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Is There Justice For Devin Parks, Killed At Forest Cove Apartments?

Could the owners of Forest Cove Apartments be partially liable for the shooting death of Devon Parks?

On Thanksgiving day, police officers responded to the Forest Cove apartment complex in Atlanta.  They found a man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and rushed him to a local hospital, where he died. The name of the victim was later released by his grieving sister.  Devin Parks, was the deceased, and his murder remains unsolved.  She also revealed that he may have been the victim of a robbery and he was shot in the back

Negligent Security Law

When landlords in Georgia fail to take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes, they may be held liable in civil court. When there is a history of violent crime at a property, and management has made no effort to improve security, then crime will likely be a problem in the future.  Landlords are expected to address crime before it becomes a chronic problem. This can be done, in part, by improving lighting conditions, employing onsite security, and maintaining perimeter fencing with access-controlled gates. Should they fail to take reasonable measures in response to known crime risks, landlords could potentially  be held liable in the civil justice system.

Previous Crime at Forest Cove

Devin Parks was tragically killed in the fourth shooting on that property in 2021. In September, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on a 15-year-old boy who was shot while walking past the complex. On August 24, 2021, Chiemere Poole, mother of 5,  was killed in the complex.  On August 4, 2021, 21-year-old Jaquan Montgomery was found shot to death at Forest Cove Apartments.  In March of 2021, owners finally capitulated to residents’ demands after they took complaints of rats, insects, and mold to local news outlets.  In 2018 Atlanta Police cited 197 code violations at the property. Online reviews complain that it is “unsafe to live in the complex,” discuss “rats tak[ing] over the apartment,” and describe the complex as “horrifying.”

Recent online reviews voice the concern of the residents at the property.  “Shots fired in these apartments and [in] its vicinity at least once a day,” a recent review states, “stay safe y’all.”

Only Crime Victims Can Demand Justice

It is up to the families of the victims, and the survivors, of violent crimes to use the civil courts to demand justice. A civil lawsuit cannot bring the victim of a deadly violent crime  back to their families, but a monetary settlement or judgement can honor the legacy of the lost, and help families and loved ones move forward in their own lives. Perhaps most importantly, a monetary judgement can help incentivize landlords to make the necessary changes to secure their properties against violent crime and prevent future tragedy. In this way we can help Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.

We believe that when violent crime occurs on a property, the owners and management should be held accountable if they were aware of the risk, if they failed to warn patrons and guests, and if they did not implement reasonable security measures. The law is on our side. But only the survivors of violent crimes and the families of victims can stand up and demand justice. We can help.

It is up to survivors and their families to demand justice.

Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.

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