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Mayor confirms Savannah officer was wearing body camera; video not released yet

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Members of the Savannah community are reacting to a fatal officer-involved shooting that happened around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s preliminary investigation says that Maurice Mincey, 36, was shot and killed after he exited a vehicle during a traffic stop and pointed a gun at Savannah Police officers.

The investigation is on-going, and GBI will perform an autopsy at the GBI crime lab.

WTOC spoke with Savannah city leaders and members of Mincey’s family on Sunday about the shooting. Family members told WTOC they want answers, while elected officials are asking the community to be patient as the investigation continues.

“If you need answers, allow me to give me the chance to help the family grieve. Find out what the issue was and get some information, some true information from our law enforcement to figure out where we go and to give some type of closure as it moves forward in the process,” said Savannah Alderman Detric Leggett, who represents District Two.

Maria Scott, Maurice Mincey’s fiancée, says she was walking to the car to ask officers why they pulled the vehicle over.

“I turned my head one time and all I heard was shots,” Scott said.

Antonio Mincey, Maurice Mincey’s only brother, says all he can think about is his smile.

“Every time I come around the house, I see a smile on my brother’s face. And now I can’t see that no more, you know?” said Antonio Mincey.

Scott says she’s still trying to figure out how to break this news to their son.

“I’m running from my three-year-old son. I can’t even face him because he’s going to ask me ‘Where’s Dada?’” she said.

For now, they say they can only hold on to their memories.

“We’re grieving for a person that we love so dearly,” said Jermaine Milton, Maurice Mincey’s cousin. “He was a father, a brother, a homeboy, an uncle and everything to us.”

Alderman Leggett also said as the family processes what happened council will support them as much as possible and provide information as it is released.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson says now is not the time for people to jump to conclusions about what may have happened Saturday night.

“There are people who, their natural inclination is that police kill people. And so if a police officer is involved, that’s what they’re gonna say. I think that’s dangerous, it is absolutely irresponsible. And so again, I think it’s for the benefit of everyone involved to include this family. I think we have to wait until we know what the facts are,” he said.

Mayor Johnson, along with others on Council and SPD leaders went to the scene of the shooting on Waters and east Bolton Streets Saturday night.

“The reality is that I heard ten thousand stories about what happened from people who didn’t see anything. And I just think that’s unfair to the young man, I think that’s unfair to the officer, I think it’s unfair to his family when we’re all trying to figure out what happened,” said Mayor Johnson.

Mayor Johnson said he’s been told the police did have their bodycams on and rolling during the fatal shooting between them and 36-year old Maurice Mincey.

The Mayor speculated access to that video might have allowed the GBI to release their preliminary report less than twelve hours after Mincey was shot.

“I was surprised by getting a preliminary report that quickly. I think the Savannah Police were surprised as well. And so I think maybe they had an opportunity to see the video, I don’t know,” said Mayor Johnson.

In addition to all video evidence, crime scene evidence and statements, the GBI has also ordered an autopsy on Mincey’s body at their crime lab.

Mayor Johnson added that the city will stand by the officer if evidence proves this shooting was justified. He said if it turns out that’s not the case, they will demand accountability.

We’re told one officer involved in the incident is on administrative leave. At this point we don’t know that officer’s name or rank.

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