Macon – After reviewing initial results of the GBI’s investigation into a March 1 use of force incident involving a Bibb County deputy, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke announced Monday that the shooting has been deemed justified.
“Based on my review of the evidence gathered thus far, it is clear that Deputy Jeremiah Moneypenny was justified in his actions and no charges will be filed against him stemming from this incident,” Cooke said. “In a case where the facts are clear, there’s no need to delay getting this deputy back to work protecting our community.”
Initial findings show that 29-year-old Benjamin Curtis Bivins was involved in a physical altercation with another man on Cherry Street, near The Hummingbird, at about 1:30 a.m. on March 1. Afterward, the other man ran and Bivins chased him down Cherry Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Bivins pulled out a gun and fired two shots.
Deputy Moneypenny had been conducting a business check at a nightclub across the street and witnessed the shooting. Dressed in uniform, Moneypenny ordered Bivins to stop and drop the gun before following Bivins in a foot chase.
During the chase, Bivins turned around, looking back toward Moneypenny while still holding the gun. Moneypenny reasonably believed Bivins was about to shoot him and he fired several shots toward Bivins. Bivins and the deputy exchanged gunfire as the chase continued north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Mulberry Street Lane.
Bivins, who’d been shot, was taken into custody behind a dumpster on Mulberry Street Lane. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered near him and a loaded magazine was found in his pocket.
An eyewitness who’d been talking with Deputy Moneypenny outside the nightclub across Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard saw Bivins fire shots near the intersection of Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He also saw Bivins holding the gun when Bivins turned toward Moneypenny.
Bivins was charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer on March 2. New warrants charging him with two firearms crimes were signed last week.
Bivins is considered innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law. He is being held without bond at the Bibb County jail.
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack