Atlanta’s mayor is vowing to change police use-of-force policies and require that officers receive continuous training in how to deescalate situations before the consequences become fatal.
The Atlanta Police Department released this statement Saturday evening from Police Chief Erika Shields, whose resignation was announced at a news conference by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
“There are no words strong enough to express how sincerely sorry I am for your loss. I do hope that you will find some comfort in the swift actions that have been taken today and the meaningful reforms that our city will implement on behalf of the countless men and women who have lost their lives across this country.”— Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta
“What has become abundantly clear in the city of Atlanta is that while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect,” Bottoms said.
Atlanta's police chief resigned Saturday hours after a black man was fatally shot by an officer in a struggle following a field sobriety test. Authorities said the slain man had grabbed an officer's Taser, but was running away when he was shot.
Marietta is joining the growing list of metro Atlanta cities formally condemning racism and calling on state legislators to pass a hate crimes law.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Thursday walked with protesters downtown and told the crowd through a megaphone that "there is something better on the other side of this."
Officials in Atlanta have lifted the city’s curfew for the second day in a row after another night of demonstrations ended with no arrests.
City officials wrestled with maintaining the peace and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while supporting the First Amendment as Atlantans hit the streets Friday for an eighth night of racial justice marches.
The rallies — organized to protest recent killings including George Floyd in Minneapolis — extended to a ninth day in Atlanta. An 8 p.m. curfew originally in place in the city was lifted Saturday by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.