ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Multiple sources within the Atlanta Police Department told CNN on Wednesday evening that hours after a fired police officer was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting a man in the back, Atlanta police officers are not responding to calls in three of the department’s six zones.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard earlier in the day announced 11 charges against Garrett Rolfe, who was fired after he shot Rayshard Brooks twice in the back on Friday night. A third shot hit a car with three people inside.READ MORE: Rebuilding Together Atlanta Awarded National Grant For Westside Revitalization Projects
The police department said an unusual number of officers working the late shift had called out sick. The mayor said the city would be OK.
Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate. The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.
— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) June 18, 2020
“There’s a lot happening in our cities and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. She said the city has committed to the officers through a big pay raise, and “we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities.”
She said she thinks morale is down tenfold.
“We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” she said. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out. But it is just my hope again that our officers will remember the commitment that they made when they held up their hand and they were sworn in as police officers.”
The mayor didn’t say how many officers had called out.READ MORE: DPH Follows FDA And CDC Guidance Pausing J&J Vaccinations In Georgia
In its statement, the Atlanta Police Department said reports that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate.
“The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents,” the statement said.
Bottoms said that some officers are staying on shift to make up the difference and the city could call on partners in other departments across the metropolitan area and in other jurisdictions if needed.
Atlanta police officers each patrol one of six zones covering some 500,000 residents who live in the city limits. They also cover Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The 11 charges Rolfe faces are felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.
Devin Brosnan, the other officer at the shooting, faces an aggravated assault charge for standing on Brooks in the parking lot. He also faces two counts of violation of oath of office. Brosnan is assigned to Zone 3 in the southern part of the city.
Rolfe was a member of a special traffic enforcement unit who Brosnan requested come to the scene when he suspected Brooks might be intoxicated.
Attorneys for both officers have said they are not guilty.
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