For the first time, police officer Clayton Sutton can be heard describing—in his own voice—his December encounter with Sammie Davis Jr. in front of the Pio Nono Avenue Kroger in Macon.
The Bibb County District Attorney's office has released hours of video and audio from the investigation into the incident that left Davis dead and has stressed police-community relations.
In video of Sutton's interview with investigators on the day of the shooting, he describes pulling up to the store in response to a 911 call, and asking Davis to take his hands out of his pockets.
"He still wouldn't take his left hand out of his pocket," Sutton can be heard saying in a low voice. "[I] was fixing to tell him just to go ahead and put his hands behind his back. At that time he lunged at me, tried to grab my head with both hands. [I] felt him cut my neck, and broke off, pushed away, fired three times while while running away from him."
Investigators later determined that Davis had a history of mental illness.
Following the interview, Sutton can be heard discussing his feelings with his attorney: "I'm not happy about having to kill a guy, but I ... I'm not gonna put my life in jeopardy."
Sutton faces no criminal charges from the incident, but a police department investigation into his conduct is ongoing. The Davis family is seeking a federal probe.
The D.A. has also released video from Sutton's dashboard recorder, which picks up moments after the shooting.
"I’m fine right now," Sutton is heard speaking to a backup officer who has just arrived.
The other officer asks "where's the 10-32?" — police code for a person with a gun.
"He doesn't have one, I don't know," Sutton replies.
With a gesture, the backup officer inquires non-verbally about a scratch on Sutton's neck. "He cut me," Sutton shouts.
"Where's the knife," the other officer asks.
"I don’t know that he’s got one, I don’t know what he cut me with," Sutton replies.
Investigators later determined the scratch was made by Davis' fingernails — he was, in fact, unarmed.