After murder charge for Atlanta cop, mayor admits morale is “down tenfold” Nine Line News Team June 19, 2020 Nine Line News Yesterday, Fulton County district attorney Paul L. Howard said officer Garrett Rolfe would be charged with felony murder in the death of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot in the parking lot of a Wendy’s after apparently resisting arrest. On Wednesday night, after the charges were announced, Atlanta police union spokesman Vince Champion told NBC News that officers had decided to walk off the job and go silent on radios in protest. “This is not an organized thing, it’s not a blue flu, it’s not a strike, it’s nothing like that. What it actually is, is officers protesting that they’ve had enough and they don’t want to deal with it any longer,” he said. In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Champion added that “there are officers saying they are not going to leave the precinct unless to help another officer. Some are walking off and sitting in their personal vehicles.” In an interview on CNN Wednesday night, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms warned that police morale “is down ten-fold.” “This has been a very tough few weeks in Atlanta and with the tragedy of Mr. Brooks, and then on top of that the excessive force charges that were brought against the officers involved with the college students,” Bottoms explained. “There’s a lot happening in our city, and the police officers are receiving the brunt of it quite frankly.” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says morale in her city's police department "is down ten-fold" amid reports officers are calling in sick tonight. "We expect our officers will keep their commitment to our communities," she added. https://t.co/yHd6ZAY3vs pic.twitter.com/XsrvktkItX — Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 18, 2020 The Atlanta Police Department put a slightly different spin on the absences, saying that claims of officers walking off the job were “inaccurate.” “The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift,” the police explained. “We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.” 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 However an NBC reporter monitoring scanner traffic quoted a police dispatcher as saying We are not answering 911 calls right now due to personnel issues.” Scanner traffic from early this morning conflicts with APD’s statement, though. “We are not answering 911 calls right now due to personnel issues,” a police dispatcher said. — Charlie Gile (@CharlieGileNBC) June 18, 2020 Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) appeared to distance itself from the DA’s office and the murder charges. The GBI is conducting its own separate investigation of the shooting, and said it was “not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted” and was “not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney.” Statement on last Friday’s OIS in Atlanta. The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted. We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. (1/2) — GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) June 17, 2020 As it happens, the GBI is also investigating Mr. Howard. Last month, the GBI opened an investigation into the Fulton County District Attorney’s use of a nonprofit to funnel at least $140,000 in city of Atlanta funds to himself. In addition, Howard is facing allegations of sexual harassment, which he strongly denies. And finally, Howard faces a run-off election with two Democrat challengers for DA — both African-Americans who had previously worked for him. Rayshard Brooks’ life was short and tough. At the age of 27, he’d already had numerous criminal charges. According to a Georgia fugitive warrant filed in December of 2019, Brooks was wanted for a “”probation violation — failure to notify community supervision of address change, failure to complete theft prevention class” with original offenses of “false imprisonment/cruelty to children/family violence/battery/simple battery.” Perhaps it’s not surprising police morale is low. What do you think? Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.