On March 9, 2015, promising musician and singer Anthony Hill was killed by DeKalb County Deputy Robert Olsen in the parking lot of Hill’s Chamblee apartment complex. Hill, 27, an African-American veteran of the Afghanistan war, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD as a result of his military experiences. When the drugs prescribed by the Veterans Administration caused his jaw to lock, along with other debilitating effects, he had stopped taking them. (tinyurl.com/y2hhhv5c)
That night, Hill and his fiancee, Bridget Anderson, had plans to celebrate their anniversary. But in the early afternoon, Hill showed up at the apartment complex leasing office, wearing only shorts and no shoes, knocking on the door asking for help.
The office staff, accustomed to a polite, well-mannered tenant, were concerned about his erratic behavior and unsteady posture. They then called 911 seeking help for him. Two maintenance workers responded to his pleas that he didn’t know where he lived and took him back to his apartment.
Within a short time, Hill emerged from his second floor balcony naked and proceeded to climb down and wander around the grounds, sometimes crawling in a military style, peering around as if in a battle zone. Again, the two workers approached him, urging Hill to go home before the police came. To which Hill responded, “That’s OK. The police are my friends.”
That is when Olsen, who is white, showed up in his patrol car, and Hill, with his arms raised, moved at an uneven pace toward him.
Deputy Olsen got out of his car and drew his gun, and, as Hill came closer, yelled for him to stop and fired two bullets into Hill’s body. Anthony Hill died at the scene.
Olsen maintains he feared for his life and was forced to shoot the unarmed man.
It has taken four-and-a-half years for a jury to hear this testimony, following an indictment of Olsen on multiple charges, including two counts of felony murder and violation of the oath of office.
The jury of 12 DeKalb County residents, seven women and five men who reflect the diverse composition of the metro Atlanta county, was seated Sept. 26, and the trial of Robert Olsen finally began.
Each witness, whether the leasing office staff or the maintenance workers, affirmed that Anthony Hill did not in any way threaten or frighten them and that they called 911 to get him help.
The long-awaited trial is expected to last another week or more.
A guilty verdict on the murder charges would be unprecedented in Georgia where almost no police, regardless of the evidence, are ever punished for killing a civilian. WW will continue to report on the trial of Robert Olsen. Justice for Anthony Hill!