A Dunwoody Police officer remains on active duty while being investigated for possible criminal charges by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office for fatally shooting a suspect in 2012.
Sgt. Jason Dove shot Bradley Almy, 34, in November 2012, after he was seen driving erratically in the police department parking lot and on Ashford-Dunwoody Road during rush hour. A civil grand jury that convened last year directed the DeKalb DA’s office to investigate whether Dove should face criminal charges.
Marcus Garner, spokesperson for the DeKalb DA’s office, said Dove’s case is still under investigation and there is no timeline when it will be completed.
Dove was placed on routine administrative leave at the time while the shooting was investigated.
Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said investigations conducted by Dunwoody Police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations directly after the shooting led him to put Dove back on the force.
“Per our policy, Sgt. Dove was placed on administrative leave while the GBI conducted an outside and impartial investigation into his use of force. The Dunwoody Police Department conducted an internal investigation as well,” Grogan said.
“After both investigations were completed, I made a decision to return Sgt. Dove to active duty. This decision was based on the results of our internal review of the shooting,” he said.
The GBI turned over evidence it collected during its investigation of the shooting to the DeKalb DA’s office on Jan. 25, 2013, said spokesperson Scott Dutton. He said the GBI does not make any determination in its investigations of officer-involved shootings and only turns over its information to the DA.
Grogan declined to comment on how long the DeKalb County DA investigation is taking.
The DeKalb DA’s office is currently investigating eight other officer-involved shootings, Garner said, with Dove’s case being the oldest case.
“Most cases we are investigating happened in the last year,” Garner said.
The DA’s office began sending officer-involved shooting cases to civil grand juries in 2014 to examine cases dating back to 2012, Garner said, as a way to “lend some level of transparency on how these cases are adjudicated.”
Earlier this year, the DA’s office charged former DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen with felony murder in the 2015 shooting of Anthony Hill, who was naked and unarmed.
The civil grand jury said in June 2015 that “this particular case [with Dove] required further investigation be given to it,” Garner said.
In 2014, Dove was awarded the Chief’s Award and was recently recognized by the Dunwoody City Council for saving a life using naloxone, an injectable drug given to people who have overdosed on opioids.
On Nov. 28, 2012, around 6:30 p.m., Almy was seen driving erratically in the Dunwoody Police headquarters parking lot. Police followed Almy in his minivan. Almy pulled into an Exxon station parking lot, struck several cars, then drove off, heading northbound on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.
Almy then made a U-turn and headed southbound, where he approached a congested intersection, police said.
The officers saw what was happening and rushed over. Dove positioned himself in front of the minivan as it was stopped and shouted commands at the driver, but the driver lurched forward, according to police.
The officer “felt that he was in imminent danger and shot one time,” Dunwoody police said.
The officer’s bullet struck the driver in the torso, but he kept driving, police said. His van finally came to a stop near an apartment complex on Perimeter Center East.
DeKalb County paramedics rushed Almy to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police shootings of unarmed suspects driving motor vehicles have become controversial, with many departments changing their use-of-force policies to restrict such shootings. Last month, the Atlanta Police Department fired an officer after determining he used excessive force in fatally shooting a suspect who was fleeing in an allegedly stolen car.