ATLANTA, GA – There is a new update regarding a story we ran earlier in the week on Law Enforcement Today regarding a group of armed individuals that were posted up near the area where Rayshard Brooks died. Those present were reportedly saying that police were not welcome in the area.
Sources say the group of armed individuals have been cleared out of the area.
— AJC (@ajc) June 25, 2020
What is uncertain at this time is what entity is responsible for the clearing of the armed presence that were saying police weren’t welcome in the area, as Atlanta Police claimed to have not been involved in the removing them.
However, Atlanta Police did note that they assisted in clearing the area of certain blockades that were reportedly established in and around the area:
“APD assisted in clearing University Avenue of barriers that had been blocking the road. It is now open to thru traffic. We did not remove any demonstrators or take any further actions.”
Report: Armed protesters at site of Rayshard Brooks shooting ‘removed’ https://t.co/5VpwOkDFtJ
— MSN (@MSN) June 25, 2020
While it is possible that another law enforcement agency was responsible in the removal of armed individuals present near the Wendy’s that Rayshard Brooks died, currently no agency is publicly taking credit.
Here’s the original report we ran at Law Enforcement Today while the scene was still actively hosting an armed presence.
The aftermath of the death of Rayshard Brooks is manifesting into more anti-police sentiments. Or, rather, the narrative surrounding Brooks’ death is creating copious amounts of distrust between the populace and police.
— Covensure Brokerage (@Covensure) June 24, 2020
The fallout of the intense media scrutiny in Brooks’ death has now resulted in armed individuals posting themselves in the area of where Brooks died, noting that police are no longer welcome.
In an interview with a Fox News correspondent, a young man with a shotgun posted up in the area where Brooks died noted that police are no longer welcome in the area, as they feel police are no longer there to help the community:
“The police aren’t allowed here – cause they’re not here to protect us…they’re not here to serve and protect anymore.”
When the young man was asked about whether the officer implicated in Brooks’ death should receive due process, he did agree – but noted that justice should be served.
In all fairness, the young man armed with the shotgun was actually very courteous during the conversation and willing to discuss ideas.
The notion of whether or not a taser is a deadly weapon was brought up, seeing that it’s a pivotal aspect of Brooks’ death and also relevant to the infamous “Atlanta 6” case from weeks earlier.
The trio of interviewees present during the interview all concurred that tasers should not be considered a deadly weapon.
The entire case of Brooks creates so many conundrums around the taser debacle – Georgia law says it’s a deadly weapon and was cited during the “Atlanta 6” criminal proceedings. But it is seemingly being ignored by the same DA in Brooks’ death.
Still, regarding the lack of a police presence near the Wendy’s in Atlanta, the APD stated the following on the matter:
“APD is monitoring the situation and plans to coordinate with community leaders and the Wendy’s property owner to address security issues and help preserve peace for this community as soon as possible”
JUST IN: Atlanta Police to Fox News: APD is monitoring the situation and plans to coordinate with community leaders and the Wendy’s property owner to address security issues and help preserve peace for this community as soon as possible. https://t.co/KsPEQsXggJ
— Edmund DeMarche (@EDeMarche) June 24, 2020
Yet, how can the APD genuinely monitor the “situation” when police in Atlanta are calling out of work left and right – and likely in a coordinated fashion. It’s a term coined as the “blue flu”, and it has been sweeping across police departments all over the country.
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.
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.
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) June 18, 2020
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.”
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) June 21, 2020
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.
"We do have enough officers to cover us through the night," says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms amid reports officers are calling in sick.
"Our streets won't be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out," she adds. "…We will be fine." pic.twitter.com/3X8Q4tglPb
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 18, 2020
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.”
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.
— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) June 18, 2020
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.
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