Family wants answers in officer-involved fatal crash

by: Erica Byfield Updated:


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The parents of a man struck by a Dekalb police officer believe their son was murdered.


Clifton Hightower died in mid-May as he attempted to cross Memorial Drive.

"I'm tired. I can't do this anymore. They have to tell me something," said Anna Maria Davis.

Davis and her husband, Michael, reached out to Channel 2's Erica Byfield about the incident.

"They keep calling it an accident. It's not an accident. He murdered my son," Davis said.

Officer Jason Cooper hit and killed the 27-year-old on his way to a police chase.  Investigators said that night, Quentric Williams shot and killed Mitt Lenix at the Starlight Drive-In and fled. Cooper was en route to the high speed chase when he crashed.

"My son has been mowed down like a blade of grass and no one has been able to tell us anything," said Hightower's stepfather.

On Wednesday, Byfield met with the couple and their attorney. Hightower's parents told her they’ve spent the last month begging police to wrap up their investigation.

Police are looking into how fast Cooper was going and whether his lights were on when he crashed. A department representative told Byfield that crashes involving officers take time to investigate.

"The investigation surrounding the fatal pedestrian accident involving Officer Cooper remains an active and open case.  The Dekalb County Police Department is committed to transparent and thorough investigations," a statement said.

For the mother, who was barred from seeing her son’s body at the funeral home because his body was so badly mangled, the lack of answers doesn't make sense.

"I couldn't even kiss him. I couldn't even say bye to him. This is not fair," said Davis.

Hightower's parents want Cooper to face charges. Cooper is on paid leave.