Vol 7, No. 1 (Summer, 2006)

From the Chairman

Trooper Morningstar Acquitted!

Stephanie Mohr Still in Prison

Justice in Chicago!

Officer Gets Reduced Sentence

Raymond Bunn Indicted For Murder

Collegiates Learn About Law Enforcement

Raymond Bunn Indicted For Murder

 

The latest challenge for LELDF is the case of Officer Raymond S. Bunn, a 37-year old husband and father of five children who was a seven-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department.

About 3 a.m. on July 14, 2002, Officer Bunn and his partner, Officer Terry Mulkey, were in an unmarked police vehicle patrolling “Buckhead,” a tough nightclub area of Atlanta that routinely experiences burglaries, car thefts, break-ins, shootings, brawls, and riotous drunken behavior. Suddenly they heard the breaking of a car window and a vehicle alarm sounding.

Suspecting a vehicle theft, they turned on the blue police flashing lights on the windshield and rear and exited the cruiser yelling “Police, Police! Stop!” Both officers were wearing pullover shirts with the words “Atlanta Police” on the front and back, and chains around their necks that secured their Atlanta police badges.

A black male (later identified as Jamal Smith) jumped out of the broken window of a Buick SUV and ran to a Chevy Tahoe, where he got in the back seat. The officers were about 25 feet in front of the Tahoe and were approaching it when the driver, Corey Ward, hit the gas and accelerated in reverse, screeching the tires, and coming to an abrupt stop. As the officers walked toward the stopped car, Ward suddenly punched the gas pedal and began speeding straight at the policemen. The officers retreated to the front of their cruiser, but the Tahoe driver seemed determined to run them down!

Officer Mulkey was able to jump out of the way, but Officer Bunn was trapped and about to be run down by the Tahoe. Officer Bunn jumped to his right, firing his service revolver twice at the Tahoe. The Chevy Tahoe hit Officer Bunn, pinning his leg between the two vehicles and injuring his knee. One of the shots fired hit Corey Ward, who died of a single bullet wound to his head.

The investigation of the incident determined that the police officers believed their lives were in danger. Two of the passengers in the Tahoe said that they and Corey Ward were fully aware that they were encountering the police.

A study using the Vetroniz Crash Data Retrieval system that can recover data from airbags in a severe crash showed that the Tahoe was traveling at 26 miles per hour five seconds before the crash and at 14 miles per hour one second before it hit Officer Bunn and the police cruiser. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined that Officer Bunn was five feet or less from the Tahoe when he fired his revolver.

Corey Ward had two ounces of cocaine in his pocket. A large knife and seven bags of marijuana were discovered in the Tahoe, along with two stolen cell phones.

Following the incident, Officer Bunn, a former Marine, was called for duty in Iraq by his National Guard unit and served there for one year, returning in January 2004. He resigned from the Atlanta P.D. in July 2004, taking a position with a firm that provides security for the Department of State personnel in Iraq.

On December 9, 2005, Ray Bunn was indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury, charged with murder and felony murder — both capital offenses in Georgia — plus aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of oath. The indictment was the result of intense pressure from the black community on Paul Howard, the District Attorney. No trial date has been set.

LELDF is helping Ray Bunn with legal counsel and legal and expert witness fees to fight this unjust indictment.

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