WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After charges have been filed by the DA for the Atlanta officers involved in the Rayshard Brooks’ death, several police officers are calling in sick.
- Police officers are not leaving their precincts unless a backup and differences in shift numbers are being filed in by police from the previous shift.
- Officers’ call outs do not appear to be organized and the Mayor thinks police morale is low but the city is going to be OK.
After police officers involved in the Rayshard Brooks shooting incident were charged by the District Attorney, the Atlanta Police Department now faces an unusual number of officers calling out.
In an interview on Atlanta CNN, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, “There’s a lot happening in our cities, and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly.”
When asked how many officers are calling out, the Mayor did not say how many but said “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.”
Reports said that officers were refusing to leave their precincts unless a fellow police officer required backup and that an unusual number of officers working the late shift had called out sick. To make up the difference, some officers stay past their shifts.
The callouts do not appear to be organized or a strike, though the Mayor said that the city police’s morale is down tenfold.
Southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Vince Champion, presented a different story as he received calls throughout the night saying officers were calling out and walking off their shifts.
“They’re just fed up. I mean, their mayor has come out and said everything that they used to do with use of force is not valid — ‘Don’t do it’ — so I don’t know how we defend ourselves when people want to fight us,” he said.
The city showed its commitment to its officers through a pay raise and the Atlanta Police Foundation is also giving away a $550 bonus as a thank you for each officer. But one officer told CNN “This is the first time anything like this has been done and the foundation are good people as well, but it’s for APD only and it’s definitely about morale.”