Stop shooting our children. Demand BOTH Waycross police officers be fired immediately.

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    Stop shooting our children. Demand BOTH Waycross police officers be fired immediately.

    Waycross cops opened fire on Black kids. The officers must be held accountable.

    **UPDATE 8/15/20**

    Lt. Scott Rowell — who opened fire on a group of Black children last week and was involved in the police killing of Jack Lamar Roberson in 2013 — resigned from the Waycross Police Department.

    The second officer, Jesse Shook, is still on the force. GBI's investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Color Of Change will keep fighting until BOTH officers are removed from the force. 

    We must continue to demand full accountability to make sure Lt. Rowell and Officer Shook can't terrorize Black people elsewhere. And we have to make sure racist incidents like this never happen again — not in Waycross, not in Georgia, not anywhere. 

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    On Saturday, August 8, Waycross police officers Jesse Shook and Lt. Scott Rowell followed a car full of Black children home and shot at them — all because the 16-year-old driver allegedly ran a stop sign. 

    The 16-year-old was driving his four younger siblings and a friend home before heading to a football game. Waycross Police Officer Jesse Shook began following the car after the driver allegedly ran a stop sign. Instead of turning on his sirens, lights, or simply pulling the car over, Officer Shook followed the kids home. Scared and confused, the driver stopped the car at an intersection near their home and told the children in the backseat — his 9-year-old brother, 12-year-old sister, and a 14-year-old friend— to run home to get their father. 

    That’s when a second officer, Lt. Scott Rowell, arrived at the scene and opened fire on the car and the children. Thankfully, neither the children nor anyone in the neighborhood was hit by the bullets. But according to a witness, another one of the children, a 15-year-old, was later pistol-whipped by the police.

    The police officers’ reckless and racist decision to follow and open fire on a group of Black kids is reprehensible. Officers Shook and Lt. Rowell are now on paid leave, and an investigation is ongoing. But it doesn’t take an investigation to know this: Both officers must be held accountable for their actions. 

    Tell Waycross Mayor Michael-Angelo James: Cops who shoot at Black children and terrorize Black neighborhoods must be removed from the force. Fire these officers immediately. 

    This is not the first time Lt. Scott Rowell has been a part of an officer-involved shooting. In 2013, the GBI investigated Rowell's involvement in the murder of Jack Lamar Roberson. Responding to a call for emergency medical assistance, Rowell and two other police officers showed up. Instead of de-escalating the situation or providing the medical assistance Roberson clearly needed, Rowell and his fellow officers shot and killed Roberson in front of his mother and his fianceé. Both women confirmed Roberson was unarmed.

    Six years after the murder of Jack Lamar Roberson, Lt. Rowell responded to another non-violent situation with unnecessary use of force against a Black family. He fired a gun at a group of Black children, in their neighborhood, in front of their father. We must hold Lt. Rowell and Officer Shook accountable for their actions.

    That's why we’re calling on Mayor James to break this dangerous cycle and fire Lt. Rowell and Officer Shook for terrorizing and shooting at Black children in South Georgia last week. Add your name to demand accountability now.

    Here is the Petition:

    Dear Mayor Michael-Angelo James

    On Saturday, August 8, Waycross police officers Jesse Shook and Lt. Scott Rowell followed a car full of Black children home and opened fire on the children when they exited the car. 
    I am outraged and horrified at their reckless decision to endanger these children's lives over an alleged minor traffic violation. 

    Lt. Scott Rowell, who showed up at the scene once the 16-year-old driver and his younger siblings arrived at their home, shot at the car and at a 9-year-old, 12-year-old, and 14-year-old child. Thankfully, neither the children nor anyone in the neighborhood was hit by the bullets — but according to a witness, one of the children was pistol-whipped by the police. This violence is reprehensible. 

    Regardless of the outcome, this much is true: Cops who shoot at Black children and terrorize Black neighborhoods must be removed from the force. BOTH Scott Rowell and Jesse Shook must immediately be fired for their egregious misconduct and for endangering the lives of Black children. Both officers must be held accountable. 

    This is not the first time Lt. Rowell has been a part of an officer-involved shooting. In 2013, the GBI investigated Rowell's involvement in the murder of Jack Lamar Roberson. Responding to a call for emergency medical assistance, Officer Rowell and two other police officers showed up. Instead of de-escalating the situation or providing the medical assistance Roberson clearly needed, Officer Rowell and his partners shot and killed Roberson in front of his mother and his fianceé. Both women confirmed he was unarmed.

    Six years after the murder of Jack Lamar Roberson, Lt. Rowell responded to another non-violent situation with unnecessary use of force against a Black family. He fired a gun at a group of Black children, in their neighborhood, in front of their father. We must hold Lt. Rowell and Officer Shook fully accountable for their actions.

    What happened to Jack Lamar Roberson in 2013 — and what happened to these children last Saturday — never should have happened in the first place.

    Mayor James: I am calling on you to break this dangerous cycle and fire BOTH Officer Scott Rowell and Officer Jesse Shook now. As the father of the children, Dominique Goodman Sr. asked: "How are they going to protect us when they’re shooting at us?”

    They can't. Fire these officers immediately. 

    Sincerely, 

    [Your Name]