DA Heap on attorney's ultimatum: 'I do not respond to threats'

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A deadline set by Savannah attorney Will Claiborne calling for Chatham District Attorney Meg Heap to hand the case of the officer-involved shooting of Ricky Boyd over to federal investigators was met in part with this statement from Heap: "I don't respond to threats. I do not respond to threats. What I do respond to is the law."

Heap said in her first on-camera interview with WTOC Tuesday that she is following - and will continue to follow - state law on matters pertaining to officer-involved shootings.

"The law says this is how we deal with officer-involved shootings. That's what's being done. An incident occurred, the GBI was called in, they did an investigation, they've turned the file over to me," District Attorney Heap said. "No one else has seen the file, no one else has seen all the evidence."

Claiborne, the Boyd family attorney, sent a letter to Heap last Friday demanding that she hand the case over to the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI for further review, calling into question the integrity of the investigation thus far.

"We set a deadline because the time has well passed for there to be a full, fair, and impartial investigation in this case," Claiborne said. "We wanted this district attorney to make a decision whether she was going to do the right thing or not. That's not a threat. That's a request for a full, fair, and impartial investigation."

"All the evidence should be presented before the grand jury, or before a court, where rules of evidence apply, on any given case," Heap said. "We have done this in the past. I believe it's been fair for all individuals, and it also gives a level of transparency.

There has been a call by Boyd's family to publicly release police body camera video to the public. This came after GBI showed a portion of it to his family weeks ago. We asked Heap about the allegations that she, along with the GBI, facilitated in that meeting.

"The GBI reached out to the family to meet. It was done at my office, but not with the blessing of my office," she said.

We've reached out to the GBI for an official statement after hearing from Meg Heap, asking if there was a coordinated effort to show the family the police body cam video. At first, we got this statement:

"The viewing of the video was coordinated through the District Attorney's Office and was shown to Boyd's family and attorney as part of our process of keeping the family informed early on." - GBI

Getting that conflicting information, we reached back out to the DA's office and were told we should be getting a corrected statement from the GBI shortly. We did get a different statement, saying the DA, in fact, was not part of the effort.

Heap says she would never have shown the police body camera footage to the family. The GBI claimed at first it was Heap's office that helped coordinate the video showing, then said it was their idea. The grand jury will see the evidence including that now infamous body cam footage on May 21. We'll let you know as soon as their opinion is given back to the DA.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.