ATLANTA — Attorneys for the family of an 8-year-old girl who was killed on July 4, 2020 met with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, they said.
Secoriea Turner was in a car with her mother and another person when they tried to turn into a parking lot in the 1200 block of Pryor Road, according to Atlanta Police. They were allegedly confronted by a group of armed people who had blocked the entrance. During the confrontation, someone in the group opened fire at the car, hitting it multiple times and striking Turner.
Two people are in custody in connection with the case, with the latest arrest announced just last week - more than a year after Turners death.
“We were impressed with DA Willis, her staff, and the progress they have made in the prosecution of the individuals in the murder of Secoriea Turner," said Attorney Shean Williams of The Cochran Firm. "We left the meeting with the sense that DA Willis was taking it very seriously, it was a priority for her office."
Williams and lawyers from the Davis Bozeman Law Firm are working together representing the family in a civil suit. The family announced in June they would sue the city and others, claiming the city failed to do enough to protect the public.
The area where Turner was shot was only yards from the Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by Atlanta Police on June 12, 2020. Protests broke out in Atlanta following his death. There were also groups of people setting up their own roadblocks along University Avenue after Brooks was killed.
"The failures of the City of Atlanta the City of Atlanta Police Department is a major reason why this family lost their beautiful daughter," said Williams.
They believe city leaders were aware of what was happening in the neighborhood and should have done more.
"That is both sadness and sickening to think this child's life could have been protected," said Attorney Mawuli Davis.
“What we believe will come out regarding the criminal investigation and prosecution of this case will support our civil case against the city and city officials," Williams said.
Turner's father, Secoriya Williamson, and her mother, Charmaine Turner, said they are encouraged by the progress the district attorney has made in the case.
"We are grieving and we will continue to fight," her mother said.
"We have faith in DA Willis and her team in getting us a step closer for the justice for Secoriea that we need," Williamson said.
Last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Jerrion Amari McKinney was taken into custody and is facing multiple charges, including murder and gang charges for Turner's death.
The GBI said on June 11 of this year, Willis requested the GBI Gang Task Force to conduct a gang investigation and secure additional arrest warrants in Turner's murder investigation. They said the arrest warrants were secured for McKinney and Julian Jamal Conley.
Conley was arrested about a week after Turner was killed. Conley's previous attorney admitted the suspect was there that night but insisted he was not the one who fired the shot that killed the little girl.
Arrest warrants allege McKinney, Conley and others who prosecutors called "other co-conspirators" were operating an illegal checkpoint on University Avenue in southeast Atlanta a few yards away from the Wendy's that had been burned following the police shooting of Brooks.
Through social media, photographic evidence and criminal history, the GBI determined McKinney and Conley were members or associates of a gang, the warrants state.