Posted Dec. 19, 2007 – The mother of a 31-year-old Black man, who was killed by a Georgia policeman this week, said Monday that her son would likely still be alive if he had been a dog.
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"The officer laid the gun by my son's neck and squeezed the trigger," Pat Johnson, the mother, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don't think you would shoot a pit bull like that."
But Detective Clifford Chandler, a spokesman for East Point Police Department, said that the officer killed her son, Robert Bostic, 31, because Bostic had choked one officer unconscious and was reaching for the officer's pistol. Police were called to an apartment complex after a neighbor was worried about Bostic’s behavior.
Johnson was concerned about her son, too, because he had missed a couple dialysis treatments, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Johnson had gone to Bostic’s house to take him to the hospital. When officers arrived, Johnson signaled to them that Bostic was acting strangely. But he was not acting aggressively toward police she said. In fact, she noted, Bostic offered the officers a seat. Instead they tried to cuff him, she said. He struggled with the officers, grabbing one in a bear hug. Chandler said Bostic choked the officer unconscious while the second officer hit him with his nightstick. When Bostic reached for the gun of the fallen officer, the cop's partner shot him; they feared for their lives, Chandler said.
A "bunch of lies" is what Johnson called the police version of events. "He wasn't trying to kill him," she said of her son. "He was trying to keep from being hurt."
The whole ordeal could have been prevented if only the officers had tried to talk to her son rather than immediately moving to arrest him, said Bostic’s sister, Angela Maddox, who also witnessed the encounter. She told the Journal-Constitution that the family was close-knit.
Bostic was a math teacher who earned an album full of academic honors and a mathematics degree from Temple in Philadelphia in 1997. Johnson said he didn’t teach in Georgia because dialysis threw his schedule in disarray.
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