Mayor Bottoms Points Finger as Atlanta Prepares to Burn

Mayor Bottoms Points Finger as Atlanta Prepares to Burn

Mayor Bottoms Points Finger as Atlanta Prepares to Burn

When did we enter Heinlein’s Crazy Years? We have a presidential candidate who says George Floyd’s death has had more of an impact on our country than Dr. Martin Luther King’s did. We have protesters taking to the streets and, in some instances destroying private property, chanting “All black lives matter”. Except they grow very silent when those lives lost wore the blue of law enforcement. Now we have Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, demanding a police officer be fired before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has a chance to conduct a thorough investigation of Rayshard Brooks’ shooting.

What happened initially seemed fairly straight forward. Officers received a call to respond to a Wendy’s restaurant to investigate a report of a man sleeping in his car in the drive-through lane. They responded and, in the course of their contact with 27-year-old Brooks, conducted a field sobriety test–which he failed. At one point, after his car had been moved from the drive-through lane, a fight broke out between Brooks and the officers. During the struggle, witnesses heard the officers telling Brooks to quit fighting and to keep his hands off the taser.

Brooks did not comply. In fact, he took the taser away from one of the officers, got to his feet and fled. And this is where the story gets complicated.

A video obtained by the GBI shows part of the struggle between Brooks and the officers. However, once Brooks is on his feet, he runs out of frame and that video doesn’t show what happened leading up to the officer shooting him.

A second video, this one from a Wendy’s security camera, shows the final moments of the encounter. Brooks turned, lifted his arm as if to fire in the direction of the officers and one of them returned fire, striking him. Brooks would die of his injuries.

This happened at 10:30 Friday night. Less than 24 hours later, the mayor called for the termination of the officer and Chief of Police Erika Shields tendered her resignation. Considering the current climate around the nation and in Atlanta in particular, I don’t blame her.

Here is what Mayor Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had to say:

Because of her desire that Atlanta be a model of what meaningful reform should look like across this country, Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as Police Chief so that the city may move forward with urgency and rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities.”

Even as she criticized the use of deadly force in this instance, Bottoms added Shields would remain in an “undetermined role.” Hmm, so it is all right to keep the former chief on the city payroll even with the problems with the force under her leadership, but the officer who shot Brooks should be fired without receiving anything coming close to due process. Way to run your city, Mayor Bottoms.

What the media has quickly stopped discussing when it comes to this particular case is that one of the officers involved in the situation tried to stop Brooks, firing his own taser several times with no effect. Now, assuming the taser hit Brooks, the officers now have to wonder what it will take to bring him down and they have to be worried he might be a danger to others. They are at a public fast food restaurant. There are people around. Brooks is armed, albeit with a taser.

A taser he turned and aimed at the officers.

Was it reasonable to shoot him? According to Mayor Bottoms, she doesn’t believe it was a situation that justified the use of deadly force. But she isn’t the fact-finder in this situation. The GBI is. They it is up to them to present their case to the prosecuting attorney. The mayor, as a former judge, knows that. Yet she has injected herself into the situation in a way that can very well prejudice any future jury, should the case go that far.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, this tragic case has turned into a political talking point, used to push an agenda because of the current climate in the country.

Don’t get me wrong. If the officer failed to follow departmental procedure, he should be punished. If it is determined he broke the law, he should be punished. But follow procedure during the investigative process and put him on desk duty or leave. Quit playing for the media, Madam Mayor.

From her “Meet the Mayor” web page:

A daughter of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms is committed to realizing her vision of One Atlanta – an affordable, resilient and equitable Atlanta – which stands as a model city for both commerce and compassion.”

So where is the equity in demanding the officer be fired before a thorough investigation is had? Where is the compassion in doing so and in basically labeling the officer as a murderer? Bottoms served as a judge before becoming mayor. I guess she’s forgotten a little thing called “due process”.

Of course, she has no problem showing her concern and compassion for those protesting in her city. She’s told them to go get tested for Covid-19 because, you see, we have a pandemic going on. What she doesn’t address is how these protesters are to get the tests and who is going to pay for them. In Georgia, asymptomatic persons who are not first responders, etc., are not eligible for state testing and must be tested through private labs. While some testing sites offer free tests, not all do (at least not where I’m from). So who is going to foot the bill?

If Mayor Bottoms is so worried about the health of the protesters and the potential for them spreading Covid-19, perhaps she should make sure the police are enforcing traffic, loitering, criminal trespass and other laws. We’re being asked to social distance. Are the protesters? Why are they allowed to gather in groups of hundreds and even thousands but our churches are not yet allowed to get back to the job of holding in person worship services except on a very limited scale?

The answer is simple. Politicians like Mayor Bottoms are too concerned with either placating the protesters or with showing how much they support them. We’ve seen it in Seattle and elsewhere. Now we’re seeing it in Atlanta.

Worse, we’re seeing it in the media and in private business. The New York Times apologized and said it was wrong to run an opinion piece by Tom Cotton that supported the use of the military to help maintain control during protests. According to the Times, that put the lives of protesters in danger. Yet, on the 12th, it published an opinion piece by Mariame Kaba advocating the complete dismantling of police departments–and prisons. To read her piece, you come away with the impression that most police officers are corrupt or prejudiced and want nothing more than to pull on their jackboots to terrorize the non-whites in their precincts. Tom Cotton has called out the NYT for its double-standard. His piece about using the military to help maintain the piece put black lives in danger. According to him, Kaba’s piece puts cops’ lives in danger.

Not that the NYT will change its tune or issue an apology for Kaba’s piece. After all, it fits the narrative. Just like the way NBC anchor Craig Melvin asked Sen. Tim Scott about being a “token” for the Republicans because he is the only Republican senator who is also African-American. You see, Scott isn’t black enough, to quote Joe Biden, for the media. He dares to be a Republican. He dares to be part of the Party’s move toward police reform, a move that doesn’t abolish the police but works to make them ore accountable. Worse for the media and those manipulating them from behind the scenes, he is smart enough to know what Melvin was doing and his response says it all:

Well, I am also the only person in my conference who has been racially profiled, driving while black,” the senator said. “I’m the only one in my conference that’s been stopped seven times in one year as an elected official, perhaps the only one in my conference wearing this senate pin that was stopped from coming into the building. . . So if there’s someone in the conference who understands discrimination and profiling, it’s me. It’s the reason why I asked to lead this charge because it is a personal issue; it is the right issue. And frankly, I think it helps to have someone who has been a victim of this situation and who still has a tremendous respect for where our country can go together.”

How different his approach is to that of Mayor Bottoms. She jumped on the “Cops are Bad” bandwagon and is riding it for all she’s worth. It doesn’t matter to her, apparently, that this could cost her the confidence of the Atlanta Police Department–assuming she had it in the first place. She could stand for accountability without throwing due process out the window. She could stand for equality without fanning the flames of outrage.

The question becomes if her actions will keep Atlanta from burning a second time or if she has simply lit a match to the kindling.

UPDATE: Shortly after midnight, CNN reported that the officer who shot Brooks has been terminated and the second officer placed on administrative duty. The so-called peaceful protesters proved that Atlanta very well may burn again as the Wendy’s went up in flames. Protesters also set cars near the restaurant on fire and gathered on Interstate 75/85 and bringing it to a standstill. They mayor, instead of diffusing the situation, inflamed it by demanding the officer be fired. That assumption of guilt before all the facts are known will make every Atlanta officer question whether it is worth putting his or her life on the line to protect a city where the administration refuses to have his back. The citizens of Atlanta need to ask themselves if they are ready to become the CHAZ of the South and if it is worth the loss of rights, life and property to do so.

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Featured image: Seal of the City of Atlanta. Public Domain.

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21 Comments
  • NTSOG says:

    The Chief of Police tendered her resignation within 24 hours? In doing so she demonstrated that (1) she was spineless and an opportunistic politician first and a Police Officer second, (2) the Police serving under her were always at risk of her abandoning them to the mob to save her own skin, (3) she does not believe in and follow the normal legal processes required, specifically she made it clear that due process applies to alleged criminals, but not serving Police Officers, and (4) the taxpaying citizens who paid her wage and whom she was sworn to protect also could not trust her.

    • Amanda Green says:

      My initial response pretty much followed yours point by point. Then I started asking myself if this was a case of the mayor saying, or at least making it clear, “Resign and I will let you stay with the city and draw a city paycheck or I fire you”. Either way, the chief did a disservice to every officer under her command by not standing in the line of fire with them and for them.

  • GWB says:

    Was it reasonable to shoot him?
    the fact-finder
    Ah, but you see, reasonableness has to do with perceptions, and facts have to do with … well, facts.
    And the problem always is in these situations that facts don’t necessarily represent what might be considered reasonable at the moment they occurred.

    “Reasonable man” hypothesis would say it’s entirely reasonable that a bad dude (he’s fighting with cops after lying to them for 2/3-3/4 of an hour) turning and pointing what might be a taser at a cop has intent to commit grievous bodily harm, and is worth shooting. It’s also some measure of reasonable to respond without deadly force due to it being a taser he’s pointing.

    The mobs whipped up by racialists won’t accept that, however. So, the mayor genuflects to the mob before they can get too out of hand. (Burning the Wendy’s is tantamount to the goombah knocking over an expensive item or two, just before the head enforcer says to the shop owner “Hate to see something happen to it.”) And justice is one more step removed from all of us.

    A daughter of Atlanta
    So, she doesn’t know who her daddy is, either?
    Sorry, I denounce myself.

    I guess she’s forgotten a little thing called “due process”.
    I’m going to guess she was only peripherally familiar with it while she was a judge, too.

    gathered on Interstate 75/85 and bringing it to a standstill
    Honestly? Any normal day it pretty much already is.

    That assumption of guilt before all the facts are known will make every Atlanta officer question whether it is worth putting his or her life on the line to protect a city where the administration refuses to have his back.
    It will also invite a wrongful termination suit. Which, when the officer wins, or the city settles, will just bring about more mob action.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Ah, the mob. How many of the politicians kowtowing to the mob recognize they are only one thin hair from those same folks turning against them?

  • Diogenes_Lite says:

    Normally I’m fine with the narratives here and agree, but I think we conservatives err in being more supportive of the police here. They had bodily searched him before. He was clearly non compos mentis, which was why they were preventing him from driving his vehicle away in the first place. He allegedly offered to walk himself home. He should not have tussled and grabbed the taser, but the thing is – it was a taser. There was more than one cop. They knew he was not concealing any _other_ weapons because they had searched him.

    Perhaps it is wrong of the mayor to call for his firing, but this also seems cut and dried as an example of exactly what activists are leveraging to shroud their insurrectionist movements in “righteous fury” and the mayor has a duty to preventatively defuse that bomb. You can favor due process and call for it in an investigation, but it harms conservative discourse to be so defensive of the police in a case like this, at a time like this, with legions of commentators on social media prepared and actively looking for examples of irrational defenses of police killings that should not have happened. This is not even as ambiguous as George Floyd’s death – they shot Brooks even after all of that, even knowing the only projectile weapon he had was nonlethal. I am seeing a lot of people in conservative media looking for excuses for the cops here but I cannot in good conscience see any – what I do see is more fuel for the fire of outrage and more propaganda for people who are _not_ just looking for reform and de-escalation of violence, but rather for justification for returning to tribal rule and organized criminal control, with their “people” behind the weapons and vehicles.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Hmmm. Let’s see. I said if the evidence is there to support firing and/or prosecution, I’m all for it. I called for procedures that were already in place to be followed and to award the officers the same due process they would demand in any other case. I don’t see how that is being too supportive of the officers involved. Remember, at the time the mayor called for the officer to be terminated, less than 24 hours had passed since the shooting. The evidence was still being gathered and evaluated. I’m not even sure if the officers themselves had been formally interviewed–something that often doesn’t happen for 24 hours in a police involved shooting.

      I don’t believe I made any excuses for the cops. I simply wanted them to be afforded a modicum of the same protections any one else would be afforded. I also pointed out that what the mayor did makes it even more difficult for police in her city to do their jobs. If that equates to being too supportive, then guilty as charged. I’m not willing to base judgment on a minute or so of video without knowing the full circumstances. We now know more than we did at the time the post was written. So perhaps you are judging based on that knowledge instead of what was readily available Saturday night when I sat down and did my due diligence before writing it all up.

      • Sulaco says:

        The mayor in his statement stated that six people had died as a result of the use of Taser’s by police; in so doing he labeled ALL such weapons deadly by law. Even the Corp, that makes them states they are “Less Lethal”. If he had disabled the cop then the cops other weapons including his pistol would have been open to this drunk out of his mind nutso would have gotten them. Then what after he killed several people would that be the cops fault?

    • GWB says:

      Something else to keep in mind: the shooting could be “awful yet lawful.

      While I concur that it is up to us to be careful how we defend law and order (I think there’s a difference between pro-cop and pro-law-and-order), we must defend it. And we do that partly by defending due process for everyone involved – even the bad cops.

    • GWB says:

      Also, one of the reasons we tend to “look[] for excuses for the cops” is because so VERY often the outrageous behavior we initially see was filtered and cropped and staged to look that way, and the truth was nowhere near that outrageous. So, when the little boy racial grievance agitators start crying “Wolf!” “Racist!” we don’t listen.

      • Amanda Green says:

        Exactly, GWB. Thanks for reminding us all about how we often see only part of the story and how it is up to us to demand all the facts and not to rush to judgment.

    • Sulaco says:

      The mayor in his statement stated that six people had died as a result of the use of Taser’s by police; in so doing he labeled ALL such weapons deadly by law. Even the Corp, that makes them states they are “Less Lethal”. If he had disabled the cop then the cops other weapons including his pistol would have been open to this drunk out of his mind nutso and he would have gotten them. Then what after he killed several people would that be the cops fault?

  • cthulhu says:

    The CoP may have resigned because she knew the backstabbing Mayor would shiv her. Wouldn’t blame her if that’s the case.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I have no doubt that is a very reasonable assumption where the mayor is concerned. I do blame her, though, because she left her officers facing the proverbial fire on their own, without a commander willing to stand for and with them.

  • Didgereedoo says:

    Bottoms and Bowser– “Air B&B”, birds-of-a-feather, Mencken’s “gaping primates” infesting Atlanta and DC (qv). When better Rat manifestations of our demented zeitgeist surface, may the Farce be with ’em.

  • Da Bear says:

    I strongly suggest that all homeowners review their homeowners insurance policy to see of “Civil Unrest” is excluded from coverage. From this information you must act accordingly to protect what is probably your largest financial asset.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Not just homeowners but business owners as well. As so many are learning, the businesses looted and destroyed in the “protests” aren’t necessarily covered by insurance.

  • Anna Mac says:

    We’re hanging onto our rural Iowa acreage after our recent move to Florida just in case. This town and county is deep red but there’s a Dim machine town just 30 minutes south who’s tribalism, crime and politics, has overwhelmed the beach town just south of us. So, this nirvana may not last through retirement. If not, we’ll head back north maybe even further north to South Dakota.
    Just info, this area has been colonized by folk mainly from New Jersey but also NY, Connecticut and so on. Their voting record is ‘deplorable’. I did not expect that. At the same time, when we tell people where we’re from, by the looks on their faces you’d think we’d said some moon of Jupiter. While the voting is good, the attitude is all elitist east coast. They have no idea I’m originally from California or that my husband lived and worked in Los Angeles and St. Louis for several years. We won’t bother telling them.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Good luck and good thinking on keeping that bit to yourself. You don’t need them trying to re-educate you into “right think”.

  • A. C. says:

    “We have a presidential candidate who says George Floyd’s death has had more of an impact on our country than Dr. Martin Luther King’s did.”
    I remember watching the civil rights marches and struggles, and the reports on King’s murder in the 1960’s. I believe that what King said, and what he campaigned for changed American society much, much more than any of the responses to his death. Biden is not far from wrong in this.

    But the really awful thing is that those that are trying to make the most of George Floyd’s death are also trying to erase the Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy, leaving only the fact of his death. Don’t let Black Lives Matter obliterate King’s dream.

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