Eufaula, AL -- Cameron Massey, 26, and Joshua Kelly, 30 were travelling through Eufaula, Alabama in October of 2013, when Massey's life was taken by a cop in search of a plant that is legal in some form in 23 other states.
Officer John Phillips, acting on information from a confidential informant that their car contained marijuana, pulled over the vehicle driven by Kelly, on the contrived charges of improper lane change and obscured registration tags.
As Phillips began to deprive the two individuals of their freedom for being suspected of travelling with an illegal plant, the situation became tense.
As Phillips puts Kelly facedown on the ground in handcuffs, he calls for backup and then proceeds to the passenger side of the vehicle to handcuff Massey.
Understandably wanting to prevent himself from being locked in a cage for carrying a plant, Massey thought about how he could get out of the situation. So, he leaned over to the driver's side of the car, threw the car into drive, and pressed the gas with his hand in an attempt to flee his captor.
It is clear from the video that Massey was not in any way attempting to cause harm to Phillips. However, Phillips and his backup officer, Eufaula Police Chief Ralph Conner, who arrived on scene just before Massey attempted to flee, would go on to claim otherwise -- and people would believe them -- until now.
As the car slowly began to roll forward, instead of stepping back and allowing him to drive off, Conner made the decision to escalate to deadly force and fired a single shot.
“Everything was so quick, so instantaneous,” Phillips told investigators. “At that time, I didn’t know if [Massey] had shot and he’s trying to stay down to keep from us returning fire.”
Instead of realizing that it was his backup who fired, Phillips let loose a volley of four more rounds into the 6'8" 300 lb body of Cameron Massey. The car then slowly rolled to a stop into several parked cars. Massey was dead.
Quickly attempting to make the claim that his life was in danger, Phillips went on to tell investigators that, “When the car started to move, it was such a jolt, I thought the back tires was gonna get my leg and snatch me under the vehicle.”
Apparently, according to Phillips, tires can "snatch" the legs of cops and magically pull them under a vehicle as it slowly accelerates away. Ridiculously enough, Phillips is not alone in this claim.
Seneca Police Lt. Mark Tiller made the same assertion when he shot and killed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond over the possession of a small amount of marijuana. Officer Ray Tensing was caught on video killing Sam Dubose in a similar fashion. In September, cellphone footage was released showing police murdering 33-year-old John Barry, a mentally ill man who attempted to flee from police during a breakdown. One of the most disgusting examples of cops claiming to fear for their lives as cars drive off is the case of Officers Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr., who, in November, opened fire on a car occupied by 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, killing him and severely injuring his father.
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Phillips, like all of the aforementioned officers, claimed to be in imminent danger and falling, and instead of simply stepping backwards, insisted he was unable to do so, and was forced to kill a man.
Unfortunately for Phillips and Conner, there was a witness, Garrick Hall, who stated in a court declaration that, “Phillips had control of his body the entire time as the car was moving forward. At no time did I see Officer John Phillips fall to the ground or appear as if he was falling to the ground.”
This was officer Phillips first killing as, at the time of the shooting, he had only been on the force for two years. However, Conner is no stranger to killing unarmed black men.
According to Buzzfeed,
Conner, who was hired as Eufaula’s chief in early 2013, had shot an unarmed black man three decades before, when he was an investigator with the Montgomery Police Department. In 1983, Conner shot 22-year-old Bobby Joe Sales in the back after Sales fled from an attempted police stop, the Associated Press reported at the time.
Shooting an unarmed man in the back was not enough to get this cop charged, nor was it enough to even end his career as a cop, and 30 years later, he would shoot another unarmed black man who posed no threat.
After being denied justice through the state's channels, Massey’s family filed a civil suit against the individual officers and the department in July 2015. The suit is still ongoing.
Phillips hasn't received so much as a slap on the wrist, and Conner was allowed to retire with his full pension in September.
In the Land of the Free, cops can legally kidnap people for possessing a plant, and when the individual resists their kidnapping and the cop kills them, the individual is referred to as the criminal -- and they call this justice.
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.