• Atlanta police, city council express frustration over release of repeat offenders


    ATLANTA - Atlanta police and council members tell Channel 2 Action News they are frustrated by the release of a suspect. He's one of three recently arrested and accused in a string of Buckhead crimes.

    But the circumstances behind the release are still unclear because Friday's court records haven't been scanned yet.

    We do know Atlanta police are becoming increasingly vocal about their frustrations with Fulton County judges, and a chief judge told Channel 2's Nicole Carr she's getting ready to respond to all of the criticism.

    "I received the notice from Major Shaw on Saturday, and frankly was shocked," said Atlanta City Councilman J.P. Matzigkeiet.

    Matzigkeiet received an e-mail from Atlanta police telling Buckhead residents they arrested suspects in a string of crimes. At the same time, it blasted Fulton County court judges for releasing one of those supects.

    "My neighbor across the street was on of the people that this person burglarized and stole their vehicle and so this is personal to me," Matzigkeiet said.

    In the e-mail, Zone 2 Commander Maj. Barry Shaw talked about the release of 26-year-old Michael Hill, who is accused with two others of stealing a half dozen cars. 


    Police arrested Hill and Jaquantay Campbell last week after a chase that ended in East Point. Campbell had nine prior arrests which led to these remarks from police: 

    "I can't be more disappointed with the Fulton County criminal justice system and the Fulton County judges. I will be very curious to see what low bond they get from a Fulton County judge."

    Campbell is still in jail but Atlanta police said they didnt know Shaw was released on a signature bond while they work to tie him to a bigger case. 

    The commander wrote, "This is what's wrong with Fulton County. They don't fear being arrested in Fulton County the way they do in other jurisdictions and this needs to change. They do their jobs and you have this individual who on the surface seems like he should stay in jail, is released."

    Aside from one burglary arrest for Hill, we were not able to uncover any other criminal history because court transcripts and records from his Friday hearing still aren't filed. 

    Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk told Carr in an email she can't comment on Hill's release but she will address criticism of the court once she looks at the records. 

    "We have to work together to stop this. This can't go on," Kirk said.

    Matzigkeit and Councilman Matt Westmoreland said they're also scheduling a meeting with Superior Court Chief Judge Robert C.I. McBurney to discuss repeat offenders.

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