- Associated Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Savannah’s mayor and city council said Thursday they won’t interfere in a pending grand jury investigation by publicly releasing body cam footage of police shooting a 20-year-old man, whose family says the video shows he was unarmed.

Police fatally shot Ricky Boyd outside his home Jan. 23 while trying to arrest him on a murder warrant. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said Boyd was holding a BB pistol. The slain man’s mother says investigators let her view body cam footage that showed her son with his arms raised and no weapon in his hands.

Flanked by family members and supporters, Jameillah Smiley called on the Savannah City Council during its meeting Thursday to immediately release the police video to the public.

“I want the public to see what happened to my son that day,” Smiley said.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach and other council members offered Smiley condolences, but showed no support for releasing the video. Savannah City Attorney Brooks Stillwell told her the video is still considered evidence in an open investigation. Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap has said she plans to present findings of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s investigation to a grand jury.

“Ma’am, the city can’t do anything” while the grand jury investigation is pending, Stillwell said.

Boyd’s grandmother, Mattie Wallace, has said police surrounding their front yard shot her grandson in front of her and his younger siblings while she tried to tell them he wasn’t armed.

Savannah police said the officers had a warrant to charge Boyd with murder in the slaying of a 24-year-old man found shot two days earlier. The names and races of the officers who shot Boyd have not been released.

“My heart breaks for you,” council member Van Johnson told Smiley. “But we must do it the right way. And the right way is the legal way.”

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