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Officer dies during chase

ALBANY — A police officer died in the line of duty as her patrol car crashed in pursuit of two armed robbery suspects speeding through East Albany shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, Albany Police Department officials said.

Barely married six months, 36-year-old officer Terry L. Fleming gave her life in service to her community, Police Chief John Proctor said. She leaves behind her husband and three children.

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Terry Fleming

Another officer, Gregory Batson, the driver of the second patrol car involved in the crash, was injured but was doing well Friday evening, Proctor said.

“She was doing what she loved best — serving her community,” Proctor said. “We lost a fine person and one of our finest officers doing the job she wished to do.”

Kentrell Bernard Butler and Wesley Martavi Wilkerson, both 22, are charged with felony murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and in the commission of a crime, stated a police report.

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Kentrell Bernard Butler

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Wesley Martavi Wilkerson

According to Proctor, this is the way the robbery pursuit went: A call came in that the Consolidated Finance Co., 425 Pine Ave., was being robbed by armed men. Officers responded in their patrol cars, joined by other police officers in cruisers.

Following the two suspects in their Chevrolet Tahoe into East Albany and along Blaylock Street just before Residence Avenue, Batson and Fleming’s patrol cars collided. The collision sent Fleming’s car into a tree, where it burst into flames. She was killed in the wreck.

Patrol cars continued the chase after the Tahoe occupied by Butler and Wilkerson. Reports stated the Tahoe rammed patrol cars, careened out of control, hit a tree and flipped over on Turner Field Road near Schilling Avenue.

The men, who police said were armed, were apprehended and brought to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning. A gun and cash were entered into evidence lockers. After questioning, the men were charged and booked into Dougherty County Jail.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, the Albany Fire Department and Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services responded to the crash. The Georgia State Patrol has the wreck under investigation and is handling the report.

“These are men with long criminal histories,” Proctor said. “We have to stand up and take back the community. The people have to support the police officers.”

Comments

firefly 2 years, 10 months ago

May have happened while 20+ police officers were in pursuit of these thieves. Officers were darting in and out of traffic.

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bubbavet 2 years, 10 months ago

keystone cops have done it again.

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Kenneth 2 years, 10 months ago

bubbavet-

Please- have some respect for the deceased officer and her family. Further, try and have a little more respect for the police. Your comment is derogatory and cold on light of what has occurred here.

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bubbavet 2 years, 10 months ago

AS USUAL YOU IDIOTS MISS THE POINT. IF PROPER PROCEDURE AND COMMON SENSE HAD BEEN USED SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN KILLED.MY HEART GOES OUT TO HER FAMILY NOT LIKE THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE TO SEE IT. IT HAS AND WILL HAPPEN AGAIN UNLESS SOMEONE CHANGES POLICY.

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Kenneth 2 years, 10 months ago

Again.....you cannot make that assumption based in the information. Following proper procedure and policies does not ensire one will not be injured....it just lessens the possibility. Not really sure what your policy change would be....should be interesting, thoough.

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guardian 2 years, 10 months ago

As usual, no one missed the point of your insensitive comment.

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lucygal 2 years, 10 months ago

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE show some compassion for this officer's family - don't post pictures of a burned car where someone lost her life! I realize its news and you have a story to share, but pictures like this are so unnecessary. Her family is going through a hard enough time without seeing this glaring reminder of how their loved one died.

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mcwatt 2 years, 10 months ago

It's unfortunate that comments like Bubba's are oftentimes the "thanks" that an officer gets when giving their life to try to make the city safer.

RIP Terry, God bless your family.

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MRKIA 2 years, 10 months ago

A BETTER PURSUIT POLICY NEEDS TO BE IMPLEMENTED TO PROTECT INNOCENT CITIZENS AND THE OFFICERS INVOLVED IN THESE CHASES. THE CHASE THEM AT ANY AND ALL COSTS MENTALITY ENDANGERS EVERYONE UNFORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE THEIR PATH. I CAN SEE THAT THE P.C. CAME CLOSE TO RAMMING THE HOUSE.MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED OFFICER BUT A SANER PURSUIT POLICY, ESPECIALLY WITHIN CITY LIMITS, MIGHT HAVE SAVED HER LIFE. FORTUNATLY NO ONE ELSE WAS HURT OR KILLED.

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TD31707 2 years, 10 months ago

Shoot the fleeing aholes and be done with it!! It will improve this city !

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bubbavet 2 years, 10 months ago

THANK YOU MRKIA.I GLAD YOU UNDERSTOOD MY POINT ABOUT PURSUIT POLICY.

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tbmuch 2 years, 10 months ago

Thank you officer Fleming and family for you dedication in trying to eradicate the criminal element from our community. Now, the citizens of Albany and the country had better get even more serious about teaching, training up these youngsters at an early age on respecting people and their property, in fact, some of us might want to brush up on our morals as well. Whether its your son or daughter or any other member of your family and I am including myself in this analysis as well, to uphold wrongness or to turn a "blind-eye" to the things they engage in thats not lawful, just will not stand. Period. Let's do better and become a better people from our endeavor in this struggle.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 10 months ago

I was over there when it happened. 1/2 hour before it happend. COPS standing around everywhere. I thought the very least a gang related murder. At first they reported 2 cops wreck chasing robbers. I was amazed that all that manpower for a robbery. And see what happened. Now babies are crying for their mother. Just a thought! Why chase that extensively for a finance company and not a bank or magic market. Looked to be a little overkill and a BIG waste of taxpayers money.

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 10 months ago

StrongEmphasis//We have so many good cops out there that do there jobs.God Bless You on your way to Heaven,he will be waiting for you with open arms.And for all the people who want to make remarks about the police Dept. This is nor the place or time.This is about a women who lost her life trying to protect someone.She did nt have to do it.Look what she lost in return,Her Life,Her Familey.Maybe things could have been diffrent.But the thing is someone died.This is a time for Prayers,and a time for thinking of her children,and other Familey.May God be With You all at this time,and till you can handle it better.I cant help you other than with my Prayers,but please know you have them.

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tocar 2 years, 10 months ago

May God bless the family of Terry and hold them close. We might all need to reflect on the fact she was doing her job and gave the ultimate. We do not need to be critical of any matter at this time. If the evil people in this community would turn their lives around it would be a better place to live. I pray for this family and especially for the husband and children who will be lost without their wife and mother.

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Kenneth 2 years, 10 months ago

MRKIA:

Police work is inherently dangerous....and although I understand your frustrations, please realize that armed felons fleeing the police, ramming police vehicles, having already demonstrated a reckless disregard for life are a danger to all citizens, including motorists, and pose a greater risk to everyone if not apprehended. Armed robbers tend to escalate their level of violence as they perpetrate more robberies if they are not aggressively pursued and apprehended. In essence, any failure by police to aggressively pursue these types of felons overwhelmingly places the public at an even greater risk. It is obvious these officers understand that dynamic.

To simply state "...a better pursuit policy is needed"....well, that has not been established here. Nobody has all of the facts just yet. Please hold your judgment in check. Unless you have been in a situation like this it is difficult to understand the dynamics that drive high intensity response and high-risk, high priority apprehensions. Officer Fleming gave her life while attempting to apprehend individuals who were a significant, credible danger to others at that time. She undoubtedly understood the danger of these felons not being caught....as did her fellow officers....as does Chief Proctor! As a police officer myself, I celebrate her courage and grieve for the loss felt by her family and felow officers. Please keep them in your prayers.

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43cop 2 years, 10 months ago

I have read these comment and unless you have been there, there stop making your remarks. This lady and the other officer were serving you as a citizen to the very best of their knowledge and training. All the officers that were responding to this call did the very best and when you say darting in and out of traffice, then move over and get out of the way so they can do their job. Pray for the family of Mrs. Fleming and Mr. Batson and each officer that took part in this and stop with the hateful remarks. Most of the comments sounds like arm chair quarterbacks and you DO NOT know what was really happening, only the officers know. Support the Officers and this department and all law enforcement in this community and all communities.

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GeorgiaAl 2 years, 10 months ago

Condolences to the family and friends of Officer Fleming. I for one am glad they pursue these armed thugs. I don't go to Albany without being armed myself and would have no problem if I had to soot to kill. Yes, there are risks, but letting these criminals get away only makes Albany more dangerous. Be alert people and respect a siren. Wake up Albany.

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Sally_O 2 years, 10 months ago

Well if the patroil car slows down, the trash they are pursueing will get clean away. Might as well not chase them at all. It's a travesty that the trash is still alive, while an officer trying to catch these pieces of garbage is killed.

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daisymae 2 years, 10 months ago

Bubbavet and Firefly, these officers were trying to protect the community, show some respect for their families. I can assure you if you were the one being robbed you would raise h### if they did not come fast enough and then want to sue the city. Albany needs to stand up and take the city back from these thugs with a long laundry list of criminal activity. I lost my brother 32 years ago to what should have been a simple domestic call. He took a bullet and my family lost a fine man. So all of you spouting negative comments, stop and think about the loss of life that was just doing her job. My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Terry's family. My heart is heavy and breaking for you.

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firefly 2 years, 10 months ago

Daisy, thanks for your concern but unfortunately I have been robbed before and APD did absolutely NOTHING for me. And in my honest opinion, had the police been a little smarter and SAFER about the pursuit this officer would still be with us.

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bubbavet 2 years, 10 months ago

MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE SENSE ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND IF PROPER PROCEDURE WAS FOLLOWED SHE WOULD BE ALIVE. MY HEART DOES GO OUT TO HER FAMILY. DOES THAT BOTHER YOU?

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mrnobody 2 years, 10 months ago

I offer condolences and ask for God's grace to the family of officer Fleming, and for a full recovery for officer Batson.

Regulating heroes who do their job isn't the answer. Stricter pursuit policies are bull mess. I'm thankful for them risking their lives every moment of their shifts to protect me and my family. It's tragic that we lost one of our finest, and another is injured. They are truly heroes.

The solution is for parents in our community to teach kids to aspire for more than being a thug, crackhead, drunk, or a professional government-sponsored babymama's who breeds to the thugs, crackheads, and drunks, only to produce more thugs, crackheads, and drunks. Without thugs like Butler and Wilkerson running the streets, police officers wouldn't have to risk (or lose) their lives to chase down thugs.

It seems like it's always someone else's fault. It's the police's fault for chasing thugs who commit armed robbery. If it's not complaining about how law enforcement deals with thugs it's complaining about something else.

I can tell you this, the tendency for some in our area to blame the government, schools, and police for their failures as parents and decent human beings to respect the law, get a job, and teach their children to do the same is starting to get really old. It's time for these to accept responsibility for themselves, and start the reform in each individual house. THAT is the solution to Albany's crime problem. Not more laws, and definitely not more restrictions on our police. If anything, police need more freedom to shoot thugs on the spot.

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DrMax 2 years, 10 months ago

Albany Police Officer Terry Fleming died running courageously toward what scary things other, less noble souls perpetually run away from. God Bless her, and all others like her. Though I only met her once in passing, I observed her to be exceedingly courteous, with a quick eye always scanning her surroundings. She was sharply dressed, and she was squared away. She was a credit to her department and to her family, quite obviously a person who took great pride in her embrace of personal and social responsibility. That said, I conclude: Rest in Peace Good Warrior, Rest in Peace.

But as regards some of the posters to this site, especially those like "firefly, bubbavet, MRKIA, and chinaberry25" - their whiney, uninformed, uneducated, ignorant, directionless, witless, irresponsible, and especially ignoble scribblings reveal mouldy, unimportant souls yearning for a purpose and a voice that has forever escaped them. If any of the aforelisted dank, putrid, miniscule minds had but a single decent and worthy cell in their bodies, they would have been Albany Policemen. But because they obviously lack the integrity and altruistic resolve necessary for the profession, they have instead chosen to bad-mouth, from behind the cloak of cowardly, closeted anonymity, the young fallen officer ... and her department ... and her profession, in order to make themselves feel better about what losers they are become and what an absolute waste their own life has been. It would be for the best if all such as these simply crawled back under whatever rocks they call home, consider deeply their own pathetic, small, dirty & useless lives - and beg death come quickly to shy them away to wherever cowards like them spend eternity.

The Problem with Albany is the Culture of Disresponsibility that pervades it. And the irresponsible chatter often found on these comment posts is symptomatic of the contagious deadly social disease that is destroying this town, our nation, and our civilization.

DrMax

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Oh_Brother 2 years, 10 months ago

THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH, WELL SAID!!!!!!!! We're dealing with mindsets with the people of Albany and it's one of the hardest things to change! MAY GOD bless her family and loved ones during this sad time.

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bubbavet 2 years, 10 months ago

I THINK I'M GOING TO PUKE. A DR. FROM ASU NO DOUBT.

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Kenneth 2 years, 10 months ago

I think I am beginning to see your problem quite clearly now, dolt. You ridicule and spew venom at everyone who crosses you. What a purveyor of good will and professionalism you are! Obviously, you are part of the problem and not the solution....so just zip it.

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Sally_O 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm all for just shooting them on the spot. These thugs are about as worthless to society as a cockroach. You can look at their mugshot and know they have never worked a day in their life and don't intend to. They need to pass a law that would lock up their parent (AKA Welfare mother) and father if they even know who he is whenever they commit crimes. Poor parenting produces poor citizens.

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Braveheartlaw 2 years, 10 months ago

It's ok to make observations about your prior experiences with law enforcement. It's NOT ok to assume this officer lost her life due to some frivolous over exuberant chase. Who wants thugs with guns ruling the streets? Officer Fleming is the 8th law enforcement officer In Georgia to give their life this year! It doesn't get more serious than bringing armed offenders like these to justice. God bless her for her service and pray for her family at this time.

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MRKIA 2 years, 10 months ago

<p>@DR.MAX : IF YOU'RE A DR. YOU MUST HAVE GOTTEN YOUR DEGREE FROM THE FINGERHUT CATALOG.WHAT A MORON YOU ARE. NO ONE COMMENTING HERE HAS SUGGESTED THESE CRIMINALS BE ALLOWED TO RUN FREE OR NOT BE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED. ON THE CONTRARY, THE SLANT IS TOWARDS THE SAFETY OF OFFICERS AND THE PUBLIC. BUT TO VALIDATE YOUR POINT YOU WOULD HAVE OFFICERS PLACE THEIR LIVES AT UNNECCESSARY RISK. THESE HI-SPEED CHASES ON CITY STREETS ARE AKIN TO SHOOTING IN A CROWED ROOM OR BEING CAUGHT IN A CROSSFIRE. WOULD YOU BE COMFORTABLE WITH BEING HIT BY POLICE CRUISER RATHER THAT A FLEEING SUSPECT? EVERY CHASE DOES'NT REQUIRE 10-15 UNITS RESPONDING IN HOT PURSUIT. A REASONABLE PERSON CAN DISAGREE BUT STILL RESPECT ANOTHER'S OPINION BUT YOU GOT PERSONAL WITH THIS NAME CALLING. APOLIGIZE AT YOUR LEISURE.

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Kenneth 2 years, 10 months ago

MRKIA/bubbavet.....whoever you are. Get a grip! Your threw the first punch here, you were called out, you were bested. Live with it. The bottom line remains that police work is inherently dangerous. No matter what policies and procedures are in place.....there will be officers who make the ultimate sacrifice due to circumstances that will occur in dynamic response situations. I do not expect you to understand this aspect of police work, but please allow those of us in the field to eduate you along those lines without your considerable ignorance screaming thbrough. To proffer proper policies and procedures were not followed, there were too many officers in the pursuit....well, that simply illustrates your very limited knowledge of such response protocol and tactics. This is not television sir....this is real. Again, get a grip.

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buster 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm betting these guys get off completely. They have probably never had a job and certainly don't want on. That is just their way of life. Take, take take.

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mjct1 2 years, 10 months ago

As I read the comments of those that have talked only about the performance of the officers, it is sad to say that most have conveyed their feelings from the point of disapproval of the APD. My concern is, if Officer Fleming was your daughter or relative, would you appreciate the signs of scrutiny at this time? Check yourself, for the pew the family is sitting on now could be YOU!!!!!!! To the family, God's word never fails. He promised us a comforter in the time of need. Many citizens as an individual and collectively pray that he fulfills his word and hear our cry for the Comforter to come and be with you in the loss of your love one. WE PRAY AND ASK TOGETHER FROM THOSE THAT BELIEVE AND KNOW YOU ARE THERE< Amen.

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ninja145 2 years, 10 months ago

Bring back public hangings. period.

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blueyedcharlie 2 years, 10 months ago

DrMax I'd like to thank you for your eloquent response to some of these anal retentive reprobates especially Bubba, who sadly is probably PROUD of his name and his missing two front teeth, sipping his Pabts Blue Ribbon while grilling squirrel on his Walmart stolen shopping cart turned into the latest version of a barbque grill. Normally I wouldn't even waste my time responding to the likes of him and mrkia but this is all about the loss of an officers life trying to protect the citizens of her community. To be honest with you I'm not sure they deserve that protection but our Constitution says it does and thankfully we have that Constitution that protects not only those idiots but those of the lowlifes Butler and Wilkerson. And as much as it burns me to the core knowing those two slimeballs have the same rights as we do (and BillyBob Bubba and Mrkia) those pukes have Constitutaionally guaranteed rights and as sad as it may be, those rights are extended to all of us, gutter feeders on up. Bottom line, a brave officer gave her life protecting us from the scum of the earth. Our thoughts should be for her, her family, and her fellow officers, not whether Billy Bob's warped opinion means anything. God bless officer Flemming my thoughts and prayers are for you and your family. Thank you for being there for us!

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bubbavet 2 years, 9 months ago

I TALKED TO SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE, BLACK AND WHITE. IT WAS WORSE THAN I THOUGHT. POLICE WERE GOING MUCH TOO FAST ENDANGERING THE PUBLIC. YOUR EYES ARE AS BLACK AS YOUR MIND. ALL YOU SEE IS BLACK. LEARN TO SPELL IF YOU CAN.

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mrnobody 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, the criminals were going too fast endangering the public. The police were trying to apprehend them and stop them.

Also as you try and correct others' spelling, it would benefit you to learn how to take your left index finger and press the caps lock key. Typing in all caps on the internet is viewed as yelling. You, friend, are way too loud.

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Outtahere 2 years, 9 months ago

mrnobody, thank you for the chuckle! I was thinking the same thing!!

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