A former Georgia police officer was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison after fatally shooting an unarmed, naked Air Force veteran. Instead of attempting to de-escalate the situation or use nonlethal force, the former cop merely exited his vehicle and killed the unarmed man.
On March 9, 2015, DeKalb Police Officer Robert “Chip” Olsen responded to a call concerning a “possibly demented” naked man wandering around an apartment complex. According to the property manager, Anthony Hill was behaving strangely and wearing only shorts before briefly entering his apartment and reemerging without any clothes.
As Olsen arrived at the scene, Hill remained squatting in the roadway before running toward Olsen’s patrol car. Exiting his vehicle, Olsen ordered Hill to stop before shooting him twice.
After the shooting, Olsen falsely stated that Hill “physically assaulted him prior to the shooting” by pounding on Olsen’s chest. But according to witnesses, Hill never touched the officer.
After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force, Hill had served in Afghanistan. He returned with mental health problems, including bipolar disorder and PTSD. According to his family, Hill was having issues with his medications in the hours before his death.
Indicted on murder and several other charges, Olsen resigned from the department. Last month, he was acquitted on two felony murder charges but was convicted of aggravated assault, making a false statement, and two counts of violating his oath of office.
On Friday, Olsen was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by eight years of probation. Unlike other convicts, the former officer was not placed in handcuffs as deputies escorted him out of the courtroom.
“Just once I want that man to make eye contact with me,” Hill’s father referred to Olsen during the sentencing hearing. “He doesn’t have to say anything. But just your eyes can tell if he’s sorry. I (stood) out in that passageway many a day just hoping just once that I could get a little bit of eye contact. Not one time would he look my way. Not just a glance. Anything, anything.”
“He’s never taken responsibility for taking my son’s life,” Hill’s mother said at the hearing. “He’s never just said, ‘I’m sorry,’ for killing Tony.”
Hill’s father later turned to the judge and said there was so much more that he could say but that he would not. He stated, “It’s just time, time to let it go and move forward.”
Although the prosecution recommended Olsen serve 25 years in prison with an additional five years of probation, Olsen was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by eight years of probation for killing an unarmed, mentally ill veteran.