Edit: Article updated to include a video interview with the widow of David Hooks as she recounts this tragic event.
A Georgia SWAT team shot and killed an armed homeowner during a September 24 drug raid sparked by the word of a self-confessed meth addict and burglar who had robbed the property the previous day. No drugs were found.
According to WMAZ TV 13, Laurens County sheriff’s deputies with the drug task force and special response team (SWAT team) conducted a no-knock search on Hooks’ home in East Dublin on the evening of the 24th. When the raiders burst through the back door of the residence, they encountered Hooks’ carrying a shotgun. Multiple deputies opened fire, shooting [and] killing Hooks.
According to his family, Hooks was not a drug user or seller, but was a successful businessman who ran a construction company that, among other things, did work on US military bases. Hooks had passed background checks and had a security clearance.
The search warrant to raid Hooks’ home came about after a local meth addict named Rodney Garrett came onto the property two nights earlier and stole one of Hooks’ vehicles. Garrett claimed that before he stole the vehicle, he broke into another vehicle on the property and stole a plastic bag. Garrett claimed he thought the bag contained money, but when he later examined it and discovered it contained 20 grams of meth and a digital scale, he “became scared for his safety” and turned himself in to the sheriff’s office.
(Hooks’ family, however, said that Garrett had been identified as the burglar and a warrant issued for his arrest the day after the burglary. He was arrested the following day; the raid happened that same night.)
Garrett’s claims were the primary basis for the search warrant. But investigators also claimed they were familiar with the address from a 2009 investigation in which a suspect claimed he had supplied ounces of meth to Hooks, who resold it. Nothing apparently ever came of that investigation, but the five-year-old uncorroborated tip made it into the search warrant application.
And it was enough to get a search warrant from a compliant magistrate. Hooks family attorney Mitchell Shook said that even though the warrant was not a no-knock warrant, the Laurens County SWAT team did not announce its presence, but just broke down the back door of the residence.
Mitchell Shook, an attorney for Hooks’s family, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that deputies spent 44 hours searching Hooks’s home for drugs — yet they found nothing. The attorney also told the Macon Telegraph that the shooting didn’t happen the way the police say it did.
According to the family attorney’s account, Hooks was asleep when armed deputies arrived at his house at 1184 Ga. 319 just before 11 p.m. Sept. 24. His wife, Teresa, was upstairs in her craft room when she heard a car drive fast up the driveway, and she looked out the window.
“She saw several men all in black and camo with hoods on,” Shook said. “She ran downstairs, woke David and said, ‘The burglars are back.’ ”
Hooks retrieved a gun and headed out of the bedroom as the officers broke down the back door, Shook said. He said Hooks was not wounded at the door but behind a wall in his house.
“They may have seen him with a weapon, but it appears at that point in time it was chaos,” Shook said. “They were shooting everywhere. There’s a lot more to it than law enforcement has reported.”
He believes deputies fired 16 to 18 shots from multiple guns and assault rifles. Shook also questioned the wisdom of serving the warrant so late at night.
If this history of the arrogance and seeming incompetence of Deputy Chris Brewer below outrages you (and it will), please take a few seconds to sign this change.org petition and have Chris Brewer suspended from Laurens County for his role in the death of David Hooks as well as so many other cases stretching back well over a decade. Also please share this petition on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Where is Don Lemon and all the other Ferguson Media Whores on this story?
When it comes to Ferguson and all the recent rallies no matter how minor and in what city all over the country you could find nearly non-stop coverage from CNN and others. But when it comes to David Hooks, which in my opinion is a much more compelling story because he was basically murdered inside his own home while doing absolutely nothing illegal, there has been hardly a peep. There have been a few articles here and there from the Atlanta Journal, Washington Post, and local media but nothing in comparison to Michael Brown or Eric Garner. In fact almost no coverage at all by any TV media outside of Georgia at all and very few print stories.
I am not saying those stories do not deserve the attention they are receiving, but people need to understand the anger and frustration is not simply about police fatalities by the police against black Americans. There are cases just as tragic against other races as well and the issue needs to be about American citizens of all races seeking justice. If anything is to change this needs to be about reforms that address police reforms for all citizens regardless of their race. Overreach and overreaction involving police brutality and police fatalities is very real and we need to take steps to address this immediately.
There is a rally for Mr. Hooks in Dublin, GA this Saturday December 13, 2014. But don’t expect Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper to show up even though this is just a few miles down the road from CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Unless there is looting, fires, and tear gas it seems the media don’t seem to give a damn. I volunteer to throw some tear gas towards CNN to boost their sagging ratings and give them a chance to bring out their gas masks if they cover a story nearly outside their front door. Where are you CNN and all the other media?
Please take 30 seconds and Sign this Petition right now and take a stand over the murder of an innocent man. Christopher Brewer needs to be suspended immediately.
Below are the Facebook Pages for David Hooks. Please visit and like these pages to show your support.
Attorney: Hooks shot in the back and head during raid
Teresa Hooks, David’s wife, remembers the night clearly.
She says, “Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, ‘Who is it?,’ and I said I didn’t know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over.”
She says, “Initially, I thought that I was going to die, I thought I was going to be shot, I thought a gang had broke in, and up until I heard the radios the dispatch radios, I had no idea.”
Hooks says she sat outside in handcuffs for two hours after her husband was shot to death.
She says during that time, she had to watch her husband on a stretcher without a word from officers about what was going on.