Family moves forward with $20 million lawsuit over man’s death at the hands of APD officer

ATLANTA — The family of an unarmed man shot to death by an Atlanta police officer early last year is filing a lawsuit seeking tens of millions of dollars.

Jimmy Atchison was killed after he ran from officers of an FBI task force in January 2019. Officers eventually found him hiding in a friend’s closet. Family members said he had his hands in the air and was attempting to surrender when he was shot in the face.

The 21-year-old was a father of two.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach spoke with family members and their attorney at a news conference Wednesday.

The family is frustrated because the case has been drawn out so long. More than 20 months after Atchison’s death, no criminal action has been taken against the officer involved.

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The Atchison family is now moving forward with civil action and seeking more than $20 million in damages. The civil suit, filed in federal court, names all the officers involved in the federal task force, as well as the city of Atlanta, as defendants.

None of the officers involved were wearing body cameras.

The officer who shot Atchison, Sung Kim, resigned a year ago, but the district attorney’s office has yet to charge him criminally.

The family hopes the civil case will now move quicker and bring them justice for Atchison.

“Everybody has a stake in this lawsuit,” family attorney Tonya Miller said. “Everybody should pay close attention to this lawsuit. Everybody should demand that the city of Atlanta and the FBI and every person in leadership responsible for this mission take accountability and address that those failures led to the death of a man who was father to two small children, a brother and who was a son.”

Atchison’s father, Jimmy Hill, said the case shows wider issues with the system and the Atlanta Police Department.

“Police brutality is a detriment to society and sure needs to be punished," Hill said. "It’s time for accountability. Time to stop ignoring and remaining silent about this issue.”

Miller said she is hopeful the new Fulton district attorney will pursue murder charges against Kim, but the criminal case may be held up because there have been no grand juries since the pandemic began in March.