Rayshard Brooks Case Heading Towards Chaos
Before I go into what Atlanta police officers are doing I would like to raise some concerns about the Rayshard Brooks case. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) was brought into the investigation on June 12. But before they could finish their investigation, District Attorney Paul Howard filed charges against both officers. Garrett Rolfe had 11 charges filed against him with the most serious being Felony Murder. That charge can result in life in prison and even the death penalty. I don’t have a problem with the charges if they are justified but this rush to judgment is foolish. The District Attorney should have let the GBI finish its investigation.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations,
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Atlanta Police Department on Friday night, June 12th, to investigate an officer involved shooting at the Wendy’s Restaurant on University Avenue. We are in the process of conducting this investigation. Although we have made significant progress in the case, we have not completed our work. Our goal in every officer involved shooting case we are requested to review, is to complete a thorough, impartial investigation before we submit the file to the respective District Attorney’s Office.
The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted. We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”
The rush to file charges by D.A. Howard concerns me. I’m not sure what he is doing. Is he rushing in an attempt to calm everyone or is he being a glory hound? People make mistakes when they rush. We’ve already heard that the other officer, Devin Brosnan, had turned state’s witness. Then we immediately heard from Mr. Brosnan’s attorney that, that was not true. If the case falls apart because the D.A. was in too much of a rush, the public will see it as another officer getting away with murder and things will get much worse.
Blue Flu & Dereliction of Duty
Atlanta police officers have responded to the charges against Rolfe and Brosnan by calling in sick as a form of protest, referred to as the blue flu. Police officers are not allowed to go on strike so they call in sick in stead. That’s bad enough but what is even worse is that officers, who have gone in to work, are refusing to respond to calls. That is dereliction of duty at a bare minimum, maybe even insubordination. Regardless, all the officers are violating their oath.
What the Public Sees
Police officers are used to heavy handed tactics that have given them just about anything they have wanted and think those same tactics will continue to work in the current situation. They are mistaken. People are already talking about defunding the police. What they mean by that is taking away some of the police budget to support social programs like mental health emergency intervention so officers aren’t called for a person having mental issues. But there is a subset of the group that believes in doing away with police completely. Personally, I think that’s foolish but police officers do not help their cause by showing they are not needed. If they are not there, someone else will fill the void. That’s just a fact of life. If the void is filled well it just proves the city police officers really weren’t needed.
The police need to accept some hard facts. They are not viewed as heroes anymore and that’s on them. Of course there are good cops but look at Atlanta. Even the good cops are willing to abandon their oath to support an officer who shot a man in the back twice. They are hoping the public will be so terrified that they will come running back to them. The reality is, the public sees that as the police acting like terrorists who are trying to take the city hostage.
Police officers are not judge and juries. They don’t decide innocence and guilt. Even if someone is guilty, very few crimes carry the death penalty as a sentence yet we see story after story of, mainly black men being killed by police officers. If you don’t see that the brutality by police is the problem then you have no business being a police officer. Turn in your badge.