ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — (Updated on June 16, 2020): Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference on June 15, 2020, announcing plans to issue administrative orders involving police reform measures.
The orders specifically address reforming the Atlanta Police Department’s standard operating procedures and work rules concerning their Use of Force policies.
This comes after several police-involved shootings and incidents, which include the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks after falling asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru lane. Body cam video shows Brooks grabbing an officer’s taser while being handcuffed and attempting to run from the scene, before officials said he was shot in the back twice.
The administrative orders also come after the recent tasing of two college students by officers during local protests over the death of George Floyd.
In a press release issued on June 16, 2020, the city provided a breakdown of the orders:
Administrative Order 2020-18 directs the Interim Chief of Police to immediately adopt and implement changes to the standard operating procedures and work rules of the Atlanta Police Department concerning their use of force. The immediate reforms include:
- Intervening in unreasonable use of deadly force: requiring officers to intervene when seeing another officer using force that is beyond what is reasonable under the circumstances, and reporting deadly use of force to the on-duty supervisor;
- Shooting at moving vehicles: provide lawful restrictions on when an officer may use deadly force at a suspect who is in a moving motor vehicle;
- Addressing officers’ response to resistance: apply de-escalation techniques to gain voluntary compliance and use only the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary to successfully protect themselves or others during an arrest or to bring an incident under control when dealing with members of the community, suspects, and detainees; and
- Reporting deadly use of force: require the reporting of all uses of deadly force by a police officer to the Citizens Review Board.
Administrative Order 2020-19 directs the Chief Operating Officer to coordinate with the Interim Chief Procurement Officer to engage professional service providers and organizations that are experts in modern police techniques to provide Mayor Bottoms with a comprehensive set of recommendations concerning how policing should be handled in the City of Atlanta. Expert providers will examine subjects such as what situations are appropriate for police to respond to, how police officers are trained, and how to reduce unnecessary interactions with the police.
Bottoms said her efforts tie into the 21st Century Policing initiatives introduced during the Obama Administration and the criminal justice reform efforts she started when she took office.
She also signed an Administrative Order to convene an Advisory Council to recommend solutions. Bottoms said the first recommendations are expected by June 24, 2020, and the final ones by July 24, 2020.