Good Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyers from Williams Oinonen LLC are honored to represent the family of Cameron Massey, wrongfully shot by a police Chief Ralph Connor who had been previously investigated for shooting and killing an innocent black man in the back years prior. These clients marched in today’s Martin Luther King parade in Alabama.
Their story, in addition to many of our other civil rights victims’ stories, are often featured in national and international media. Today’s story in the Huffington Post tells the story of Cameron Massey which you can read right here.
CEO Donald Watkins also has written a copyrighted article on Facebook you can also read here, where he tells the story where he investigated Police Chief Connor back when he was a police officer for the Montgomery Police Department and Watkins was a City Councilman. Watkins writes: “Not surprisingly, Chief Connor has a history of excessive force regarding the use of firearms. Cameron is the second innocent black man Connor has shot during his career as a police officer. While serving as a Montgomery, Alabama police officer in 1983, Connor shot a 23-year old black male. Connor claimed that he mistook the victim for a jail escapee. I investigated this police shooting as a Montgomery City Councilman. My investigation of the shooting revealed the following: (a) the victim, Bobby Joe Sales, had committed no crime; (b) he was unarmed at the time of the shooting; (c) he was not threatening Connor in any way: and (d) he was shot in the back. I reported to the City Council that Connor was a danger to himself and the citizens of Montgomery. I knew that Connor had a propensity for violence that would one day lead to the death of an innocent person. It finally happened on October 15, 2013 in Eufaula.”
Mario Williams first moved to Georgia two decades ago where he graduated with honors from Morehouse College obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Upon graduating from Morehouse, he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America for two years. Upon completion, he obtained his law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Afterwards, he served as an international human rights advocate in Latin America. His work included drafting successful human rights complaints on behalf of indigenous people before the Inter American Human Rights Commission.
Approximately seven years ago he moved back to Georgia where he and his wife Julie started a law practice with a special focus in civil rights work. He is currently an attorney and partner at the downtown Atlanta law firm of Williams Oinonen LLC where he practices civil rights law, business law and government. Mr. Williams and his wife Julie are ranked by Superlawyers as Georgia Rising Stars, an honor solely awarded to 2.5 percent of lawyers in our state.
Richard Belcher, chief investigative reporter for WSBTV featured our client Ms. Millini Matheny and her courageous whistleblower activity. After Ms. Matheny reporting illegal activity within DeKalb County Schools she was subsequently terminated in retaliation.
See below for a copy of her legal pleadings filed:
International musicians and entertainers Elton John and Michael Stipe have released a joint statement in support of our client Zahara Green (featured in the above photograph), in addition to all transgender prisoners in the state of Georgia, following harrowing reports about the way inmates have been treated there. “Transgender women in male prisons have an equal right to protection from violence and abuse in prison, yet they continue to face horrific injustices,” the duo wrote.
In it, they reference Ms. Zahara Green, our client whose story gained national spotlight when Buzzfeed reported that she – an inmate at a Georgia prison for men – had requested protection after being allegedly sexually assaulted but was then moved to a cell with the man she claimed had raped her.
An article in Rolling Stone magazine featured their statement which continues:
A Federal District Court has ordered a trial in a wrongful death civil rights case brought by our client, Lena Williams, individual and as administrator of the Estate of her son, the Decedent, Mr. Melvin Williams. On May 14, 2010, an officer of the East Dublin Police Department fatally shot Mr. Melvin Williams.
Plaintiff argued before the District Court that the officer’s conduct was unreasonable and thus violated the constitutional and state law rights of the Decedent. The officer attacked the Decedent, who is heard on the video repeatedly screaming, “what is wrong with you?” Then seconds later, the officer fatally shot the Decedent while standing numerous feet away, and while knowing the Decedent was unarmed. The alleged criminal violation at issue was a “rolled” stop sign about 10 minutes prior to the attack on the Decedent. We dispute that a traffic violation ever occurred because all the independent evidence demonstrates that no traffic violation occurred.
One interesting aspect of the case is that, at the time the officer attacked the Decedent, the officer did not have his general police powers or specific powers of arrest under Georgia law, according to the District Court’s factual findings.
Evidence is what you need to win your case. Evidence provides proof to support the claims you have made against a defendant. Obtaining relevant evidence, however, is not as simple as merely asking your opponent to give you everything he/she has after filing a lawsuit. To the contrary, pre-litigation strategy is mandatory.
A good lawyer knows that, before filing a lawsuit, action must be taken in order to help ensure that evidence is available during a lawsuit. One way to accomplish that objective is to send “spoliation letters” to persons/companies who may possess evidence that could help your case.
Spoliation letters instruct a person/company to preserve certain evidence that relates to your case. Spoliation letters are significant because if a person or company destroys evidence after being placed on notice not to do so, then that person/company may be held legally responsible, in a manner that greatly benefits your case. The issue is complicated, however, so you need a good lawyer who knows about this area of law, such as the lawyers of Williams Oinonen LLC.