Atlanta Jewry Agitated over Killing of Jewish Grocer by Officer; Talk of Mass Meeting
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Atlanta Jewry Agitated over Killing of Jewish Grocer by Officer; Talk of Mass Meeting

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Considerable unorganized agitation was manifested here on the part of the Jewish community as the result of a sequence of events that began with the killing of Jake Minsk, Jewish grocer, Monday by local police called to settle a minor dispute between Minsk and a younger brother. This was followed on Tuesday by the indictment of O. C. Hewell, the officer who fired the fatal shots and his release today without bail in the custody of a deputy sheriff.

Talk of a mass meeting and the employment of legal talent to assist the solicitor’s office in the prosecution of the indicted officer was being circulated here but has thus far resulted in no definite action. The indictment Tuesday was said to be based upon testimoney given to the grand jury by A. L. Bandy, eye-witness to the shooting. Although the local papers have carried nothing of Mr. Bandy’s statement, confining all news to police reports and a sworn statement made to the police by Harry Minsk, brother of the dead man, information given your correspondent today would indicate the possibility of unwarranted cruelty on the part of officer Hewell.

Minsk was fatally wounded as the result of three shots fired into his body by Hewell. The latter and his companion officer, accompanied by Minsk’s brother, who summoned them to settle a dispute over two cases of empty drink bottles, entered the grocery shop of Minsk. According to Bandy, Minsk was behind the counter cutting meat for a customer when he was told by his wife that somebody wanted to see him.

He came around in front of the counter with the knife still in his hand, and without raising it approached the officers who had called for him, Bandy said. When Minsk came within about seven feet of the officers, Hewell fired the first shot that took effect in the grocer’s body. The policeman fired the second shot while Minsk was falling and a third shot while the man lay on the floor, Bandy said. No words passed between the officers and the grocer, Bandy declared.

Officer Hewell, in his statement at police headquarters, said he fired in self-defense when Minsk attempted to attack him with a knife. Minsk’s brother, who was taken to police headquarters immediately following the incident, where a sworn statement was taken from him, substantially corroborated the policeman’s statement.

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