Angry Atlanta police belie department’s claim all is well

By WND Staff

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (screenshot)

The Atlanta Police Department denied Thursday that police were not responding to calls in reaction to the charges Wednesday against two officers in the death of a 27-year-old black man who resisted arrest.

However, a police union director confirmed CNN sources saying some officers were refusing to leave their precincts unless a fellow police officer required backup and others were calling in sick.

On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. announced a charge of felony murder, possibly leading to the death penalty, among 11 filed against Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe in the June 12 death of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot. Fellow officer Devin Brosnan faces three charges, including aggravated assault. Defenders of Rolfe argue he fired at Brooks only after Brooks resisted arrest, wrestled with the officers on the ground, fled and fired at them with a deadly weapon, a Taser he had stolen from the officers.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, regarded as a possible running mate for Joe Biden, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Wednesday night that the city has shown its commitment to the officers through a pay raise, and “we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities.”

She acknowledged, however, that police morale is down tenfold.

The Atlanta Police Department said in its statement Thursday that reports of multiple officers from each zone walking off the job were inaccurate. The department admitted the number of officer absences late Wednesday and early Thursday above normal but insisted it was not related to the charges in the Brooks case.

The department said via Twitter it was “experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift.”

“We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.”

However, Vince Champion, the southeast regional director of the International Brother of Police Officers, said he received calls throughout the night saying officers were calling out and walking off their shifts, emphasizing they were “just fed up.”

“I mean, their mayor has come out and said everything that they used to do with use of force is not valid — ‘Don’t do it’ — so I don’t know how we defend ourselves when people want to fight us,” he said.

Champion said the union had no knowledge of the officers’ actions ahead of time.

Conservative talk show host Steve Deace said via Twitter on Wednesday evening he received an email from an angry Atlanta police officer.

The officer wrote, according to Deace: “Atlanta police officers are refusing to answer the radio and walking off of the job. The county can go screw themselves. If you want a society without police we’ll give you one. Let it burn!”

‘Miscarriage of justice’

Immediately after the DA’s news conference Wednesday, Washington, D.C., police detective Ted Williams called the charges a “miscarriage of justice.”

“I don’t give a damn about this white-black situation. These are human beings,” he said in a Fox News interview. “I can tell you, this case is going to have a far-reaching adverse affect on the morale of officers in that police department.”

Detroit Police Chief James Craig urged the public to reserve judgment because there is considerable evidence to evaluate. But he told Fox News host Neil Cavuto the quick decision to file charges will have a “demoralizing effect” on police officers.

Craig warned that officers will begin “second-guessing” whether to use lethal force in situations that might require it.

Brooks was on probation and faced going back to prison if he was charged with a DUI, DailyMail.com reported Wednesday. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to false imprisonment, cruelty to children, family violence, battery and simple battery.

In a CNN interview Wednesday, a black sheriff, Alfonzo Williams of Burke County, Georgia, said Rolfe was “completely justified” in using lethal force.

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