More and more cops are calling out sick in Atlanta – is the “Blue Flu” the next pandemic?

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ATLANTA, GA – In the wake of two white Atlanta police officers being charged and investigated for alleged unjustified use of deadly force on a black man, the Atlanta Police Department has seen a higher than average number of officers call in sick. 

These call-outs, or the “Blue Flu” as some are calling it, has caused the interim Atlanta Police Chief to hold a press conference addressing the concerns.

The Brooks shooting prompted the sudden resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. Interim Chief Rodney Bryant quickly stepped in and has claimed that, “so far the call outs have not put the city at risk.”

The alleged blue flu began Wednesday, immediately after the District Attorney (DA), Paul Howard brought charges against the two officers involved in the June 12th shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

Former officer Rolfe, who fired at Brooks, could see life in prison or the death penalty if he is convicted of the felony-murder charge. 

Former officer Brosnan also faces charges, but is out of jail on bail and is fully cooperating with the DA’s office. 

Now, many Atlanta Police Officers are taking a stand and protesting by not showing up for work. 

Of this, Interim Chief Bryant said:

“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this pace. Some may feel abandoned.”

Atlanta officers are “walking off their shifts or not responding to calls because they feel abandoned, betrayed, and used in a political game,” Vince Champion, the southeast regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers explained in a recent statement. 

Champion also said that he’s heard from several officers:

“They fear using force to protect themselves will get them fired or arrested.” 

And who could blame them.

Steve Gaynor, secretary of the Georgia State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police said in a statement to Fox News:

“It is totally understandable that a higher than usual number of Atlanta officers called out of work after the local district attorney announced Wednesday that a felony-murder charge would be filed in the death of Rayshard Brooks.

“They risk their lives every day and come to work especially during these trying times. They have been working in the riots and the protests and working 12-and 16-hour days and then one of their officers does everything that we can see conceivably correct by policies, procedures, and by the law, and his command staff and mayor do not stand behind him.”

The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms took issue with the officer’s actions saying that she “firmly believes” there is a distinction between what you can do and what you should do, and that she doesn’t believe that the shooting was a justified use of deadly force.

As if we needed another example of her not backing her officers, here she is once again convicting a police officer before any type of investigation has been allowed to take place.

Mayor Bottoms also called for the termination of the officer seen shooting Brooks about 45 seconds after it happened.

In response to the officers calling out, Mayor Bottoms told CNN:

“If we have officers that don’t want bad officers weeded out of the force then that’s another conversation we need to have.”

A regional spokesperson for the Atlanta police officer’s union told the New York Times that the union did not orchestrate the protest. 

The spokesperson said:

“As a union, we do not support or start the ‘blue flu.'”

Will the blue flu be the next pandemic this country sees? 

The deadly shooting of Brooks comes during a time when Americans across the country are protesting against racial discrimination and police brutality. 

Mayor Bottoms claims that she believes that her officers will come through during this difficult time:

“There’s a lot happening in our cities and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly…but 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.”  

The Atlanta Police Department also sent out a message via twitter that claims the reports that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job are inaccurate.

Some refute that the mayor is saying that to prevent mass chaos from taking place in the city with criminals knowing full well there are no police officers to protect and serve.

Be careful what you wish for.

Keep reading for more on the charges against the officers involved in this case, as well as the arguably not-fit-for-duty prosecutor.

 
The editorial statements made are those of a United States veteran and staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

ATLANTA, GA- As most people are aware, Garrett Rolfe was fired from his job with the Atlanta Police Department after he shot and killed Rayshard Brooks.

Video of the incident showed Brooks resisting arrest and fighting with officers, stealing one of their tasers and and firing at Rolfe. The officer then fired three shots, with two striking Brooks. He died the next day from his wounds. 

Now, the Fulton County DA, Paul Howard, is bringing charges against Rolfe and his on-scene partner, Devin Brosnan. The fired officer has 11 pending charges and has had a warrant issued for his arrest.

Oh yeah, and he could potentially face the death penalty. 

Holding a press conference yesterday, Howard spent close to 40 minutes portraying Brooks as “peaceful”, “jovial” and “no threat” to officers, while simultaneously telling everyone what the officers’ motivation was. 

Before we move on to the video of the announcement, it is important to know that DA Howard is facing an upcoming election and is also under investigation on allegations of sexual harassment, as well as accusations of funneling $140,000 from a non-profit to help supplement his income, which was reported in 2018 as $49,748.04.

That figure is interesting seeing that Howard’s Senior ADA reported a salary of $62,000.12, while another ADA reported $84,999.98. 

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From my new news site DJHJMEDIA.COM …”The GBI has opened an investigation of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and his use of a nonprofit to funnel at least $140,000 in city of Atlanta funds to supplement his salary, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have learned. The criminal investigation comes at a time when Howard, Fulton’s DA since 1997, is being challenged in the Democratic primary for reelection and is facing allegations of sexual harassment, which he strongly denies. This is not the first time what would be considered as an administrative matter for other Georgia elected officials is turned over to the GBI for investigation when it involves the Fulton County district attorney,” he said. This was in reference to the agency’s 2014 investigation of Howard’s use of money forfeited by criminals to pay for galas and dinners for his staff and their families.” I have no doubt that the criminal charges against the officer that shot Rayshard Brooks is a political move to garner support from the community for his re-election. Full article at DJHJMEDIA.COM #know #the #truth

A post shared by David Harris Jr (@davidjharrisjr) on

Now, back to the charges.

We apologize for the poor quality of the video, but here it is in its entirety. 

While we believe that the system has to work the way it is designed, and Rolfe is innocent until proven guilty, the system has two sides. The DA’s office must be able to conduct their investigation to determine if the former officer acted lawfully in the events of that night.

And there are just too many discrepancies between what Howard claims led to their decision to charge Rolfe, and what is seen in the video that has been released. 

Howard paints a picture of a man peacefully sleeping in his car. The reality is he was asleep in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s, blocking traffic. That is what led to the initial call to police to have them assist. 

After waking him up, officers asked Brooks to move his vehicle from the drive-thru and park it. 

Brooks slurred his words as he admitted to having a few “top-shelf” drinks. The conversation between Brooks and Rolfe lasts well over a half-hour.

Howard went to painstaking lengths to remind everyone how peaceful and non-confrontational Brooks was. And to Howard’s point, he was originally cooperative and presented no threat to officers.

And from all video we have seen, the two officers on scene were professional and respectful to Brooks as well. 

According to Howard, Brooks was just a guy peacefully sleeping in his car. 

And Micah Xavier Johnson was just a guy peacefully standing in a parking garage until he opened fire from that garage and killed 5 Dallas-area officers and wounded several more. 

But after his breathalyzer, Rolfe calmly stated: 

“I think you have had a little too much to drink. Go ahead and put your hands behind your back.”

As he is saying these words, he circles behind Brooks to place the cuffs on him. 

Before he can say another word, Brooks being to pull out of Rolfe’s grip and run. 

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

This is important to note, as Howard stated in the press conference that at no time did then-Officer Rolfe state that Brooks was being placed under arrest, as is APD policy.

As a sidenote, is it a stretch to believe that the average person understands what is about to happen when an officer asks you to put your hands behind your back? 

As Brooks tries to flee, he is taken to the ground by both officers, where he continued to wrestle with them. The video clearly shows the officers attempting to maintain control of the situation without resorting to lethal measures. Multiple times the officers can be heard saying “stop resisting” and “you are going to get tased.”

This did not slow Brooks down. He continued to fight, ultimately taking the taser from one of the officers. Once he broke free of their grasp, he ran. 

Brooks turned and pointed the taser at the officers.

The DA admitted as much, saying that you could see the prongs go over the officer’s head. 

Howard also stated several times during this press conference, however, that “never did Mr. Brooks present himself as a threat.”

Never? Even when he pointed a deadly weapon at Rolfe and fired it at him?

We would like to remind Mr. Howard of what he said just two weeks prior. 

That statement was made when he brought aggravated assault charges on another Atlanta cop after he pointed his taser at a woman while performing crowd control.

So which is it, Mr. Howard? A taser is a deadly weapon, or a man firing a taser at police “poses no threat?”

It CANNOT be both. And it cannot be used both ways to suit your narrative. 

It almost appears that he will say whatever is convenient at the time when it allows him to charge an officer. 

Howard also addressed the belief that Rolfe did not immediately render aid to Brooks, saying it was a violation of Georgia law for him not to do so. 

Video also shows Rolfe doing CPR and and he can be heard saying, “Mr. Brooks, keep breathing. Keep breathing for me.”

Perhaps, through veiled words, Howard revealed his motivation for charging Rolfe and Brosnan. 

“The demeanor of the officers, immediately after the shooting, did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks. But, their actions really reflected other kinds of emotions.”

What exactly did Howard mean by this statement? We can only offer a guess that he was insinuating that the shooting was racially motivated. 

Does he have a video that we do not have access to that shows the officers high-fiving each other?

Tucker Carlson spoke to this on his show Wednesday night.

The attorney for Rolfe, Lance Lorusso, appeared on Fox New’s The Ingram Angle last night to discuss the DA’s announcement and to refute the charges. 

One of the first points he argued was Howard’s statement about Officer Brosnan cooperating with the DA’s office and agreeing to testify against Rolfe. Lorusso said that Bronson’s attorney has stated that Howard’s claim is false. 

He also pointed to the video evidence as solid proof that his client acted within the legal bounds of law enforcement use of deadly force as both prescribed by Georgia law and APD policy. He also referenced Howard’s comments about never having seen an officer testify against another cop. 

Lorusso told Ingram that Rolfe had testified against another officer over a misconduct charge and had cooperated fully with the DA’s office. 

The charges against Rolfe include: 

– Felony murder, a death caused by an underlying felony, which in this case…according to Howard was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The possible penalties are life without parole, life with the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. 

– Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Penalty could be one to 20 years. 

– Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon towards Melvin Edwards, who was seated in a vehicle struck by one of the three rounds fired by Rolfe. 

– Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon toward Danielle Killians, who was seated in a vehicle struck by one of the three rounds fired by Rolfe.

– Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon toward Michael Perkins, who was seated in a vehicle struck by one of the three rounds fired by Rolfe.

– Criminal Damage for the damage to the vehicle referenced in the previous three charges.

– Four additional violations for oath of office. These include arresting Brooks without immediately telling him he was under arrest, firing a taser at a fleeing person, excessive force for firing at Brooks and failing to render immediate medical aid. The possible penalty for each of these offenses is one to five years.

– And finally, he faces an additional one to 20 years for allegedly kicking Brooks. 

Rolfe could be looking at life plus 145 years behind bars if a jury convicts him of the charges. 

Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault for “standing on Brook’s shoulder,” and two violations of oath charges- one for an unauthorized weaponless control tactic and the other for failure to render immediate medical aid. He faces a potential sentence of 40 years. 

Lastly, Howard pointed to the “excited utterance” of Garrett Rolfe as evidence that this shooting was unjustified. He said that an excited utterance is something said immediately following the event without the presence of counsel, and is legally deemed to be highly reliable. 

What Garrett said was, “I got him.”

The video cuts out momentarily, so the reasoning behind the assertion is not immediately clear. 

One could easily assume, based on the statements alluding to the shooting being racially motivated, that they believe Rolfe was proclaiming proudly that he had hit Brooks. 

It is much more likely that he was making the statement for the benefit of the other officer on scene who was trailing in the foot pursuit.

So what does the law enforcement community think about this situation? Apparently, Atlanta cops are walking off the job

Former police officer Brandon Tatum took to social media to reach out to his followers. The following YouTube video has been viewed more than 300,000 times. His Instagram post has more than 100,000.

He said that these officers have been unlawfully charged.

We’ll see if the jury agrees with him.

 

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