Solving '71 Murder Earns 'Oscar'
Steve Visser, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A national police organization often recognizes "Top Cops" for heroic
acts --- courage under fire, saving lives or stopping robberies ---
but it has distinguished two metro Atlanta detectives for pure
Atlanta police Detective Jim Rose and M.C. Cox, an investigator for
the Fulton County district attorney, picked up the law enforcement
version of the Oscar for resurrecting and solving a 31-year-old case
involving the slaying of a police officer.
On Sept. 11, the National Association of Police Organizations
presented them with one of 10 "Top Cop" awards in New York City.
The pair secured an indictment in the death of Atlanta police Officer
James Richard Greene, who was killed Nov. 3, 1971. Greene was slain
while he ate his supper in a patrol wagon on Memorial Drive.
The Washington-based police association held the ceremony in
Manhattan in honor of the police officers who lost their lives last
year during the attack on the World Trade Center.
"It was a pretty humbling experience to accept an award on the
anniversary of the catastrophe that we had," said Rose, of Lilburn.
"It was also pretty humbling to stand before the other nine groups of
people. Some of those officers were involved in shootings where their
partners were killed."
It was the 49-year-old Rose's second trip to the award ceremony. The
detective, with a knack for solving cold cases, received an honorable
mention in 2000 for helping solve the 1975 slaying of another Atlanta
police officer, Sam Guy, who was killed when trying to stop a motel
robbery. In July, a Fulton County jury convicted Terry Robert Jackson
of the murder in that case. Another man, Abner Wilkinson, received a
12-year sentence in exchange for his testimony.
The same month, a Fulton County grand jury indicted the former
Freddie Hilton, a 49-year-old New Yorker who changed his name to
Kamau Sadiki, for murder in the Greene case.
Sadiki and Twyman Meyers --- who later died in a shootout with police
--- killed Greene when they were members of the now-defunct Black
Liberation Army, which was suspected of assassinating police officers
around the nation, said Rose, the main investigator on the case.
He and Cox, 51, crisscrossed the country hunting down witnesses, who
they said had either seen the shooting or heard the gunmen brag about
Cox, a Riverdale resident who joined the Atlanta police a week after
the Greene killing, said solving the last unsolved police killing was
satisfying, but it should have been done in the 1970s.
"We don't know why it wasn't dealt with back then, but it should have
been," Cox said. "I think the evidence was there."