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
Suddenly they heard the breaking of a car window and a vehicle
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
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.
date has been set.
LELDF is helping Ray Bunn with legal counsel and legal and
expert witness fees to fight this unjust indictment.