William Godfrey, attorney for injured Dawson mayor Christopher Wright, hopes to convince members of the Dawson City Council to reverse a recent 4-2 vote refusing to provide protection for Wright. Until recently, the 23-year-old mayor had been hospitalized for gunshot wounds sustained in a Halloween night attack. (Staff Photo: Jim West)
DAWSON — Christopher Wright’s attorney, William Godfrey, is going to bat for the 23-year-old Dawson mayor to convince the city to provide him security protection.
Wright survived multiple gunshot wounds on Halloween night in what the GBI initially called a home invasion. However, Wright, his family and the Georgia Conference of Black Mayors believe the attack was politically motivated. Wright’s mother was tied up during the attack, but was not injured.
Now Wright is recuperating outside the hospital. In a 4-2 vote of the Dawson City Council, Wright was denied 24-hour protection. The majority of the council declared the estimated $16,000 monthly cost of protecting their mayor to be excessive.
“The cost is not the only factor that the council considered,” said Dawson City Attorney, Tommy Coleman in a previous statement to the Herald. “The council decided that’s not in the scope of what they should do. The prevailing decision was that the police would provide the same protection (for the mayor) that they do for all citizens.”
Godfrey plans to attend the next commission meeting to see if he can change some minds.
“This is a unique situation,” Godfrey said. “I’m not certain how many cities or counties have been faced with the head of a city having been shot (multiple) times in what may have been a politically motivated attack. That’s the variable, I think, that the city isn’t taking into account.”
Godfrey said he hoped to explore with commission members the possible alternative of a “third party” protection service providing security for Wright. A independent service could be less expensive than relying on the Dawson police force, and address the concern some commission members have of legal liability to the city should the security prove inadequate and Wright is killed or injured, Godfrey said.
“It would terrible, in my way thinking, if the city had the opportunity to provide security and something ends up happening to this young man,” Godfrey said.