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Sheriff investigating deputy-involved shooting

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said, on Tuesday, one of his deputies is on administrative leave, with pay, during an internal investigation to determine why the deputy fired his gun inside a vehicle, in Jonesboro last week.

Kimbrough said Deputy Kenneth Farley shot his gun into a white, 2001 Ford Taurus after the vehicle's driver, Christopher Johari Green, 18, of Rex, allegedly ran over the deputy's foot outside the Tara Center, last Friday evening. The Tara Center is located at 7621 Tara Blvd.

Green was not injured in the incident.

"We are clear that the car ran over his [the deputy's] foot, and the deputy -- fearing for his life -- did fire his weapon inside the vehicle," Kimbrough said.

Green is scheduled to appear in Clayton County Magistrate Court, today, at 1:30 p.m., to face charges of failure to obey an officer directing traffic, reckless driving, and serious injury by motor vehicle, according to online court records.

The records show that Green already appeared before a magistrate judge, on Sunday, to face a related aggravated assault charge.

Bond was set at $50,000 on the aggravated assault charge. He was still in the Clayton County jail as of Tuesday night.

As for Farley, Kimbrough said that while the deputy has been placed on administrative leave -- and there is an ongoing internal investigation into the shooting -- it is just a routine procedure. "We do that in all shootings involving a deputy," the sheriff said.

Kimbrough did not have a time for when the investigation may be completed, but he said such investigations are normally wrapped up within 30 days of the shooting. "So, that's what we're hoping will happen here," he said.

The sheriff said Farley was acting in a back-up capacity to Clayton County police, who were responding to a party at the Tara Center. Clayton County Police spokesman, Officer Otis Willis, III, said the party was being held without the necessary permits for such an event. Kimbrough said deputies believe Green may have attended the party, since his vehicle was in the Tara Center's parking lot when the event was taking place.

In a warrant for Green's arrest, Clayton County Police Officer Jeffrey Burdette wrote that Farley, who was directing traffic outside the party, ordered Green to stop his vehicle. Burdette said the 18-year-old allegedly "refused the order, and accelerated his vehicle in a reckless manner, disregarding the safety of Deputy Farley, and 50 to 100 pedestrians in the parking lot in front of his vehicle."

Burdette also wrote that while Green was allegedly accelerating the vehicle, its front bumper struck Farley on the right leg, and its right front tire rolled over the deputy's right foot, rendering the leg "useless."

Kimbrough said, however, that Farley's foot is expected to be OK. The sheriff said the deputy was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, to receive medical treatment, and was released later that night.

"He should be fine after awhile," Kimbrough said.

But, all is not fine with Green's family. During a brief telephone conversation, Green's mother, Cynthia Wimberly, said her son never ran over Deputy Farley's foot, and that the law enforcement officer shot into the car without provocation. She also said she wants all of the charges against her son dropped.

Of the shooting, and the case against her son, she said, "It's not right."