Former cop arrested after he allegedly failed to fully investigate half-brother for murder

News & Politics

A former cop in Georgia found himself on the other side of the law last week when a grand jury indicted him in connection with a murder investigation allegedly involving his half-brother.

On May 9, 2021, 25-year-old Javarreis Reid was discovered murdered. His lifeless body was found lying on the pavement in Griffin, Georgia, about 40 miles south of Atlanta. He had been shot multiple times.

Investigator D’Marquivius Jamon “D.J.” King, described by some as a “rising star” in the Griffin Police Department, immediately arrived on the scene. During the course of his investigation into the murder, however, King made a frightening discovery: His half-brother, Damon Beck, may have been involved.

According to reports, King never disclosed to his superiors about the possible conflict of interest. He also allegedly never listed Beck as a potential suspect on any case documents. In November 2021, King was given a written reprimand by the department for violating his duty “not to give false or misleading information.”

Last year, then-Griffin Police Chief Michael Yates defended King, claiming King’s only mistake was keeping “poor documentation of his casework.” Yates also stressed that Beck is just King’s “half-brother,” whom King “never lived with.” Yates insisted that, barring some new evidence from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, he does not “believe” King committed any crime.

Yates denied committing any crimes as well but did ultimately retire from the department after he was placed on “non-disciplinary, administrative leave” last April. “I adamantly deny any wrongdoing or violations of policy, ever,” he wrote in a statement to 11Alive.

Despite support from the then-chief, King was placed on administrative leave a little over a year ago, shortly after his half-brother, Beck, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and murder in the Reid case. King resigned from the department six months ago.

Last Friday, a Spalding County grand jury indicted King, now 25, on one count of violation of oath of office, a felony that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison. King turned himself in and was booked into the Spalding County jail, where Beck remains in custody on $750,000 bond. However, jail records do not list King among the current inmates there, an indication he may have bonded out.

Griffin City Manager Jessica O’Connor suggested both King’s and Yates’ professional behavior was “egregious.” “We have learned from past mistakes made by former officers and are continually implementing new policies and practices to ensure that the Griffin Police Department is held in high regard as a professional agency, here to serve our citizens,” her statement added.

King declined 11Alive’s request for comment.

Ray Muhammad, a community activist and friend of the murder victim, Javarreis Reid, claimed that King’s arrest has reopened old wounds. “We’re still grieving,” Muhammad said, “because you had to get an investigator to investigate the investigator who was investigating the case.”

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