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FiLED IN OFF 110:


REVIEW OF PEACE OFFICER USE OF DEADLY FORCE ' ._

BY JUNE 2019 TERM CHATHAM COUNTY GRAND JURY ~I~.~~


IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CHATHAM COUNTY CLERK, SUPER}~()
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IN RE USE OF DEADLY FORCE

UPON EDWARD FULLER

Comes now James Pannell, Foreperson of the Chatham County Grand Jury for the
June 2019 term of Superior Court and makes the following General Presentment.

1.

On June 3, 2019, this Grand Jury was empaneled as provided by law.

2.

At the request of the District Attorney pursuant to O.C.G.A section 15-12-71 (b) (5) (A),
this Grand Jury has been asked to review the US'?_O.Lde~cJly_f()~_(;E3 ~Y. c! p_~ace _offic~~
within this county on May 11, 2019 upon Edward Fuller.

3.
The scope of our review was to determine:

1. Whether a special presentment should be presented to this grand jury and if so,
what criminal charges should be included therein but if and only if at least 12
grand jurors voted in favor of that option, or
2. Whether a special presentment should be presented to a different grand jury to
consider criminal charges and if so, what criminal charges should be included
therein (based upon a majority vote), or
3. Whether no further inquiry is needed because the evidence does not support the
filing of criminal charges (based upon a majority vote)

4.

Prior to the introduction of evidence or the first witness being sworn, the District
Attorney advised the Grand Jury of the laws applicable to the conduct of such review
including Code Sectiqns 16-13-20 (Justification as a def~nse), 16-3-21 (Use of force in
defense of self or others, including justifiable homicide), 17-4-20 (Arrest without a
warrant; use of deadly force) and the fleeing felon rule as announced in Tennessee v.
Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1985).
5.

On Monday, August 19, 2019 the Grand Jury heard sworn testimony with a court
reporter present.

.6.
The Grand Jury deliberated following the presentation of evidence on Monday, August
19, 2019 and elected to file this General Presentment on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
to allow time to compose this General Presentment in proper form.

7.
Below is a summary of the evidence that was heard by this Grand Jury.

The Grand jury finds that the evidence in this case showed the following:

This incident occurred on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

At approximately 7:16 pm, a 911 call was made by Cedric Corbett to report a fight in the
Boyz to Men parking lot at 2303 Bull Street. The Grand Jury heard that 911 call.

At approximately 7:20 pm, a 911 call was made by Fabian Notto to report that he had
been robbed by an armed gunman. The Grand Jury heard that 911 call.

Officers Jeremy Fregeau and Douglas Thomas with the Savannah Police Department
responded to that call. ·Later, Sgt. Kelvin Ansari and Det. Jody Baptiste arrived on the
scene to assist with the investigation.

Fabian Notto was interviewed by police about the circumstances surrounding the
robbery. Notto described the robber as wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. Much of
Notto's statement was captured by Officer Thomas' body earn video as well as Sgt
Ansari's body cam video. The Grand Jury saw Notto's statement on both Officer
Thomas' body cam video and Sgt. Ansari's body cam video.

Fabian Notto's statement to the police made the police skeptical that this was in fact a
robbery. For example, Det. Baptiste smelled the odor of marijuana coming from Notto's
car; Notto reported gold chains and $1,800 being taken from his person despite being
unemployed and unable to explain how he had so much cash on his person; Notto
refused to make eye contact with Det. Baptiste.

Testimony of Tracy Sands of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) showed that law
enforcement officers made a diligent effort to locate Fabian Notto to further interview
him and to compel his testimony before the Grand Jury, but Fa~ian Notto affirmatively
avoided contact with the GBI and did not testify before the Grand Jury.
While the Savannah Police officers were about to leave the Boyz to Men parking lot, an
anonymous 911 caller reported that the suspected robber was sitting in the back seat of
a car parked nearby where the police officers on scene were located. The Grand Jury
heard that 911 call.

Based upon the anonymous 911 phone call, officers Ansari, Fregeau, and Thomas
approached the car in the parking lot. As they neared the vehicle, a subject later
identified as Edward Fuller, got out of the car from the back seat. Officers ordered Fuller
to remain in the car but he failed to do so. Fuller got out of the car at about the same
time that Sgt. Ansari approached him. Fuller got out of the car with a gun in his hand.
Sgt. Ansari never pulled his weapon. Fuller fired his gun twice at Sgt. Ansari from a
short distance fatally striking him twice in the abdomen. Officer Thomas was also shot
by Fuller.

Officers Ansari, Fregeau, and Thomas each had operating body cameras which
captured the events surrounding the shooting of Sgt Ansari. The Grand Jury saw those
body cam videos which depicted Edward Fuller running from the scene where Sgt.
Ansari had been shot and firing his weapon at police behind him. The videos also
showed that Fuller fired a total of 3 shots and that none of the police officers returned
fire. The videos also showed that Fuller was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

The evidence showed that certain areas of Savannah have a "Shot Spotter" device
which records the date, time and location of gunfire. "Shot Spotter" recorded 3 gunshots
in the location where Sgt. Ansari was shot at the following times:
8:13:55
8:13:58
8:14:03
A duration of approximately 8 seconds.

At approximately 8:18 pm, Sarah Trujillo called 911 to report having seen the suspect
climb a fence into the yard at 19 East 39th St., a location approximately 198 feet from
where Sgt. Ansari was shot. The Grand Jury heard her 911 phone tall and heard her
statement to Officer Anthony Watkins frnm Officer Watkins' body cam video. The Grand
Jury also saw the statement given by Daniel Taylor who was with Sarah Trujillo from
Officer Watkins' body cam video.

Based on the report of Sarah Trujillo, six Savannah Police Officers entered the back
yard at 19 E. 39th St. in a "stack" meaning they were standing single file behind each
other. Cpl. Lyttle entered first with his K9 dog, followed by Austin Foraker, followed by·
Joseph Altomare, followed by John Keel, followed by Hasaan Copeland, followed by
Officer Ortiz. All officers were wearing body cameras. The camera views from officers
Altomare and Foraker provide the best camera view of what happened and both were
played for the Grand Jury.

Officers Lyttle, Foraker, and Altomare testified about the entry into the back yard.
All of the of the officers who testified stated that they were aware that the robbery
suspect, later identified as Edward Fuller, had shot a police officer after fleeing the
scene of the robbery.

The officers who testified about entering the back yard stated that shortly after entering
the back yard, Edward Fuller emerged from a shed where he had been hiding. He
emerged from that shed holding a pistol and pointing it in the direction of Officers Lyttle
and Foraker causing the officers to be in reasonable apprehension that Officer Lyttle,
Officer Foraker and the other officers were in immediate danger of receiving a violent
injury. After Fuller exited the shed Officer Foraker fired his gun 4 times striking and
killing Edward Fuller. Officer Foraker was the only officer who fired at Fuller.

Body cam videos from officers Altomare and Foraker, which contain the best views of
the fatal shooting of Fuller, played for the Grand Jury.

The evidence showed that at the time Edward Fuller emerged from the shed armed with
a pistol pointed in the direction of Officers Lyttle and Foraker, each officer who was
present had authority to arrest him without a warrant for Aggravated Assault, an offense
committed in their presence based upon Fuller pointing a gun in the direction of Officers
Lyttle and Foraker.

The evidence proved that at the time Edward Fuller emerged from the shed armed with
a pistol, each officer who was present had authority to arrest him without a warrant as
they each possessed probable cause to arrest Fuller who was endeavoring to escape
for the crime of Aggravated Assault committed upon Sgt. Ansari.
The evidence showed that at the time Edward Fuller emerged from the shed, each
officer who was present reasonably believed that Fuller possessed a deadly weapon
and posed an immediate threat of physical violence to the officers or others as Fuller
endeavored to escape arrest for the crime of Aggravated Assault committed upon
Officers Lyttle and Foraker.
The evidence showed that at the time Edward Fuller emerged from the shed, each
officer who was present reasonably believed that Fuller possessed a deadly weapon
and posed an immediate threat of physical violence to the officers or others as Fuller
endeavored to escape arrest for the crime of Aggravated Assault committed upon Sgt.
Ansari.
The evidence showed that at the time Edward Fuller emerged from the shed, each
officer who was present had probable cause to believe that Fuller had committed a
crime involving the infliction of serious physical harm to Sgt. Ansari and believed that
deadly force was necessary to prevent his escape.
"Shot Spotter" recorded 4 gunshots in the location where Edward Fuller was shot at the
following times:
8:27:56.962
#

8:27:57.319
8:27:57.553
8:27:57.795
These gunshots occurred approximately 14 minutes after Sgt. Ansari had been fatally
wounded.

Inspection of the shed from which Edward Fuller had been hiding revealed items of
evidence that connected him to the robbery of Fabian Notto.

Crime Lab analysis of the gun used by Edward Fuller showed that it was the weapon
that fired the fatal shot into Sgt. Ansari and that fired the shot that wounded Officer
Thomas.

Crime Lab analysis of Edward Fuller's blood found the presence of Cocaine and alcohol
(0.068 gm per 100 ml)
Inspection of the car from which Edward Fuller emerged revealed a large quantity of
controlled substances located in the back seat in the area where he had been sitting
including Heroin (in powder and pill form), Hydrocodone, and Methamphetamine.

The Grand Jury unanimously concludes that Officer Foraker was justified in using
deadly force and that no further inquiry is needed because the evidence does not
support the filing of criminal charges in this case which involves
the use of deadly force by a peace officer in Chatham County resulting in death or
serious bodily injury to another. OCGA § 15-12-71 (b) (5) (A).

Respectfully submitted this 21st day of August, 2019