Officer who hit suspect with patrol car did not break law, prosecutors say

Prosecutors said a former police officer did not break the law when he hit a suspect with his patrol car.

Athens-Clarke County police fired Taylor Saulters back in June after dashcam video showed him hitting a suspect wanted on felony charges.

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Three months later, the 23-year-old is breaking his silence.

"When it all happened, I had to move because I was receiving death threats," Saulters said.

A special prosecutor cleared him of any wrongdoing Friday afternoon.

“I’m still in shock a little bit. I feel like there’s been a heavy burden lifted off of me and my family’s shoulders,” Saulters said.

"You still stand by your actions that day?" Channel 2's Michael Seiden asked.

“Oh, I do 100 percent. I feel I did nothing wrong," Saulters said.

At the time, then-Athens police Chief Scott Freeman defended his decision to fire Saulters, despite an incomplete investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Freeman resigned earlier this month. It's unclear if his resignation was related to Saulter's firing.

“The police department, in particular former Chief Freeman, has basically dropped the ball. They didn’t do the investigation. The state of Georgia did it, and they did it right,” Saulters’ attorney Philip Holloway said.

A letter from the special prosecutor called Saulters' actions “reasonable and in accordance with law."

Saulters is now working as a deputy in Oglethorpe County.

“My family has been put through a lot with this, and to have this kind of news is a blessing for me and my family to have some closure to tie all this in together,” Saulters said.

Saulters’ attorney said they are still digesting Friday's decision. They also want to look at some of the additional evidence that led to the decision before taking any legal action against the department.

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