April 24, 2020
Today would have been Ethan Calton’s 30th birthday. His family and loved ones will be celebrating his life and memory today. His story is as follows.
Ethan was shot in the back during a service for arrest by officer Tyler Green with Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office on December 1, 2020. There were numerous questions concerning this case at that time as well as today still. Supposedly the SBI investigated the shooting thoroughly, but the results of that investigation were never released.
The family of Ethan had to take DA Ted Bell and current Sherriff Chris Francis to court to even be allowed to view the body cam video. After viewing it they found they had more questions than answers and that the date stamps did not appear to be consistent throughout the video. See the WLOS story and video here.
When questioned in court District Attorney (D.A.) Ted Bell confirmed to the judge that he had “stabilized” the video and it was a bit shorter in length than the original. D. A. Bell then released an enhanced version of a still shot off the video to the public.
The judge ordered him to show the entire unaltered video to the family. After seeing the unaltered version there were even more questions. When the video was released to the general public many questions were asked by them also.
Nowhere in this heartbreaking video did you see Ethan with a gun in his hand nor did you see any officers rendering first aid to him after he was shot. They never even checked a pulse. He was literally left lying where he fell while they walked over and around him.
It appears that this was Officer Tyler Green’s fifth incident with discharging a firearm in three years while working for Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office. D.A. Ted Bell did not press charges against him, nor have we heard if any type of psychological evaluations on Officer Green for firearms safety have been done.
Ted Bell is running for D.A. in the May 17th primary. He was called out by the judge in this “death by officer”, but how many other things similar to this has he intervened in? Since he has been in office, how many things has he filed away?
He claims to have a high conviction rate via plea deals, but how many such deals has he made by making people think they had no other choice. With such power should come responsibility. Have we really seen that with Ted Bell?
Cases that he was concerned about have languished six (6) or more years waiting to be heard. So much can happen in that time to cause a case to be dismissed. Is he truly acting responsibly to the people he was elected to serve?
What about the issue of “protecting” former Judge Randy Pool?
What about hearing the cases against Word Of Faith Fellowship members for an incident that happened in 2013?
What about the overdoses and deaths that have occurred at our jail during his tenure?
Who is he supposed to serve, the people of our communities, or his friends and co-workers?
What about the arrogance of thinking it was acceptable to alter a body cam video concerning a death by officer?
Is Bell who we really want to represent us-someone who seems to think that position and power are more important than actual justice for victims.
Today Ethan’s mother Gwynne Miller King mourns the unnecessary death of her son on the 30th anniversary of his birth. His three young children will celebrate this bittersweet day with their mother, unfortunately quickly losing the memory of him with time.
Ethan was not given the opportunity to grow and be a father to his children or be there to help his mother as she grows older. People make mistakes in life, but those types of mistakes should not cause them to be executed by firearm and left to lie in the dirt alone.
Nothing will bring Ethan back to the people who loved him. They know in their hearts who he was. They also know how senseless his death was.
Justice must be served in this case someday. However, justice sometimes takes time and people who care about the truth. Ted Bell is not one of those people it seems.
Rutherford and McDowell County citizens deserve someone who actually cares about doing “the right thing.”
Gwynne, the community wraps their arms around you and your family during this time and sends you much love. Ethan will not be forgotten by them and neither will seeking justice for him.