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Multiple reports began to emerge Wednesday night that police officers in Atlanta were “walking off the job” or “not showing up for work” because of the decision by a potentially corrupt prosecutor to file charges against one of their brethren.
Earlier that afternoon, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, a Democrat, announced 11 criminal charges, including felony murder, against an Atlanta officer who’d shot at and killed a black suspect days earlier after that suspect, Rayshard Brooks, had allegedly fired a taser at him.
“At a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Fulton County D.A. Paul Howard announced that former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe is facing 11 charges, including felony murder, multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree criminal damage to property, and two counts of violating of his oath as a public officer,” local station WAGA reported.
The decision triggered widespread condemnation and fury because all the evidence points to Rolfe’s actions having been wholly justified.
Soon after the presser, numerous reports from verified sources also began emerging of local Atlanta officers just saying to hell with the job.
Just got this email from an Atlanta police officer:
“Atlanta police officers are refusing to answer the radio and walking off of the job. The county can go screw themselves. If you want a society without police we’ll give you one. Let it burn!”
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) June 17, 2020
I’m hearing that ALL cops from multiple zones in Atlanta are not showing up for work in response to the injustice from today…
Can anyone confirm?!
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) June 17, 2020
I’ve been listening to Zone 6 Atlanta Police radio traffic for the last hour. There are 15 – 20 minute periods of absolute silence amid reports of officer walkouts. This clip was shared with @CherylPreheim by a police source. It’s from Zone 3. The code 69 is Person With a Gun. pic.twitter.com/hkmbC5VF0Q
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) June 18, 2020
— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@SheriffChody) June 18, 2020
After mass walkouts among members of the Atlanta police department, the mayor began requesting assistance from mutual aid jurisdictions. Officers from these jurisdictions are refusing to respond to any call other than one for an officer down.
— Blue Flu Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 18, 2020
BREAKING NEWS: Georgia police sources tell me only two police precincts are staffed in the entire city of Atlanta. Entire zones of officers are walking off the job. Zones 1,3,5 and 6 have left their posts. Zones walking off the job. #BlueLivesMatter
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) June 18, 2020
I’ve just been told that one Atlanta police station has around 2 officers in it, and they abandoned it.
Protesters are descending upon that station now.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) June 18, 2020
The “protesters” referenced by Ryan Fournier above were radical Black Lives Matter protesters demanding “justice” for Rayshard Brooks, the convicted child abuser who’d resisted arrest for a drunken driving charge, stole a taser and then fired it at Rolfe.
That “protesters” would still demonstrate despite charges being filed against Brooks’ — unfair charges, to be boot, according to a myriad of critics — seems to speak to just how radicalized the Black Lives Matter movement has become in recent days.
Yet as usual, politicians, media figures and now prosecutors like Fulton have portrayed the “protesters” and their convicted martyrs as the heroes and good guys, while demonizing otherwise untarnished officers like Rolfe.
Speaking with The Police Tribune, local police union director Vince Champion said that while the union wasn’t responsible for “organizing” the walkouts, he understood the frustration and exasperation behind them.
“What you have is a group of officers who are fed up,” he said. “They have tried every way — they tried the nice way, if you will. They tried to wait for an investigation. … The DA’s office is going after us and we are not going to stand for it anymore, so officers just left.”
“And I think that speaks more to it than if it were an organized thing. This wasn’t organized. This didn’t start happening until after the press conference when these officers saw what was happening to one of their own.”
It doesn’t help that the DA responsible for going after their colleague is a potentially corrupt one who’s been under investigation himself for over a month.
“The GBI has opened an investigation of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and his use of a nonprofit to funnel at least $140,000 in city of Atlanta funds to supplement his salary,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported just a month ago.
“The criminal investigation comes at a time when Howard, Fulton’s DA since 1997, is being challenged in the Democratic primary for reelection and is facing allegations of sexual harassment, which he strongly denies.”
Sidenote: the Fulton County DA is under investigation for supplementing his income with money funneled from a nonprofit https://t.co/rTmlHoTyuc .
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) June 17, 2020
The Atlanta Police Department tried in a tweet late Wednesday to deny that walkouts were occurring, despite bundles of evidence to the contrary.
“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,” the department tweeted.
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
It’s unclear why nearly every action taken by major institutions in Atlanta — from the charging of Rolfe to the denial that walkouts were occurring — always seems to be in contradiction with the clear-cut facts.
Regardless, a growing number of voices on the right — not the criminal-loving left — have not only acknowledged the undeniable walkouts (or #BlueFlu, as they’ve been dubbed) but also expressed full support for the embattled officers who’ve had enough.
The Atlanta police walkout is the first legitimate pushback by a major institution against this insane Leftist culture war. It will not be the last.
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) June 18, 2020
My heart hurts for every law-abiding citizen of Atlanta negatively affected tonight, but I support the Atlanta police walkout 100%.
— Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) June 18, 2020
I support the Atlanta Police walkout. Good for them for finally taking a stand!
— Jaimy Blanco for Congress (@JaimyBlanco) June 18, 2020
You’re right. Those who support the #DefundThePolice movement are witnessing a small taste of that reality. And when the #BlueFlu, that started in the Atlanta PD, spreads nationwide, I doubt those same people will like that reality. We can’t have a safe nation without LEOs ⚫️🔵⚫️
— Fmr. Sheriff Mark Curran 🇺🇸 (@ElectMarkCurran) June 18, 2020
When America decides to place a police officer on death row for trying to do his job, America has gone wrong.
Huge support for every police officer in Atlanta refusing to come on shift
Police are being sacrificed to the mob.
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) June 18, 2020
Meanwhile, Atlanta citizens are scared for their life:
FACT: I live in Atlanta, a white male, the police are gone and I’m terrified right now. I dont fear for me. I fear that I will die defending my wife. I will lay down my life to protect her IN MY OWN COUNTRY that I fought for. This is sick. Pray for everyone, please.
— 🇺🇲🇺🇲 Dude🇺🇲🇺🇲 (@MenhinickSeth) June 18, 2020
For clarity, pray for everyone in this country trying to be law abiding citizens. Trying to protect families. I just can’t fathom the idea of something happening to my best friend/wife. Pray for every family in fear, as I know that I’m not alone. I thank you all for your love.
— 🇺🇲🇺🇲 Dude🇺🇲🇺🇲 (@MenhinickSeth) June 18, 2020
But who’s to blame for their fear — the Atlanta officers who’ve chosen to stand up for themselves against unfair treatment, or the Democrat political figures who’ve sold everybody out, save of course for their beloved criminals?
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