published Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Bradley grand jury declines to charge Poe in shooting incident

The Bradley County Grand Jury declined this week to indict Cleveland City Councilman George Poe in connection with a May incident where he fired a handgun at a car containing burglary suspects.

Charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment were referred to the grand jury last year. Mr. Poe, 65, said he shot at Randall Brogdon’s vehicle after the driver tried to run him over after stealing his son’s lawnmower on May 22, 2009.

Later Mr. Poe spotted Mr. Brogdon and his wife in another area of Cleveland and alerted police.

Tenth Judicial District Attorney Steve Bebb recused himself from prosecuting the case, handing it over to Russell Johnson in the 9th District in Kingston.

“This effectively ends the case, as far as I am concerned,” Mr. Johnson said Tuesday.

“Technically, you could bring the case back but our office won’t do that,” he said. “I have already sent the closure letter to the TBI.”

Mr. Poe could not be immediately reached for comment.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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redolance said...

I think it is upsetting that sometimes politicians get off with stupid choices. Had it been me, just your average Joe, I would have been thrown under the jail. Oh, you say, well, we know he is a good guy who just made a mistake? Well, that is what any crime is, a mistake. Usually done in the act of need of either some drug or done while angry. Which is apparent with what happened in this case. rage. Not giving a hoot if somebody else besides the criminal was hurt. Had there been any consideration, shots would not have been fired. I am not saying throw Mr Poe in Jail. I am saying, it is fine time you worked things out with people who are not politicians like you do with those who are. Because the only thing you are showing is that you are a hypocrite who expects people to uphold the law, yet you yourselves don't have to keep it or get off when charged. Gonna let your people off, let the rest off. It is only fair, and if you can't be fair then you're being corrupt. What other laws are being broke that you people in high places are getting off with? Be fair is all I am saying. And you know what? Being fair is being right. And that is what the law issupposed to be is "RIGHT".

February 2, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.
harrystatel said...

I'd give Mr. Poe more ammunition and shooting lessons. If more thugs were shot, there would be less crime.

Better aim next time, Mr. Poe.

February 2, 2010 at 8:15 p.m.
redolance said...

Whether he was shooting at thugs or not, he was still breaking the law. Had it been me, I would have been charged, tried, and sentenced. All I'm saying is BE FAIR!!

February 2, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.
harrystatel said...

The law of self-preservation takes precedence over anything else. Just how fair was the thug who tried to run over him?

I'd love to be on any jury (grand or petit) that tried to convict someone for shooting, maiming, or killing any thug in self-preservation. No true bill on the grand jury, and not guilty at trial.

The "law" is not a suicide pact.

February 2, 2010 at 8:42 p.m.
redolance said...

The thug wasn't fair at all. You're right. I suppose given Mr. Poe's cededentials, he has earned his trust to a degree. Therefore, perhaps no trial would be needed to proceed on whether or not it was done for self preservation, or if the thug tried to really run over him or not? Perhaps, Poe can be trusted at his word.

February 2, 2010 at 8:57 p.m.
harrystatel said...

No one distrusts most politicians than I. But in this case, Mr. Poe was correct to take whatever steps were necessary. Whether he is a politician or not doesn't matter. He had every right to protect himself.

February 2, 2010 at 9:03 p.m.
rolando said...

Two problems here:

1) Firing at the car, not the driver. That is not self-defense regardless of whether the "car" was coming at Poe or not. If he was actually threatened [which is in doubt], his target should have been the driver; ask any cop about that. The "car" was not driving itself.

2) Firing his remaining rounds into the air while the driver was driving away "in an attempt to scare him off". He was already fleeing. That meaningless shooting constitutes reckless endangerment to all and sundry, including himself.

Look for this possibly disturbed W. Earp wannabe to do this again...next time his neighbor's kids might be his target for making too much noise or maybe playing in his son's yard.

In no way do I say this lightly but Poe's Carry Permit should be revoked, his gun[s] confiscated, and his name entered into the TBI's no-gun database before he kills someone for an equally frivolous reason [allegedly stealing a lawnmower, for God's sake.] He has already demonstrated his lowered anger threshold...we do not need this kind of irresponsible politically-connected cowboy carrying a gun. God help anyone whose dog defecates in this nutcase's front yard.

February 2, 2010 at 9:21 p.m.
redolance said...

Well, I just look at it if it were me. I know, he was probably wrong, and I still believe your average Joe should be treated fair, but if somebody tried to run over me and my son, somebody would be getting a tail beating. Me, personally, I don't know how I would react in such a circumstance if I had a gun. I mean, you love your kids, and when somebody endangers your child's life, especially in front of you, it makes you mean.

February 2, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.
utfan1 said...

the facts are a criminal tried to run someone over and that can be met with deadly force. re: rolando i would doubt any children would be harmed- get real! you are reaching. had it been me as a traget of the criminal brogden,i would have done the same thing. since i am not a politician i suspect no charges would have been filed. i do believe the bradley d.a. has a vendetta against local officials.i.e. : mcminn sheriff steve frisbee,cleveland chief wes schneider, rep jeff miller and others. do you see a pattern? all were found to have done nothing wrong including councilman poe.

in closing, dont steal and stay away from other peoples property.

February 2, 2010 at 10:33 p.m.
redolance said...

What I meant was his son. Which, perhaps to him, will always be his child.

February 2, 2010 at 11:03 p.m.
redolance said...

The DA has something against anybody who does anything that is criminal. But I grant you, had I fired the shot after the fact, I would have been arrested and charged. I might had gotten off of it had I taken it to trial, which is doubtful. Very doubtful. Something just seems wrong shooting at a vehicle as it moves away from the crime scene by one who isn't a law enforcement officer, not to mention the public around being at danger. perhaps, even a law enforcement officer would be eyeballed in such a matter.

February 2, 2010 at 11:26 p.m.
redolance said...

Charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment were referred to the grand jury last year. Mr. Poe, 65, said he shot at Randall Brogdon’s vehicle after the driver tried to run him over after stealing his son’s lawnmower on May 22, 2009. Notice it stated after.

February 2, 2010 at 11:30 p.m.
utfan1 said...

notice it said run over!

lady you are probably a bleeding heart liberal and you just dont believe in self defense or guns. however we do have a right in the UNITED STATES that allows us to defend ourselves. clearly poe was in the right or the grand jury would have sent this matter to court. do you seriously believe that a jury can be swayed by a public servant. i dont think so. this aint chicago and he aint obama or blagoivich! this event has been misrepresented in the news and the real story is a hardened criminal that had just been released from jail for crack possession(had arrest warrants in 2 states and 4 different counties) tried to run over poe on his own property.

so i say way to go george! maybe the crime rate will go down.

February 3, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.
redolance said...

I don't think Mr. Poe should go to jail, because frankly, I would have done the same thing probably. But I grant you the only reason Mr Poe got out of it is because he has trust with somebody who knows he's not your common thug who was just doing it for fun, but for the fact, perhaps not that he was almost ran over, but that his son was. I want to make mention and clear, shooting as he did was not a wise decision. And if your average guy did it, he would go to jail. I don't care what you say. I say this so some average guy don't go to jail, because he was under the misconception it was alright. Which he should go to jail. Because nobody really knows the situation. He should be tried, which he would probably take a plea deal for about 15 years probation rather than take a chance on getting 15 years incarceration after being found guilty by a jury, because of endangering the public. Personally, I like Mr Poe. He is a decent and fair man. My entire point though, which, I was wrong in doing it in mr poe's case, because he really is a good guy, is that you have to treat everyone fair, and in an honest manner. Don't abuse them, beat them up, or other things that are inhumane. treat them like humans, but remember, they probably deserve to be in jail. All men have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That's it. Point made. Take care

February 3, 2010 at 1:42 a.m.
Nellie said...

Poe is an okay guy, however, Randall's story says Poe spotted the car in another part of town and alerted the police. I believe he chased the car through town and (possibly) caused an accident involving other cars on Inman Street. I also believe if I had done exactly what Poe did that I would have been charged. What you see here is a classic example of "it's who you know".

February 3, 2010 at 9:08 a.m.
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