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No charges for GA cop with questionable past in fatal shooting of teen holding Wii controller

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A Georgia police officer won’t be charged in the fatal shooting of a teenager holding a video game controller — even though a previous grand jury found the use of force was not authorized.

A grand jury in Bartow County declined to indict Cpl. Beth Gatny, of Euharlee police, in the February shooting death of 17-year-old Christopher Roupe.

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Police said the teen pointed a gun at one of them Feb. 14, when officers knocked on the door of his family’s mobile home to serve a warrant to Roupe’s father on a probation violation.

Gatny said she heard “what she believed to be the action of a firearm” before the door was opened and drew her own weapon, which she fired after the teen opened the door holding what she believed was a pistol.

Family members, however, said the boy was holding a Nintendo Wii game controller.

Gatny could have faced possible charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct in the teen’s death.

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But the grand jury this week found insufficient evidence for the case to proceed.

“Because the grand jury has determined that the actions of Officer Gatny did not rise to the level of a criminal offense, this concludes the involvement of the District Attorney’s Office in this matter,” said District Attorney Rosemary Greene.

Roupe was a member of his high school’s junior ROTC program and hoped to join the U.S. Marine Corps after graduation.

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A grand jury found in April that Gatny’s use of force was not authorized and recommended further action by prosecutors.

Gatny was fired from her previous job with Acworth, Georgia, police for failing to report to work after her claims for disability compensation were rejected as “not medically supported.”

She was investigated in 2008 after firing her service weapon at a suspect who was trying to remove his backpack because Gatny believed he might be trying to retrieve a gun.

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Police investigators determined Gatny shouldn’t be punished in that case because the initial call indicated the suspects could be armed, although her partner said he never believed the suspect was armed.

Gatny was also involved in four car crashes in two years while working in Acworth and was reprimanded during her 10-year career there for refusing to follow orders and for leaving her weapon with a civilian employee while having her picture taken.

Watch this video report posted online by WSB-TV:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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