Atlanta Police Walk Out over Murder Charge as Mayor Admits Morale is ‘Down Tenfold’

A number of Atlanta police officers did not show up on their Wednesday night shifts in protest of murder charges against a former officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks after opposing the arrest.
Hours after Fulton County Attorney General Paul L. Howard said that officer Garrett Rolfe would be charged with a crime murder, Atlanta Police Union spokesman Vince Champion told NBC News that the officials had decided to close the job leave and remain silent on the radio to protest the decision.
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"This is not an organized thing, it is not blue flu, it is not a strike, it is nothing of the sort." What it actually is are officials who protest that they have enough and don't want to deal with it anymore, ”he said.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal constitution, Champion added: “There are officials who say that they will only leave the area if they help another official. Some walk away and sit in their personal vehicles. "
The Atlanta Police Department released a statement after Champion's comments, claiming that officials left the job "inaccurately".
"The department has a higher number of operations than usual with the incoming shift," said the police. "We have enough resources to maintain operations and respond to incidents."
Atlanta Police Department

@Atlanta_Police
Previous suggestions that several officers from each zone had left the job were inaccurate. The department records a higher number of assignments than usual with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations and respond to incidents.
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But traffic with police scanners in Atlanta contradicted the statement. "We are currently not answering emergency calls due to personnel problems," said a police dispatcher on Wednesday.
When Wednesday's lawsuit against Rolfe was announced, Howard said that the Atlanta Police Department's first report of events - that Rolfe had shot Brooks because it appeared ready to fire a taser that had been wrestled by one of the officials - was inaccurate be.
"We concluded that Mr. Brooks was running away at the time of the shot," said the prosecutor. Howard also told reporters that the taser had been released twice, making it unusable, and said the officials knew that.
Howard added that Rolfe's former partner Devin Brosnan, who was also where Brooks was shot, would testify against his former partner. Howard said after Brooks was shot in the back by Rolfe while fleeing the arrest, Rolfe kicked him and Brosnan stood on his shoulders.
"There is an Atlanta guideline that requires officials to provide medical care to Mr. Brooks and anyone who is injured in good time," said Howard. "But after Mr. Brooks was shot for two minutes and 12 seconds, there was no medical treatment for Mr. Brooks."
But Brosnan's lawyer, Don Samuel, denied Howard's account of the events and said his client had not agreed to be a state witness and did nothing wrong.
"The decision to bring charges through the Fulton County DA office is irrational, unethical, and is obviously based on factors that should not be related to the proper administration of justice," Samuel said in a statement.
Howard, who said his office could indict eight videos of the incident, is in a re-election campaign and faces several civil sexual harassment lawsuits. He is under criminal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for using nonprofit funds to support his salary.
Following the announcement of the indictment, the GBI, which is conducting a separate investigation into the shootout, said it "did not know today's press conference before it was held" and "was not consulted on the charges brought by the district attorney".
GA Bureau of Investigation
@GBI_GA
· 20h
Declaration on OIS last Friday in Atlanta. The GBI was not aware of today's press conference before it was held. We were not consulted on the charges brought by the district attorney. (1/2)
GA Bureau of Investigation
@GBI_GA
Despite today's event, the GBI will continue to serve its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation into the incident, and we will file the file with the Fulton District Attorney's Office upon completion. (2/2)

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In an interview on CNN on Wednesday night, the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, warned that police morale had "dropped tenfold".
"This was a very difficult couple of weeks in Atlanta and with the Mr. Brooks tragedy, and in addition to the excessive charges against the officials who were dealing with the college students," said Bottoms. "There is a lot going on in our city and the police officers get the bulk of it openly."
Cuomo Prime Time

@ CuomoPrimeTime
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says morale in the city's police department has "declined tenfold". Officials are reported to report sick tonight.

"We expect our officials to remain committed to our communities," she added.
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