ATLANTA — As the “blue flu” is reportedly occurring at the Atlanta Police Department, concerns have emerged over a lack of direction from the department’s new leadership, according to a report.
The call outs began Wednesday after Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. announced charges against two Atlanta officers in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. Howard’s declaration seemed to lack objectivity as he made several comments that were nothing more than political spin.
“Mr. Books on the night of this incident, was calm. He was cordial. And really displayed a cooperative nature,” Howard said. “We concluded and considered it as one of our important considerations that Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat.”
It was as if Howard left a football game at halftime and missed everything that occurred in the second half, yet talked about the first half as though it was all that transpired. His comments were based upon incomplete details for the expressed purpose of justifying shortsighted decisions.
Fox5 Atlanta says it has received tips of officers calling or walking out of the job again during the night shift Thursday, although the department has not confirmed the information.
“The police officers are like you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” retired DeKalb County Police Major K.D. Johnson told the news organization. “I have heard that there have been some call outs and some refusing to respond to calls.”
The June 12 shooting of Brooks prompted the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant is now serving as the city’s interim police chief until a permanent replacement is found.
But the transition hasn’t been smooth, Fox5 reported.
“The officers I’ve spoken to say they have no direction from the new leadership and that’s a concern because they need to know who’s got their back,” Johnson told the station.
Johnson said officers are now feeling conflicted over whether or not to call out from the job going forward.
“They took an oath, so when you call out sick, your fellow officer is possibly put in danger because he or she will not have the proper backup. So, you’re going to have some officers that are going to go to work, but are they going to be proactive?” he added. “When the police officers don’t know what to do, they are just going to sit and do nothing and the public is going to be at risk.”