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Video of controversial police shooting, released

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Updated: 10/04/2011 10:42 am
GLYNN COUNTY, Ga.-- June 18th, 2010 started out like any other-- but ended in gunfire.

The fatal shots you hear in this dash cam video are from Glynn County Police Sargeant Corey Sasser and Officer Todd Simpson.

They fired after 35 year-old Caroline McGehee Small led them on an erractic, low speed pursuit.

She weaved through business areas and residential neighborhoods...before ending up on Armstrong Avenue.

"Coming around the corner, she was fishtailing side to side and the police bumped the vehicle," witness Mitch McCaniel said.

If you listen closely, you can hear the officers then yell: "get out the car, get out the car." Just a few seconds later...eight bullets riddled the windshield and struck Small in the face.

She was unnarmed and died one week later. In an interview with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Simpson explains what happened.

"She came forward at us, then she was shot," he said.

Small did have cocaine in her system and a half of bottle of vodka in her car...but some argue, including a witness, there was no reason to gun her down.

"The car was immobile and there's no way the car was going to run over the officer," McDaniel said.

Shortly after the shooting, the officers spoke about their markmanship. You can clearly hear one saying "don't mess with this vehicle."

Todd Simpson told witness Mitch McDaniel what happened when he shot Small.

"He said "no, she's dead. I shot her in the head, and her head exploded," McDaniel said.

In a 12-6 decision, a Glynn County grand jury cleared Sasser and Simpson of criminal wrongdoing in Small's death.

The panel, who heard more than six hours of evidence and testimony from officers-- stated the pair "acted lawfully and were justified in their conduct."

The officers still remain with the Glynn County Police Department.

Two Brunswick attorneys plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Small's two daughters, and estate.
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