ATLANTA — UPDATE: The Atlanta Police Department confirmed Monday that Chief Erika Sheilds fired Officer Keisha Richburg, accused of taking hundreds in cash from murder victim Jamel Harris.
We'll have the latest on this developing story on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. & 6 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: A local police officer is accused of stealing hundreds of dollars from a murder victim, and now the victim's widow is speaking out about the alleged theft.
On Wednesday, someone shot and killed Jamel Harris, an Atlanta father with another child on the way.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant learned that an Atlanta police officer is now under investigation for stealing from Harris after he was killed.
Leilani Collier found Harris lying in the street that day, along with his wallet.
“I thought maybe he had gotten hit by a car initially,” Collier said.
Collier said she came across Harris lying along the side of Marietta Road with a gunshot wound.
“I was like, ‘You’re going to be OK, you’re going to be OK.’ I said, ‘I don’t know if you can hear me.’ I said, ‘But if you can hear me, I need you to take a breath, so I know that you’re with me.’ And so, he took a breath,’” Collier said.
She told Diamant she learned who Harris was when she found his driver’s license in his wallet, along with a lot more.
“It was a stack. There was a smaller stack underneath, so it had to be $500 or $600, or maybe even more,” Collier said.
A lot of officers showed up to the scene, but Collier told Diamant she remembers one female officer specifically.
“I gave the officer his wallet, just how I pulled it out of his pocket is the way I gave it to her, and I was like, ‘This is his ID and his cash and his wallet,’” Collier said.
Harris didn’t survive, but Collier made sure Harris’ wife, who’s nine months pregnant, knew about all that cash she turned over to the officer.
“When I asked them about it, they said there was no money,” Harris said.
On Friday, the Atlanta Police Department confirmed its Office of Professional Standards is now investigating the officer to sort out what happened to the money.
“It’s pretty awful,” widow Lanique Harris said. “We have a mortgage to pay. We have funeral expenses. He didn’t have life insurance. Just that money would have really helped us.”
If APD finds the officer kept the cash, Collier thinks: “That’s the lowest of the low. You’re supposed to be here to protect and serve, not steal money from a dead person.”
An APD represtative said the accused officer is off the streets while the department figures out where the money went.
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