SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Members of the Racial Justice Network (RJN) demanded that Gov. Brian Kemp and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division open independent investigations into the Savannah Police Department (SPD), and its five officer-involved shootings in 2022.

“These numbers alone certainly place the Savannah Police Department on the radar as a scene of American carnage,” said one of the activists during Friday’s news conference inside the Georgia State Capitol.

In letters to Kemp and the DOJ, the RJN said the pattern of Black men being gunned down by SPD is unmistakable. Citing the most recent officer-involved shooting at Carver Village last month.

“Mr. Lee had a concealed weapons permit, showed the officer his permit and was still were shot down like a dog.”

News 3 learned that SPD officer Ernest Ferguson is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for that shooting. A search of his records at SPD shows Ferguson was hired in March of 2021.

Since then he’s been written up for accidentally discharging his taser, while off-duty, and more than once for failing to activate his body camera at the appropriate time under the law.

An article from The Current also reports investigations of Ferguson for use of force on inmates while he was a corrections officer at Coastal State Prison. News 3 has put in a request for those records with the Georgia Department of Corrections.

As they have before, RJN criticized Savannah’s many Black leaders for allowing a police culture that has produced so many shootings of Black men, by officers, in such a short amount of time.