time of the shooting, the people who actually fired, and indeed the whole LCSO who all failed to stand up and simply ask" shouldn't we slow down and make sure this guy is a drug dealer." Many were involved and many were at fault and charges need to brought up on everyone who actively had a duty and an obligation to not allow the murder of an innocent citizen to take place. Additionally the entire department needs retraining and new rules in place to prevent this from happening again. This is clearly a lot of incompetent and over-eager cowboys with hair-trigger responses and low IQ's.
            • [-][+]My resolution
            • 13 Points
            • 4 years ago
            Jim W. (Advocate for Plaintiff)
            Per the description above, this is outrageous. Absolutely Yes to the call for a thorough investigation of the incident. Yes to criminal charges and legal proceedings if warranted.

            Beyond this, the fact that this county sheriff''s office and other police departments recently in the news are able to carry out military-style raids suggests that law enforcement's traditional role of protecting citizens has morphed into something that can and does exceed its mandate. Is this a change the public wants? Developments of this kind affect the quality of civilian life and shouldn't "just happen." There ought to be public input and involvement in decisions involving community safety and quality of life.
              • [-][+]My resolution
              • 4 years ago
              Jabba H. (Advocate for Plaintiff)
              The big disagreement appears to be about whether the police, dressed in dark clothing, identified themselves or not. As a homeowner I'd certainly be terrified and go for my gun if I saw people sneaking up on my home at night. (Even if they did say "Police!" I'm not sure I'd believe them as an innocent person with no reason to anticipate a police visit. I'd think it was a home invasion.) Surely the police routinely record such operations? If not, why not?

              I'd suggest a subpoena of any and all such recordings, with examination by expert witnesses to check for tampering. The lack of transparency, right down to the PD removing a PI from a subsequent interview with Garrett, is downright painful. There needs to be a full and impartial investigation with all facts released to the public, who seem to have good reason to be concerned.
                • [-][+]My resolution – Plaintiff
                • 4 years ago
                Tihomir L. (Plaintiff-unverified)
                A federal investigation of the incident. Trials for all involved members of the LSCO. A public apology to the family of David Hooks.
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