Protesters lead campout at DeKalb courthouse

Two protesters stand next to signs trying to raise awareness of police brutality against people with mental illness during the campout. Rise Up Georgia is calling for legislatures to call for Anthony’s Law, a bill that would create mental health response units that would be relative for the size of DeKalb County.

Two protesters stand next to signs trying to raise awareness of police brutality against people with mental illness during the campout. Rise Up Georgia is calling for legislatures to call for Anthony’s Law, a bill that would create mental health response units that would be relative for the size of DeKalb County.

Jack Brock

From, Jan. 18th through the 21st protesters camped out in front of the DeKalb County courthouse. They were protesting to attract attention to the grand jury trial of a police officer who killed Anthony Hill, a U.S. veteran who had been diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder.

Anthony Hill was shot and killed on March 9, 2015 while he was having a bipolar episode in Chamblee, Georgia.

The protest was put together by Rise Up Georgia, a group that fights for social and economic justice around Georgia and especially Atlanta.

Rise Up Georgia is calling for new mental health infrastructure for the state and an indictment for the police officer who shot Hill, Robert Olsen.

“Today we will be heard. We occupy this space to ensure that Anthony receives the justice he deserves,” Asia Parks said through Rise Up Georgia’s official statement on the issue.

The protesters camped outside the courthouse, twenty-four hours a day, trying to get the attention of the passersby.

“If we were just there the whole time, people could just stop by, people could join us whenever they could . . . We knew that we could get people down there if they knew that we were there twenty-four hours a day,” Nelini Stamp said, the co-director of Rise Up Georgia.

The protests continued until the day of the indictment of Officer Olsen on Jan. 21st.

“This is the first time since 2010 that an officer was indicted for a fatal shooting in the state of Georgia,” Stamp said. “We are glad to get another chance and another shot at justice.”

 

Photo courtesy of Nelini Stamp