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Courts and Crime

U. of A not commenting on officer in traffic stop shooting
University does not confirm or comment on report about officer's identity and service record

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
The University of Akron still refuses to identify the police officer who killed a motorist last week, and says its investigation into Thursday’s fatal shooting is not complete. 

The university officer stopped 64-year-old James Genda for improper registration a few blocks from campus. That’s when Genda reportedly pointed a BB gun that looked like a .45 at the officer. The university will not identify the officer nor will it comment on a report by WKYC that he is Aaron Burnette, a 10-year-veteran who had been fired for allegedly using excessive force. Burnette was reinstated after an arbitrator ruled there was no evidence of excessive force. 

Family members say Genda was trying to hand over the gun, which he carried for protection after being mugged last year. 

They also acknowledge Genda had racked up dozens of traffic violations in the past 20 years and drove without a license. No dash-cam video exists of last week’s traffic stop, but surveillance video from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles parking lot has been turned over to investigators.
Listener Comments:

That's interesting, Leslie, given that Burnette`s only been working there 10 years, and your incident occurred in 1999. Now, I'm no math major, but by your own admission, your incident occurred 4 years before Burnette was hired. Either you're lying, or it was a different officer.

Posted by: vox humana on June 3, 2013 4:06AM
Prayers and condolences to the Genda family. As a student at the U of A back in 1999, Officer Aaron Burnette once arrested me on false charges of obstructing justice. What a story that one is!!! Needless to say the charges were dropped and I paid a fine, but he was and probably still is known by everyone on campus as a "bully" and a cop with a chip on his shoulder. They should have NEVER reinstated this hot-headed guy. This tragedy could have been avoided. Burnette belongs in jail.

Posted by: Leslie McDonald (Cleveland, OH) on May 21, 2013 3:05AM
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