Due to the ongoing pressure for police officers to stop brutalizing and killing Black people and low morale, the Atlanta Police Department has had eight police officers resign in the past two weeks, according to CBS46.
Initially, the Atlanta Police Foundation erroneously reported that 19 officers had resigned in the last week. The APD corrected that number.
“There has been a claim circulating that 19 Atlanta Police Department officers resigned over the weekend. We have checked with the source of that claim and they are planning to issue a retraction of that statement because it is not correct and was not verified by APD. The information we have is that eight officers have resigned since June 1. Our personnel data indicates that we have had anywhere from two to six officers resign per month in 2020,” said a statement issued by the agency.
After several incidents involving alleged police brutality, including six Atlanta police officers violently dragging HBCU students from their vehicle and the recent police killing of Rayshard Brooks by a white Atlanta police officer, police chief Erika Shields handed in her resignation.
“For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this city and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department,” Shields said over the weekend. “I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
“We are now going into the third consecutive week of unabated protests in which officers have worked 12-hour shifts seven days per week. As you can imagine, their stress levels are exacerbated by physical and emotional exhaustion. We are grateful for the sacrifices they are making every day and will continue to support them while accelerating the programs under the Atlanta Police Foundation’s mission in order to address police reform and other issues the protests and their aftermath have illuminated,” said Dave Wilkinson, President & CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, in the original statement.
“The [the] morale is bad right now,” Mayor Bottoms added. “[There is] a lot of anger and frustration directed at our police officers.”