Ga. House approves bill involving police grand jury testimony

Georgia is the only state that currently allows an officer to be present during the entire grand jury proceedings

Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would change a law that allows enforcement officers facing indictment to be present for entire grand jury proceedings.

House members voted 162-0 to approve a bill sponsored by State Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, which follows wide national scrutiny of the use of deadly force by law enforcement.

Golick said before the vote that Georgia is the only state that currently allows a police officer to be present during the entire proceedings when a grand jury is convened.

"They are not subject to cross examination, or questioned by members of the grand jury, and an officer can tailor his or her testimony," he said.

Golick said this bill would bar the officer from attending the rest of the proceeding.

The officer would still have the right to make a statement at the end of the proceeding, but would be subject to cross examination and questions from prosecutors or grand jurors.

State Rep. Alex Atwood, R-Brunswick, was the second signer of the bill and cited his own career in law enforcement as a reason to support the measure.

"I would not have supported this bill had we not retained the right for a police officer to come in here and testify," he said. "They say police officers are no different than anyone else, that's rubbish, they are."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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