Wednesday, Dec. 10 marks 11th anniversary of Kenneth Walker's de - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Wednesday, Dec. 10 marks 11th anniversary of Kenneth Walker's death

Kenneth Walker Kenneth Walker
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It has been 11 years since an officer-involved shooting claimed an innocent man's life.

Kenneth Walker, 39, was killed on Dec. 10, 2003 in a case of mistaken identity. 

The incident began when Muscogee County sheriff's deputies stopped the SUV that Walker was riding in because officials believed its passengers were wanted in a narcotics investigation. Afterwards, officials admitted they had identified the wrong vehicle.  

Walker and three others were riding in a gray Yukon XL, where we're told Walker was in the back passenger seat.

The dashcam video shows officers from the Muscogee County Tactical Special Response Team easing up on the SUV heading southbound on I-185 between Macon Road and Manchester Expressway. 

"Before my car could come to a complete stop, people couldn't actually get out and also verbally telling you to get out and physically snatching you of out of the car," recalled Walker's best friend Warren Beaulah, who was in the driver's seat.  

Beaulah says the commotion took place as they were on the ground. Walker was shot once in the head with a sub-machine gun at close range by then-Deputy David Glisson. 

Officials stated that three of the men from the vehicle followed deputies' instructions, but said Walker was "resistant," would not show his right hand, then was shot.

"[Glisson] was not trying to shoot him in the head. He felt like his life was in danger," stated then-Muscogee County Sheriff Ralph Johnson after the incident. "The resistance part of it is that you don't follow the commands to get on the ground and have to be placed on the ground, and then you still can't see that hand. That's a judgment call."

Walker was eventually taken to the Medical Center as the other men were handcuffed and taken in for questioning. Beaulah said they learned Walker had died during their four hours of interrogation and were devastated.

"Bottom line- Kenneth Walker did not need to die that night and David Glisson did not need to be the one that shot him," Johnson stated in a 2008 interview with WTVM. Johnson added it was a "tragic day" for Walker's family, the sheriff's department, and the city of Columbus.

Walker, who was his mother's only child, was a friend, husband and father of a then 3-year-old daughter.

The case caught the attention of national civil rights activists Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton, who later visited Columbus. 

Residents publicly expressed their disappointment that Glisson wasn't indicted even though he was fired two months after the incident. Five years later, the city settled the case with Walker's family.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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