The man a Decatur police officer shot at in June said he was on the ground when the gun fired, despite police claims officers believed the man was running at them with a weapon.
Officer Frank Linam was among a group of Decatur police officers who forced entry intoMaury Randolph‘s mother’s apartment on June 28 to arrest Randolph on 10 warrants for misdemeanor traffic offenses.
Linam fired his weapon in the direction of Randolph, who was not armed, according to police. No one was injured, and an internal investigation by the Police Department in July concluded the officer did not violate the law.
“Why didn’t (Linam) have a Taser if he was just trying to protect himself? If I would have been standing, the bullet wouldn’t have missed and I wouldn’t be here today,” said Randolph, 36.
Randolph, who has been in Morgan County Jail since the arrest, agreed to a phone interview with The Decatur Daily. Decatur police declined to comment on Randolph’s statements.
Decatur police spokesman Lt. John Crouch said Linam remains on desk duty because Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson plans to present the case to a grand jury.
Linam’s body camera captured audio and some video of the incident in which the bullet missed Randolph and went through the wall into an adjacent occupied apartment, police said.
Randolph said he and his brother were barbecuing outside the apartment complex when police arrived.
“I didn’t know what they were doing or who they were there to get,” Randolph said. “I knew I had warrants, so I went back inside and locked the door. I didn’t think they’d be coming to get me at my momma’s. When I got inside, I went to the bedroom at the back of the apartment.”
Randolph said he called his brother, who was still outside, and found out a group of officers were outside the door to the apartment.
“When I looked out the peep hole in the door, I was like, ‘I’m not opening the door until momma gets back because there are so many cops out there,’ ” he said. “The police came up and started beating on the door, and they just kept beating. After a few minutes, my brother said, ‘You’ve got two minutes before they’re going to kick the door in.’ ”
Police said the officers forced entry into the apartment after repeated failed attempts to get Randolph to open the door. Randolph said he went to the back of the hallway and got on the ground just before police entered the apartment.
“I was on my knees in the hallway, right in front of the doorway to the bedroom, when they kicked the door,” he said. “I told my brother, ‘Here they come.’ ”
A statement from police said Randolph ran out of a dark back bedroom and through a dark hallway toward the officers with his arms extended in front of him in a manner consistent with holding something in his hands.
Body camera footage shows the apartment door fly open with a second kick from police.
“I fell face-down and onto my stomach because I was already down on my knees,” Randolph said. “I said, ‘I’m down; I’m down.’ The second time I said ‘I’m down’ is when I heard the gunshot go off. After that, I was quiet.”
An officer is heard on the body camera footage asking where the shot came from.
Linam replied, “That was me, that was me, no hits. I fired; there was no hits. Out of nowhere, out of the blackness, I see somebody coming like that.”
The back wall of the bedroom had a bullet hole about three feet from the floor. It is a straight line from the front door and down the short hallway to where the bullet entered the wall.
“If (Randolph) had been standing, it might have hit him,” said Randolph’s mother, Diane Clark, who was not at the apartment during the incident.
Police said no weapon was found, and Randolph surrendered without incident.
Video footage of the incident is too dark to depict the incident clearly inside the hallway.
Randolph is being held on $4,000 bond.