Barbour Co. special grand jury decides not to indict officer in - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Barbour Co. special grand jury decides not to indict officer in Massey shooting

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EUFAULA, Ala. - A Barbour County special grand jury decided Wednesday not to indict a Eufaula police officer accused of shooting and killing a Columbus man last fall, News 3 Jessi Mitchell reports via Twitter.

The special grand jury decision came Wednesday afternoon follow the Alabama Bureau of Investigation's probe into the officer-involved shooting involving the Eufaula Police Department. Cameron Massey was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Highway 431 in Eufaula last October.

Jacqueline Massey, the victim's mother was devastated when she heard the decision. She told News 3 before going in to testify before the grand jury Wednesday that this case has been like a cancer.

The Barbour County District Attorney was scheduled to present the case to a grand jury last month, but it was postponed after the District Attorney requested a special prosecutor take over the case because of a conflict on interest. Special Prosecutor Boyd Whigham presented the case to the special grand jury Tuesday.

Following the shooting, members of the community marched the streets calling for justice. One of Massey’s closest friends, Shanita Porter organized the march and has been at the forefront of the movement to end violence in the area. Before Wednesday's decision, she told News 3 she hoped  Wednesday would bring the answers she’s been waiting on for over 6 months.

“It’s very nerve-wracking,” said Porter. “It's tense, there are just so many emotions that we're going through. And it's all something we want justice for.”Mayor Jack Tibbs issued a statement after the shooting last fall asking for citizens to be patient, sensitive and considerate of others during the course of the investigation.

Following Wednesday's decision, Tibbs released a statement that read in part:

"Now that the criminal investigation and proceedings have been concluded, we hope that our citizens and the community can move forward and continue the process of healing."

Tibbs added, "The officers performed their duties properly and were justified in their use of force against Mr. Massey. Our prayers are with the Massey family and all those affected by this incident."

The Eufaula Police Department officer involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. The officer was immediately returned to full duty after Wednesday's decision.

WRBL News 3 previously filed an open-records request with the city for information about the case. That request was denied. We were told at the time that the records could not be released because of the criminal investigations involving the officer in the shooting and the driver of the car, who was allegedly trafficking marijuana. Massey was reportedly riding in the passenger's seat of the car. The statement released from Mayor Tibbs office Wednesday indicated that more than seven pounds of marijuana were recovered from the trunk of the vehicle. The driver has been charged with trafficking marijuana.

Massey's mother said Cameron had prior run-ins with the law including a marijuana possession charge, but never carried a gun and was not considered a violent person. City officials have not said if a gun was found in the vehicle Massey was riding in, but eyewitness accounts say there was no weapon.

Porter said Tuesday, “I hope it's just something we can grow from, that can allow us to come together as a community, as well as city officials, police department, and we all grow and move forward as one.” After learning of the decision, she said through tears that she was disappointed.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, is News 3's nightside reporter.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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