Brad Stewart wants to know why a Georgia Regents University (GRU) Police Officer shot his son, 19-year-old Donte Stewart, outside of the University Village Apartments last weekend.
"If you've heard, I've been using the word offcifer for this one guy because he's not a real officer because he ought to have enough training to know when to use excessive force," Stewart says of the officer who reportedly shot his son.
Despite a press release that said Donte's injuries were not serious, Brad says his son is in a lot of pain. "They are just saying he got shot through the lip, but in actuality he has gone through one jaw surgery already. They are going to have to take a part of his rib to reconstruct his jawbone," Stewart says of his son.
According to Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigators, officers responded to a noise complaint in the apartments early Saturday morning. The disturbance was coming from a party that Donte was attending. When officers showed up, the party-goers took off. Outside, Officer Wesley Martin blocked the exit with his patrol car, and Brad says what happened next doesn't add up.
"He told me that, in actuality, he didn't know why the safety officer was pulled over blocking the exit, so he just tried to pull around the car," Stewart says.
Officer Martin told investigators that he commanded Donte to stop, but says instead, Donte accelerated and tried to hit him. That's when Martin fired his weapon at Donte.
"He was trying to kill my son, he was not trying to detain him. It doesn't take 5 shots. If it takes you 5 shots, then you ought to be shooting at the tires, not at the windshield," Stewart says.
Martin has been under scrutiny before. WJBF News Channel 6 first told you about a video that shows Martin tasing a man through a car. The man, Frederick Gibbons, was charged with obstruction, but he was acquitted of those charges last year.
Meanwhile, as Brad is finding out about the officer's history, he just hopes his son will be able to tell his story as well. "I just wish that before he unloaded on my son, if he has any children, that he would have saw the face of his child behind that wheel," he says.
GRU officials say Officer Martin has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. And, of course, we will keep digging for facts in this case and we will update you when we have new details.
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