A now-fired Atlanta Police sergeant has been indicted on four charges stemming from the February 2017 shooting of a North Carolina tourist near the Georgia Dome.
A Fulton County grand jury handed up an indictment Wednesday against Mathieu Cadeau, 52, on counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of violation of his oath of office.
The man who was shot, Noel Hall, says he is happy to hear about the charges.
(Photo Caption: Noel and Christie Hall)
"I think it's a good start going forward, and it looks like things are moving in the right direction of what I feel needs to happen," said Hall.
Hall and his family were in Atlanta for his son's competitive motocross event. As they drove along Northside Drive to retrieve his son's bike, Sgt. Mathieu Cadeau, who was directing traffic, would not let Hall turn from Northside Drive onto Ivan Allen Boulevard. The two exchanged words and Hall decided to disregard Cadeau's directions and made the turn anyway. Cadeau pulled his weapon and fired into Hall's van, striking him.
"The bullet entered into his shoulder, exited out, back into his chest, exited out, and then passed in front of Mrs. Hall, inches from her head," says Hall attorney Mecca Anderson. "The bullet shattered the passenger window next to where Mrs. Hall was seated in the van."
The bullet only missed Noel Hall’s heart by two inches. Hall survived and none of the other five people who were in the van were injured.
The Atlanta Police Department fired Cadeau on May 18, 2017.
Noel Hall says he’s “happy” that former Atlanta Sgt. Mathieu Cadeau, who shot him, is indicted on 4 counts: Aggravated Assault, Public Endangerment’s, & two of Violation of Oath of Office. Cadeau fired into the van when Hall disregarded his traffic direction in 2017 @wsbradio pic.twitter.com/xzYAkQBn8w— Veronica Waters (@MissVWaters) October 10, 2018
Immediately after the indicitment, Hall's attorneys filed a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta, Cadeau, and the former police chief, George Turner, seeking unspecified damages.
(Caption: Shean Williams and Noel Hall)
"Mr. Hall was seriously injured, his family was seriously frightened and emotionally damaged," says attorney Shean Williams.
Williams says neither Cadeau nor any other officer called in the gunshot. An ambulance responded, he says, because Hall's wife called 911.
(Caption: Sam Starks)
"This is the third civil rights lawsuit we have filed against the city of Atlanta in as many years, for the practice of APD officers shooting into moving vehicles," says attorney Sam Starks. "It's a deadly practice. It's a dangerous practice."
The lawsuit says former chief Turner is culpable because he personally overruled a recommendation that Cadeau, who had numerous excessive force or other complaints against him, be fired in 2015. The lawyers contend Turner helped create a culture in the APD that excessive force would get them nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
"There's no reason that Cadeau should have been on this force, not only after the repeated citizens' complaints of violence or excessive force, but when his own management recommended that he be terminated, Chief Turner at the time specifically overruled them. Not only did he allow that to happen, they allowed Cadeau, who was a sergeant, to go and train other officers on this procedure and these methods he should've been terminated for," says Williams.
"We obviously want justice and compensation for our client," says Starks. "This was a needless, reckless, senseless shooting. It should not have happened."
Hall says the shooting left him with a physical and an emotional scar.
"A cop pulls up behind me, I'm automatically nervous where I should be happy," says Hall. "And we've got cops in our family. But it's definitely different now."
Christie Hall's voice trembled as she spoke, revealing she is still shaken by the memory.
(Caption: Noel and Christie Hall)
"When you think about it, not only could it have taken my life, my kids could have witnessed that. And that would've been quite gruesome. It's disturbing," says Mrs. Hall.
Asked what is a fair outcome, she said she wants this to not happen to anyone else.
"What would be fair is to feel safe again," says Mrs. Hall.