The family of Johnny Bolton, a Georgia man who was fatally shot during the execution of a no-knock warrant, is demanding answers months after his death. Bolton, who was 49 years old, was shot and killed in the early hours of December 17, 2020, while Cobb County police officers attempted to serve a drug search warrant. Months later, his family is looking for justice.
“He hasn’t met my child and they took that away from him,” his daughter, Diamond Bolton, said per a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just need answers and we want justice.” Bolton, a father and grandfather, didn’t have the chance to meet his granddaughter before his death.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) said that Bolton was asleep on a sofa in an apartment where he lived when members of the Cobb County SWAT team conducted a no-knock warrant. Witnesses inside the apartment told Bolton’s family he had his hands up when police arrived and was shot at least two times.
Bolton’s name didn’t appear on the search warrant for the drug search in which a confidential informant said drugs were being sold out of the apartment. That informant worked undercover, the newspaper reported, and was able to purchase cocaine from a man inside. Investigators reportedly conducted surveillance on the apartment and witnessed drug transactions.
According to Bolton’s family, the apartment served as an informal boarding house where women and children also lived and was close to Bolton’s job at a nearby car wash. The family says they’ve been given few details about Bolton’s killing, including who fired the shots that killed him and what led to him being shot.
Zack Greenamyre, an attorney representing the family, claims law enforcement agencies have not provided the family with any information and that an independent investigation would be conducted. “We will not be stopped from telling Johnny’s story,” Greenamyre said. “This is the start. And from what we know now, Johnny’s death appears unnecessary and unjustified.”
Following the conclusion of its investigation, the GBI sent its findings to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office where a grand jury will hear the case.
“Unfortunately this storyline has played out too many times to recast,” Daphne Bolton said. “The sorrow and hurt of the death of my brother, Johnny Lorenzo Bolton by the hands of the police department is no different than the hurt and sorry and pain felt across countless families in this world.”
“At this point,” she concluded, “our intentions surround action and justice.”
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