This comes after Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard, issued arrest warrants for two police officers who had engaged in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks.
An unknown number of officers either called in sick, or refused to accept calls for service, later that night.
Opinions are split over body cam and store surveillance footage, but it appears that once Brooks was informed he was to be arrested for DUI, he resisted and stole a TASER from one of the officers.
Brooks can then be seen to run away and fire the weapon over his shoulder at officers, at which point he was shot two times.
As a former Deputy in Texas, I have a number of opinions on this particular case:
How to subdue
Even though Brooks was found on private property, he was observed passed out, in a stalled vehicle, in a drive through lane of a fast food restaurant.
Probable cause allows officers to reasonably presume Brooks didn’t show up to private property, drink an intoxicating level of alcohol, and then pass out. Brooks admitted that wasn’t the case and if he had that would still be public intoxication.
Though the officer’s actions were not incorrect, I, personally, find it pointless to draw a TASER in the middle of a fight. At close range, TASERs are not as effective as they are further out, due to the spacing of the prongs allowing for more electricity to travel throughout the body and causing more lockup of bodily functions.
As observed, trying to draw and use a weapon while being tossed around makes you more physically unstable, and prone to losing your weapon. If the officers felt they should have used the TASER, they should have both disengaged and while one draws their lethal sidearm, the other draws the less-than-lethal TASER.
It would be at this point that you could safely fire the TASER.
Fulton County District Attorney
Howard decided to press charges before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation completed their investigation of the incident. That tells me a lot.
This decision was politically motivated.
At the moment, mainstream media is stoking racial tensions and cities are burning due to looters demands for police to be de-funded or outright abolished.
Many politicians are bowing to these demands and pressing unreasonable charges against cops appears to be Howard’s role to play.
Howard certainly can’t face too much scrutiny while under investigation for sexual harassment. Were I him, I would not want much of a spotlight over me and his justifications for filing charges leads me to believe he is grasping at straws.
Police Response to Bad Politicians
I do not fault any officer who does not want to work in a hostile community with politicians who will throw them under the bus, rather than follow the evidence.
There’s a reason you don’t negotiate with terrorists. If you allow a violent mob to dictate who is guilty and innocent, then there is no justice.
As a Catholic, I have always had a strong sense of self-sacrifice. That is what led me to become an Army infantry officer and then a Deputy. I have always wanted to protect people from aggression.
While “on the beat” I was able to deescalate most incidents without having to draw a weapon.
I do not know whether or not I would work while there was a risk of the death penalty or life imprisonment for simply doing my job, but I do have strong condemnation for the politicians.
Mayor Keisha Bottoms
During Bottoms’ talk with Cuomo, Cuomo refers to the cops not coming in to work as, “a revolt” and Bottoms expresses a hope they will honor their commitments to the community.
Bottoms later said there were many good officers and “they are the ones who will show up and work.” Bottoms then went on to imply the officers who stayed at home didn’t want bad officers out of law enforcement.
This is disgusting dialogue.
Cuomo, couldn’t follow his governor/brother’s, Andrew Cuomo, own orders to stay at home during the Wuhan Virus shutdown while actively sick with the virus, he yelled at a cyclist in public for calling him out on it.
That sounds like a revolt against the law.
And to Bottoms, I’ll say shame on you. Police officers, more often than not, love their community. They are almost certainly torn by the decision to protect themselves and their families from a Democrat mayor and system that will throw officers in jail for doing their job.
That is why they are not going in to work. Not that they don’t want bad actors removed, but that they don’t want to be imprisoned or sentenced to death because they have to make life-changing decisions in an instant.
Policing isn’t easy and cops have to make choices every day that your average citizen can’t and wouldn’t want to make. They have to interact with criminals, good people on the worst day of their lives (as victims), and occasionally use force.
It is draining to be compassionate but not internalize it. This is why there is a high rate of divorce and suicide among law enforcement.
Pray for them.