Atlanta, GA – Atlanta PD is telling everyone not to believe reports that cops are walking off the job. But now union heads are speaking out… saying it’s absolutely true.
It all apparently started shortly after Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges against now-fired Officer Garrett Rolfe and three charges against Officer Devin Brosnan.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms:
“Across the country, morale is down with police departments, and I think ours is down tenfold.” pic.twitter.com/rwVaCqwsux
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 18, 2020
This, after the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks June 12.
Two cops in Atlanta were fired for using tasers on 2 people in a car… Because it was "potentially deadly force"… But when a taser is pointed at cop… It's a different story??? This is fucked up and i hope they all walk off the job.
— DumpsterFire_01 (@74Mvp) June 18, 2020
Fox News reports that Rolfe is facing seven felonies, including murder – and that the charges can carry life in prison without parole or even the death penalty.
Atlanta police officers are reportedly walking off & refusing to answer any calls.
I say, if liberals want a lawless city ran by thugs and criminals, let them see what it’s like without police.
— Mark Lutchman 🇺🇸 (@marklutchman) June 18, 2020
Before Howard’s press conference had ended, rumors started swirling that officers were walking off the job.
Getting UNCONFIRMED reports that all officers in 3 Atlanta zones have walked off the job in protest to today's charges. Scanner conversation in these zones are completely silent. Working to get more information
— Mike Dinow (@mikedinow) June 17, 2020
Throughout the evening, scanner activity from the department was silent through many precincts.
Then reports started flooding in about a massive show of support for the two officers.
Just got this email from an Atlanta police officer:
"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!"
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) June 17, 2020
One source in Atlanta Police Department told us that “entire shifts of officers drove into work, dropped off their keys and went home”.
We have not, as of this time of this report, been able to confirm the reports with the agency itself.
So what’s the deal?
Well Atlanta PD tweeted the following:
“Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate. The department is 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.”
Zone 6 scanner is dead air for over 40 min
— kreeznotic (@KrEEzNotic) June 18, 2020
To which they were called out that:
“Zone 6 scanner is dead air for over 40 minutes.”
I've been listening to Zone 6 Atlanta Police radio traffic for the last hour. There are 15 – 20 minute periods of absolute silence amid reports of officer walkouts. This clip was shared with @CherylPreheim by a police source. It's from Zone 3. The code 69 is Person With a Gun. pic.twitter.com/hkmbC5VF0Q
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) June 18, 2020
Our friends at The Police Tribune – formerly Blue Lives Matter – confirmed with International Brotherhood of Police Southeast Regional Director Vince Champion .
“We don’t know the exact number – I’ve heard different stories. But we’ve heard that in at least three zones, the officers have actually walked out – we don’t know the number. We‘ve heard that in one precinct, the officers are in the precinct building but will not come out unless an officer calls for assistance,” Champion told The Police Tribune.
The Atlanta PD is lying to the world, and their community.
Numerous officers have come forth, stating walkouts and two-week notices are at all time highs.
Officers are standing behind the officers involved.
I 100% support them. https://t.co/1IoGwaENdE
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) June 18, 2020
Champion also confirmed reports that Law Enforcement Today had gotten that Cobb County and Gwinnett County were asked for help and they refused to send officers to be put at risk of being fired or arrested.
Atlanta PD took to Twitter to dispute the information, suggesting there had simply been “more call outs than normal.
They did not offer any explanation as to why radio traffic was silent in multiple zones – but they did they have enough manpower.
An Atlanta police officer who is a confidential source for Law Enforcement Today spoke with us on the condition of anonymity.
“If you just walk off the job, you risk getting fired,” he told Law Enforcement Today. “That’s why so many guys are calling in sick for their next shift. But it definitely seems as if a stomach bug of some kind is going around, because a LOT of us suddenly fell ill tonight. One could say we all felt sick to our stomachs and had to leave work.”
After today you'd have to be completely nuts to come into Atlanta as a cop from another jurisdiction.
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) June 18, 2020
Many argue that the charges the officers face are nothing more than a political stunt.
Paul Howard is up for reelection. And the truth is that there are three people in a runoff and he was second in votes. Some argue he’s pandering to the national anti-police fervor right now in hopes of scoring those cheap votes.
On top of that, he’s currently under investigation in the state for sexual harassment and possible money laundering. Some argue the best way of directing attention away from yourself is to find a new bad guy.
In the press conference, Howard said Officer Brosnan agreed to testify against Rolfe.
He said Brosnan had become a state’s witness and was prepared to testify against former Officer Rolfe – claiming Brosnan was “one of the first police officers to actually indicate he is willing to testify against someone in his own department.”
Yet Brosnan’s attorney disputed the claim that he’d turned on his fellow officer – and said it just isn’t true.
That’s not all.
Not long after the press conference, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) also released a statement on their official Facebook page.
It contradicted what Howard had said about working with the state investigative agency.
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Atlanta Police Department on Friday night, June 12th, to investigate an officer involved shooting at the Wendy’s Restaurant on University Avenue,” the post read. “We are in the process of conducting this investigation. Although we have made significant progress in the case, we have not completed our work.”
“Our goal in every officer involved shooting case we are requested to review, is to complete a thorough, impartial investigation before we submit the file to the respective District Attorney’s Office,” the statement continued.
“The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted,” the agency wrote. “We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”
Earlier Wednesday, here’s what Fulton County DA Paul Howard had to say:
“For 41 minutes and 17 seconds Rayshard Brooks followed all instructions. He was also never told he was being arrested for driving under the influence which police are required to do,” he said.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this case.
So here we are, just days removed from that tragic confrontation between Atlanta Police and Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot.
What do we know so far? I guess that depends on where you look.
The mainstream media has done a wonderful job of telling us that the officer who fired the shots that killed Brooks as well as the police chief were essentially forced to resign.
Newly released records show the officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta last week had several citizen complaints against him prior to the incident. https://t.co/CfnoDEc5zH pic.twitter.com/8Ia3EPsoKi
— CNN (@CNN) June 16, 2020
We know that protesters burned down The Wendy’s Restaurant where the Brooks fought with officers.
Most importantly, though, we know that media is continuing to focus on one issue: Furthering the divide in our country under a false narrative of the police shooting “yet another unarmed black man.”
Those of us in law enforcement are asking the question:
“Why did Mr. Brooks run and fight with the police?”
The answer does not take too long to figure out.
Rayshard Brooks is no stranger to encounters with law enforcement, as he is currently on parole.
With just a few clicks of a mouse we can see that Brooks has a past that includes several charges related to Domestic Battery, a 2014 conviction for Child Endangerment and Physical Neglect and a prior DUI.
So, the loving father and family man that the mainstream media is talking about certainly seems to have had another side to him.
This is unreal. They talk about him being a family man and moving to ohio to work and them coming back to "get ducks in a row." https://t.co/d51V4NSlSc Yes, those ducks were in the form of an extradition warrant. They fail to mention conviction on cruelty to child and battery.
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) June 16, 2020
We can look a little deeper and see that he has three charges of False Imprisonment between March of 2013 though March of 2014. At least one of these charges was related to Family Offenses. Most recently, Brooks had charges relating to theft.
So now let us go back to the Wendy’s parking lot that fateful night of June 12th, 2020 and look at this with ALL of the facts.
Officers find Brooks asleep behind the wheel. Brooks is very evasive with officers who are asking him basic questions, he can’t even tell officers what he was drinking.
Rayshard Brooks was convicted of child and spousal abuse but go off, king. https://t.co/zGehLvuBAh
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 16, 2020
Brooks continues to comply until the cuffs are about to go on and at that point, he is almost certain that a second DUI Arrest while he is on parole will result in a violation of his parole.
The fact that it is his second DUI charge would almost certainly elevate the penalty for that as well.
Now Brooks is fighting with two officers and he gains control of one of the officer’s Taser. According to the video, the officer who had his Taser out was seemingly trying to gain control of Brooks by using less than lethal force.
Keep in mind there are at least two guns in play because there are two officers on scene.
Next, Brooks seems to panic after he gets the Taser, he begins to run away but then turns and faces the officers and fires the Taser giving the officer who is closest to Brooks no choice but to use deadly physical force.
— JohnBottle (@kumbaya_x16) June 16, 2020
Had Brooks just attempted to escape, we would almost certainly be talking about a different outcome.
Without losing sight that a man has died and that it is a tragedy, the truth is, this was not murder.
Rayshard Brooks was the person that escalated the use of force that morning, not the Atlanta Police Department. Their officers, according to the video, were very professional and did not seem to be aggressive at all.
And yet, one officer is fired for taking a life that he almost assuredly did not want to take.
So why hasn’t the mainstream media brought experts in to clearly explain use of force? Good question. Why haven’t they contacted Axon, who manufactures Tasers, so their instructors can educate the general public on the device and what it does? Another good question.
"Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, murdered nine innocent African Americans at Mother Emanuel AME Church, and police managed to capture him alive. Brooks wounded a police officer’s pride and appears to have been executed for it." Eugene Robinson, https://t.co/lDCUueXMMH
— Kimberlé Crenshaw (@sandylocks) June 16, 2020
Finally, all the information on Rayshard Brooks was easily accessible and paints him in a much different light. So why does the mainstream media not publish this information and allow its viewers and readers to make up their own minds about what kind of person he was?
That is possibly the best question of all.
The country has been through a lot in 2020. The media should be reporting the facts…all the facts. Since COVID-19 they have created a divisive society and now they have their sights clearly set on making the police public enemy number one.
Here’s Law Enforcement Today’s original article on this incident.
Warning: The footage you’re going to see (below) is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.
The bodycam footage is out… and it shows that the narrative coming from the NAACP about what happened before the shooting of Rayshard Brooks was…well… dead wrong.
On Saturday, Atlanta’s NAACP vice president Gerald Griggs made his gas-lighting statements.
He said that the 27-year-old was sleeping in the passenger side of his car in a parking lot when police contacted him.
“The people are upset,” Griggs said, reported WAGA. “They want to know why their dear brother Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed when he was merely asleep on the passenger side and not doing anything.”
He probably should have waited to run his mouth until the bodycam footage was released, which shows the truth.
In the footage, you can see that Brooks was passed out in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru line.
It all started at 10:33 p.m. on Friday when someone called police about a man who was asleep in his car, blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru off University Ave near I-75/85.
WXIA reported that officers arrived. They said that they gave field sobriety tests to 27-year old Rayshard Brooks.
At first, Officer Bronsan told Brooks to park in a parking spot if he wanted to sleep.
Shortly after, he smelled booze and it turned into a DUI investigation.
“I don’t want to deal with this dude right now,” Officer Bronsan said to himself in a comment caught on bodycam video.
The video showed that Brooks admitted he’d been drinking. His words slurred while he spoke.
Shortly after, Officer Garrett Rolfe arrived and administered field sobriety tests.
Once that was done, Brooks consented to a preliminary breath test. He blew a .108% BAC, which is above the legal limit.
Once they determined that he was intoxicated, they tried to arrest him, resulting in a full-on brawl that was partially captured on camera.
The suspect was able to fight off both officers, then take the Taser from one of them.
He got away from both of them and ran, holding the weapon. One of the two officers gave chase, trying to tase him.
Gunshots then ring out shortly after both officers chased him off-camera.
According to Mayor Bottoms, footage shows look over his shoulder and fired the taser at one of the officers… resulting in him being shot.
He was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital. WXIA reported that he died after surgery.
On Saturday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms herself announced that the footage existed. It was revealed when she talked about how Brooks actually fired the Taser at the officer.
Shortly after, she demanded the officer’s immediate firing.
“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do, and what you should do,” Mayor Bottoms said.
And although she didn’t say that the officer actually violated any policy, she called for his firing anyway.
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force, and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” the mayor continued.
“What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks in Atlanta, is that while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect, and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect,” Mayor Bottoms said.
Atlanta’s Police Chief Erika Shields resigned on Saturday.
According to Bottoms, it was Shields’ own decision to step aside as police chief. She said she’d remain with the city in an undetermined role.
For now Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant would serve as interim police chief.
According to the mayor, former assistant police chief and current interim corrections chief Rodney Bryant will serve as interim police chief.
On Saturday night, the rioting began.
And it also didn’t take long for people to remind “protestors” that there’s plenty of bail money that’s been donated to bail you out if you get arrested.
— eli WILL attack and dethrone god (@elithebicycle) June 14, 2020
And of course shortly after Wendy’s was torched, people blamed the cops “employees losing their jobs” and “peaceful protestors put in danger”.
Police actions (killing & messing with evidence at crime scene) in Atlanta just led to Wendy's employees lose their jobs & put peaceful protestors in danger. Stop killing black people & neighborhoods & people remain safer.
— GirlJockNerd 🏳️🌈 (@girljocknerd) June 14, 2020
That Wendy’s where the fatal officer-involved shooting took place was first vandalized.
More peaceful protests in Atlanta this evening, I see! pic.twitter.com/Fb8AekmLh1
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) June 14, 2020
Then it was torched.
Rioters have set fire to the Wendy’s in Atlanta, Georgia, where police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks after he turned around on them with a brandished weapon last night pic.twitter.com/eJ03551XI6
— National Security News (@Natsecuritynews) June 14, 2020
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) June 14, 2020
Here we go.. they’re burning up a Wendy’s in Atlanta..
— Nίηα gσℓιgнтℓу🍥〰️ (@Feminina) June 14, 2020
People cheered and filmed it and we’re told fire crews had a problem responding to calls.
— J Doza 🧢🌹🌺🔮🇺🇸 (@JDoza1) June 14, 2020
Fire at Wendy's on University Ave in southwest Atlanta raging. A night to remember in Atlanta: Rayshard Brooks shot by an officer, the chief of Atlanta police resigned, and protesters stormed the interstate. Now, fire. #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/Fgjq7jhDiZ
— Ric Garni (@RICGARNI) June 14, 2020
Protestors shut down a highway in the city.
— Omar Moore (@thepopcornreel) June 14, 2020
ATLANTA: We’ve taken over the ENTIRE interstate 75! No traffic is moving! What did you think we meant, when we said #NoJusticeNoPeace? We’re NOT done! ##RayshardBrooks #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AmaudArbery & so many others! pic.twitter.com/LhddrgSik7
— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) June 14, 2020
Images show the freeway under the Atlanta airport shut down by people pulling donuts.
Under the runway on #285 airport in Atlanta at the airport. Shut down the freeway to do doughnuts…. guys pissed off looks like he ran over something, like a backpack or something towards the end. 🙈 pic.twitter.com/cxA3jSJkKi
— Montana 🕊 AgentApplebutt™ (@AgentApplebutt3) June 14, 2020
— Sarah Durnesque (@Durnesque) June 14, 2020
Chief Shields was already catching heat for another situation that went down during protests over the past couple of weeks.
Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner, the two Atlanta Police Officers who were fired after using their tasers on two college students in a separate, are fighting back. They’re suing Shields and Mayor Bottoms for their jobs back.
The lawsuit states:
“Petitioners have suffered irreparable injury to their personal and professional reputations as a result of their unlawful dismissal.”
BREAKING: Charges are being filed against fired Atlanta Police Officers Ivory Streeter (left) and Mark Gardner (right) for tasing the college couple from Spelman and Morehouse. pic.twitter.com/HHkl507uyz
— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) June 2, 2020
The officers were effecting a traffic stop after a 9pm curfew at Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Andrew Young International Boulevard. Spelman College student Taniyah Pilgrim, 20, and former Morehouse College student Messiah Young, 22, were near downtown Atlanta and stopped their vehicle in the middle of the street.
One of the officers yelled several times for the driver, Young, to stop the car. Streeter allegedly smashed the driver’s side window and tased Young, and Gardner tased the passenger who allegedly refused to get out of the car.
Of course, there is very little being put out in the mainstream media as to why the officers elected to tase the poor, innocent students. And the information that is out there is being buried.
The vehicle was being signaled to stop…because there was another officer standing in the road a short way down from them. The driver didn’t comply, so officers surrounded his vehicle.
While ordering both occupants out of the car, both refused to comply. The driver reached his hands towards his pocket.
Mayor Bottoms was condemning the officers for the incident before an investigation even started. In a press conference, she said:
“[The video was] deeply disturbing on many levels. There was clearly an excessive use of force.”
After reviewing the body cam footage, Mayor Bottoms and Chief Shields ordered Officers Streeter and Gardner to be fired.
The next day, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced criminal charges against the two officers for aggravated assault, as well as four others who were reportedly on scene and involved. The possible charges for those officers have not yet been announced. They remain on desk duty.
In a memo to her officers, Chief Shields said that she fired Officers Streeter and Gardner because she “didn’t have an option,” but she never thought criminal charges would have been brought against any of the officers. She said it was a “political move” by DA Howard.
Shields also said:
“We created chaos and we escalated a low-level encounter into a space where we introduced violence. Once this occurs, we need to own it.
“The officers were fired because I felt that is what had to occur. This does not mean for a moment that I will sit quietly by and watch our employees get swept up in the tsunami of political jockeying during an election year.
“Now that the charges have been announced, I’m very concerned with the space we find ourselves in, both tactically and emotionally. Multiple agencies that were assisting us in managing this incredibly volatile time have pulled out, effective immediately. They are not comfortable with their employees being leveraged politically by the potential of also facing criminal charges.”
Five nearby agencies that were offering assistance to the city during riots have pulled out and elected to no longer assist.
DA Howard said he was “perplexed” by the accusation by Shields regarding political motivation. He said in a statement last Wednesday:
“The Chief, after assessing the excessiveness of the officers’ conduct, decided to fire two of the officers involved. After reviewing the police officers’ bodycam videos, she literally fired these officers on the spot.
“I am perplexed that when the Atlanta Chief of Police makes a decision within her authority her actions are legitimate, but when I, as the Fulton County District Attorney, make a decision to act under the law to ensure justice based on clear evidence available, these actions are deemed to be ‘political’ all of a sudden.”
For context, the charges against the officers occurred a week before the Democratic primary, where he faced two strong candidates. There were already two investigations open against Howard as he seeks his seventh term.
Both officers were serving in Atlanta PD’s Fugitive Unit as investigators. Streeter had been with the department since December 2003, and Gardner had been with them since August 1997.
The lawsuit claims that other officers “engaged in substantially similar conduct” and were not dismissed. The officers are seeking to be reinstated and to receive back pay and benefits.
Former Atlanta police officers, Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner, who were fired for their part in the excessive force used against two Spelman and Morehouse College students live on-air, filed suit against the APD to get their jobs back.https://t.co/REAGgupX3O
— theGrio.com (@theGrio) June 9, 2020
The attorney representing the officers is Lance LoRusso, who stated:
“Both were fired before they could be interviewed by the Office of Professional Standards in direct violation of the policies and procedures of the Atlanta Police Department as well as the law. Any charges brought by a District Attorney without a full investigation should raise concerns.”
As a guest on a podcast, Mayor Bottoms said:
“So my police officers just got a very real lesson in what our expectations and what our level of tolerance will be in the city of Atlanta. If the force was excessive, they’ve got to be fired. Period.
“And I think those are the type changes and expectations that we’ve got to give to our police officers and the expectation we’ve got to give to our community because nobody has patience with waiting.”
One may argue to the mayor that, yes, waiting is difficult when one is seeking justice. Much like victims and families of victims all over the nation must wait for suspects who committed crimes against them to wait for trials to play out.
However, those trials are necessary to ensure that proper justice is done. To make sure the accused have a fair and impartial trial. To make sure they’re allowed their Constitutional right to due process.
Unless, of course, you’re a police officer.
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