Grand jury expected to begin hearing testimony in SPD use of force investigation

Grand jury expected to begin hearing testimony in SPD use of force investigation

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - This week, a special grand jury is expected to begin hearing testimony and reviewing evidence in a use of force investigation involving two ex-Savannah Police officers.

The special grand jury is set to hear the case against two ex-Savannah Police officers, Sgt. Octavio Arango and Cpl. Daniel Kang. The grand jury, the first to be called since the pandemic began, will determine if the men will face any charges stemming from an incident between them and a man misidentified in a warrant operation earlier this year.

As for other jury trials, a group put together by Chatham Superior Court Judge Penny Haas Freesemann is working on putting together a plan on how to safely convene those by sometime in November. Judge Freesemann acknowledged that’s an ambitious timeline at this point, adding they have to do it in a way that’s safe for all involved, including the public.

“I want the public to know that the safety of the public comes first, and the safety of the litigants comes first, that safety is first. We have to make sure that we have this figured out, but we’re very confident we can do it," said Judge Freesemann.

Judge Freesemann says at some point this week, Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis will be meeting with courthouse judges and staff to advise on the safest ways to hold jury trials and grand jury proceedings.

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