Five Georgia Police Officers Indicted on Murder Charges for 2019 Death of Fernanado Rodriguez

The five officers indicted on murder charges related to the death of Fernando Rodriguez in 2019 are Gregory Bowlden (from left), Robert Butera, Mason Lewis, Quinton Phillips and Marcus Stroud. (Credit: Henry County Sheriff’s Office)

Arrest warrants were issued Monday for five Georgia police officers indicted on murder charges for the 2019 killing of a 24-year-old man. Fernando Rodriguez died of asphyxiation after being placed in a prone position while he was handcuffed and held down, allegedly in violation of state law.

The indictment accuses Henry County Police Department officers Robert Butera and Quinton Phillips and former Hampton Police Department officers Mason Lewis, Marcus Stroud and Gregory Bowlden in Rodriguez’s death on September 20, 2019, following contact with police outside a concert at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The officers turned themselves in Monday and each posted $100,000 bond on Tuesday.

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The indictment, handed down by a Henry County grand jury Friday night, charges all five officers with one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault and violation of oath of office.

A spokeswoman for the Henry County District Attorney’s Office said arrest warrants for the five officers were issued Monday morning.

The five-page indictment says that Rodriguez died of asphyxiation. Body-camera footage shows him walking down a street fully naked, away from the officers when they tased him more than a dozen times.

The indictment accuses the officers of contributing to Rodriguez’s death by stretching him out “on the ground in a prone position, while he was handcuffed and shackled, holding him down and applying pressure to his body, contrary” to state laws.

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SOURCE: CNN, Nick Valencia

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