Georgia ex-policeman sentenced to 12 years in prison in shooting of unarmed black man

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(Reuters) - A former Georgia police officer was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in prison after his conviction in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man outside an Atlanta apartment in March 2015.

Robert "Chip" Olsen, a 57-year-old white man, was convicted last month of aggravated assault and violating his oath of office but found not guilty of murder in the killing of 26-year-old Anthony Hill. [nL2N26Z0WL]

Before the sentencing, members of Hill's family urged Dekalb County Superior Court Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson to sentence Olsen to the maximum penalty of 30 years behind bars.

"Because he chose to use deadly force, that is the reason we are here. That's what this is all about: the consequences of his decision," Hill's mother, Carolyn Giummo, said in an impact statement. "He's never taken responsibility for taking my son's life - never said sorry."

Olsen resigned from the Dekalb County Police Department following his indictment.

Prosecutors said Olsen shot and killed Hill, a U.S. Air Force veteran who had served in Afghanistan, in the parking lot of his Atlanta apartment complex. Hill, who was nude and acting erratically, suffered from bipolar disorder and was having a manic episode, his family has said.

Olsen said Hill was approaching him in a hostile, threatening manner and disobeyed commands to stop. The shooting drew wide attention amid heightened criticism of deadly force used by police, particularly against minorities.

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The judge said she understood the challenges faced both by law enforcement officers who have to make quick life-or-death judgment calls and military veterans returning from conflict zones who "come back different."

Last month, in Dallas, a white officer convicted in the death of an unarmed black man was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Amber Guyger, 31, had been convicted of murder after she accidentally walked into the apartment of her neighbor Botham Jean, 26, while thinking it was her own, and fatally shot him as he ate ice cream. [nL2N26M0VR]

Story continues

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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