The charges against two Atlanta police officers in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks didn’t sit well with a lot of people. For many, the charges looked like political appeasement to the violent–the same people who burned down a Wendy’s because…well, who the hell knows?–possibly in hopes that such charges would settle things down and then could quietly be forgotten about later.
For others, the charges were only just and right.
However, the Atlanta Police Department didn’t see it that way, nor would they.
Brooks was shot in a confrontation with police. He reportedly stole a taser and pointed it at Atlanta police officers, who then used their firearms in self-defense. It’s important to remember that tasers are less-lethal weapons, but they’re not non-lethal weapons, so it appears that the shooting was justified.
That didn’t matter to the mob, though.
Now, in an effort to appease that mob, Garrett Rolfe was fired from his job that very night and now faces criminal charges including felony murder. Officer Devin Brosnan was reassigned and now faces criminal charges himself, though not as severe as Rolfe’s.
While those charges may have been meant to appease one group, another group took them rather personally.
Atlanta police disputed claims that a large number of officers had walked off the job Wednesday after prosecutors announced charges in connection with the police-involved death of Rayshard Brooks — but acknowledged that a “higher than usual” number of officers called out of work.
But the Atlanta Police Department said repeatedly throughout the day that reports about officers resigning by the dozen were inaccurate.
Later in the evening, Jason Segura, the president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 623, told Fox News that Atlanta officers were calling out, quitting or transferring to other jurisdictions.
“A lot is going on,” he said. “I can’t confirm the number who have left — if it’s 10, or if it’s half the force.”
However, reports throughout the evening paint a different tale than the one shared by the Atlanta Police Department.
Download a police scanner app and tune in to Atlanta Police Zone 6!
Atlanta Cops are talking about “ANTIFA looking” guys “creeping” around their building
Just said they were falling back & hoping for a helicopter flyover to get a better look #BlueFlu
— SETH WEATHERS (@sethweathers) June 18, 2020
Atlanta Police scanner for Zone 6 just told police to move their cars and personal belongings and retreat from the building, saying ANTIFA looking people were seen around the precinct.
Strange message. Radio silence ever since. No reports of violence tonight.
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) June 18, 2020
While those reports surround Zone 6 in Atlanta, it wasn’t just there.
It’s surreal listening to the Atlanta scanners. Only activity is the fire brigade. Silent otherwise. An occasional Code 12 from police (including reports of gunfire), meaning they won’t respond.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 18, 2020
Not good. Not good at all.
However, it’s difficult for me to blame them. After all, Segura makes an excellent point.
He said officers were concerned over a lack of due process — Rolfe was fired immediately after the shooting, not suspended and then fired after an investigation.
Segura also accused the district attorney of having political motives for rushing the case.
Having grown up around law enforcement, that’s the way I’ve always seen it done. An officer is suspended until an investigation reveals what actually happened. Then charges are filed and the officer is terminated, if that’s the appropriate action.
That didn’t happen with Rolfe.
Instead, he was held up as a political pinata, someone the masses can beat as the epitome of excessive force, all before finding out if he’d done any such thing. It’s appeasing the mob, not justice.
But Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms thinks officers have a commitment they need to honor.
“There’s a lot happening in our cities and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. She said the city has committed to the officers through a big pay raise, and “we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities.”She said she thinks morale is down tenfold.“We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” she said. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out. But it is just my hope again that our officers will remember the commitment that they made when they held up their hand and they were sworn in as police officers.”
Well, that’s special.
Tell me, Madam Mayor, just where the hell is your commitment to your police officers? The truth of the matter is that commitment needs to be a two-way street. Officers get a lot of crap on a daily basis, but so long as they feel their department and their city has their back, they can generally handle it. Yet the moment that is gone, the job becomes just that much harder.
When they feel like they’ll be hung out to dry for doing what they see as their jobs, though, you get problems. Problems like this.
Of course, officials such as the mayor claim the “blue flu” wasn’t really that bad and that they had plenty of officers. The reports from those listening to Atlanta police scanners suggest otherwise but let’s also be clear, what else are they going to say? “Nope, we’re out of cops. Not a thing we can do,” or something like that? No, that’s not about to happen because all know what the results of that would have been.
Regardless, it’ll probably be days before we get a full recounting of just what transpired last night in Atlanta. I seriously doubt we’ll enjoy what we hear.