Former APD officer charged with murder expected in court

James Burns (Source: Fulton Co. Sheriff)

A former Atlanta Police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a man at an apartment complex last year is expected to appear in court Thursday.

James Burns is charged with two counts of violation of oath of public officer, felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

On June 22, 2016, Officer Burns responded to a foot pursuit call at Monroe Apartments. As he pulled into the area, he saw a car pulling out from the wrong side of the street. Burns said he tried to block the cars exit, jumped out yelling stop before firing the deadly shot through the passenger window, killing 22 year-old Deravis Rogers.

In the Internal Affairs questioning, Burns told investigators, "... He clearly made a decision to run me over, you know, and and kill me. And I'm thinking about, you know, I gotta protect myself..."

Burns said in another answer, "... I remember thinking, 'Wow...he's actually trying to kill me."

Investigators say dash cam video tells a different story.

In the written report, investigators said to Burns, "Directly following the shot, you can be seen on the dash cam video of another responding officer's patrol vehicle walking from behind your patrol vehicle toward the location where the vehicle you shot into had just passed."

The Internal Affairs investigation also told Burns, "You attempted to conduct an investigatory stop of the driver of this vehicle without having reasonable suspicion that the driver had engaged in, or was about to engage in criminal activity."

Burns could spend the rest of his life in prison if he's found guilty.

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