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Deravis Caine Rogers, 22
Atlanta, Georgia
June 23, 2016

Agencies: Atlanta Police Department Georgia

Last updated: 3 months ago

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Overview Help icon

The Atlanta Police Department’s internal affairs investigation into the fatal shooting contains damning new information that undermines the officer’s justification for firing his gun.

Officer James R. Burns admitted to investigators that he shot into a vehicle not knowing if the person driving was the suspect he had been called to an apartment complex in northeast Atlanta to help investigate, according to the internal affairs file into the shooting death of 22-year-old Deravis Caine Rogers.

Legal Action Help icon

On Friday July 15, 2016, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced that arrest warrants were issued and that he will be seeking an indictment against Officer James Burns for felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of his oath of office for killing Deravis Caine Rogers.

Rogers' mother says in a federal lawsuit that her unarmed son's civil rights were violated. On July 18, 2016, Melva Rogers sued the city, police Chief George Turner and former officer James Burns, who was fired after the shooting.

On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, a grand jury indicted a former Atlanta police officer for murder and other counts in Rogers' death.

Two years after Rogers was murdered, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced that charges would be dropped.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, at issue was a Supreme Court decision that Howard said “declined to address the issue of whether certain statements, made by a police officer, could be used by the state in a grand jury proceeding.”

Howard further stated to the AJC, “Out of an abundance of caution, rather than seeking to litigate this issue further, we are simply choosing to re-indict the entire case.”

A week after the decision o drop the charges, Howard had not yet announced when he would re-indict Burns for murder.

On September 5, 2018, James Rolfe Burns was once again indicted for the murder of 22-year-old Deravis Caine Rogers. Prosecutors said the original indictment was ruled nolle prosequi in July due to a procedural matter related to the statements Burns made during the previous Grand Jury proceeding. The Fulton County District Attorney decided to bring the case before the grand jury again to move forward.