‘This is what I prayed for:’ Family reacts after APD officer charged with 18-year-old’s murder

ATLANTA — The family of a teen killed by a police officer says their prayers were answered when a grand jury indicted the officer on murder charges.

The officer’s attorney says he looks forward to telling a jury the teen was the aggressor that day.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Atlanta Police Officer Oliver Simmonds could lose his job after a grand jury indicted him at the Fulton County Courthouse.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones watched as the family of the teen stood there and hugged and cried after hearing the grand jury’s decision.

“Oh, this is what I prayed for, Lord. It’s exactly what I prayed for,” said Gaysha Glover.

Glover says she has prayed for the officer who killed her son to face murder charges, and that her prayers have finally been answered.

She was overcome with emotion moments after the grand jury indictment.

“This, you just don’t know. We expected a victory. You just don’t know,” Glover said.


Jones was at the courthouse when officer Simmonds arrived to go before the grand jury.

Jones asked Simmonds’ attorney, Jackie Patterson, “Sir, anything you want to say sir?” Patterson answered, “Mr. Simmonds will not be saying a word.”

Patterson said Simmonds shot in self-defense when he encountered 18-year-old D’ettrick Griffin three years ago.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Simmonds was gassing up his unmarked police vehicle at Whitehall and Mcdaniel streets.

According to the GBI, Griffin jumped in the police vehicle and began to drive away.

Simmonds then fired into the car, killing Griffin.

The family’s attorney, Eric Fredrickson, says the shots were excessive.

“This was a young man suspected of a property crime. He was unarmed and he was shot in the back,” Fredrickson said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Patterson says Simmonds’ shirt got caught in the door and he fired to stop the threat.

“We’re now looking forward to going to trial to show a jury that this young man that’s deceased was the aggressor,” Patterson said.

Griffin’s father Courtney said he really misses his son.

“We all are grieving and we all happy right now,” Courtney Griffin said.

Simmonds faces charges of felony murder, aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath.

On Friday evening APD stated that upon learning of Officer Oliver Simmonds’ indictment, he was relieved from his administrative assignment and suspended without pay.

An emergency hearing will be held to determine his job status.