“It's The Worst Day in Law Enforcement,” Police Morale Hits New Lows in Atlanta
The death of Rayshard Brooks had left Atlanta in the middle of chaos. On Wednesday, tension ensues in the state’s police department after Fulton County, GA District Attorney Paul Howard made a shocking announcement that former Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, the suspect behind Brook’s death was facing 11 charges, including felony murder.
The announcement made shockwaves against an already tense police department. Officers have also expressed how the charges against Rolfe had impacted the Atlanta Police Department (APD). In an interview for FOX 5, Southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police officers, Vince Champion admitted that morale had sunk to new lows. “It’s the worst day in law enforcement in the city of Atlanta that’s ever been,” the Regional Director said.
Champion refused to comment on the violent exchange, noting that he was not going to make an assumption based on the surveillance footage. With close to 30 years of service for the APD, Champions claimed that his experience had taught him to go with the evidence, and not to create an opinion based on the video alone.
As Howard announced the charges, there have been multiple speculations claiming that several Atlanta police officers were “walking off the job.” In a breaking news report from the Atlanta CBS, the media outlet claimed that according to multiple sources, the police officers had staged a walkout at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
BREAKING NEWS: Georgia police sources tell me only two police precincts are staffed in the entire city of Atlanta. Entire zones of officers are walking off the job. Zones 1,3,5 and 6 have left their posts. Zones walking off the job. #BlueLivesMatter— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) June 18, 2020
However, the APD was quick to discredit the speculations, although the department admitted that they are witnessing a “higher than usual” number of officers who are missing their shifts. In a social media post, APD wrote that the speculations of a “walk-off” were “inaccurate.” The department explained that they are “experiencing a higher than a usual number of call-outs with the incoming shift.” The APD also assured residents that they still have the full capability and enough resources to “maintain operations,” as well as 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
Even the city’s elected Democrats have refused to give in to the left-wing agenda of dismantling the police force. In an interview with CNN Chris Cuomo, Atlanta Democrat Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms defended the state’s law enforcement.
Bottoms acknowledged that it had been a difficult time, claiming that “Across the country, morale is down with police departments, and I think ours is down ten-fold. This has been a very tough few weeks in Atlanta.” The Mayor claimed that her administration had maintained a “great working relationship” with law enforcement and that they expect that APD will return that commitment to serve the community.
Cuomo then went to ask if the charges against Rolfe can possibly lead to a “potential revolt by police officers?” Bottoms snapped back and denied the accusations. She also went to the officer’s defense, seeing how the charges were brought down too quickly. “I think what is surprising to many is the swiftness of the charges in the same way it was surprising with the college students two weeks ago, simply because we don’t normally get charges this quickly,” Bottoms said.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms:— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 18, 2020
“Across the country, morale is down with police departments, and I think ours is down tenfold.” pic.twitter.com/rwVaCqwsux
Even the US commander in chief also spoke out on the increasing tension in Atlanta. President Donald Trump said that while he saw Brooks’ death as a “terrible situation,” he hoped that Rolfe would also get a “fair shake.” Trump added that “It’s up to justice. I hope he gets a fair shake because police have not been treated fairly in our country. They have not been treated fairly.”