USA

Atlanta police call in sick to protest felony murder charge of officer who shot Rayshard Brooks

Several Atlanta police officers have called in sick after a fired officer was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting a man in the back.

It’s unclear how many officers called in sick or didn’t show up to their shift Wednesday evening. The Atlanta Police Department said that it was experiencing a “higher than usual number” of call-ins but quelled rumors that multiple officers walked out during their shift. 

“We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) told CNN Wednesday. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out.”

Bottoms said other law enforcement agencies in the area would help patrol the city if needed. 

“We have other partners across the metropolitan area, including assistance from the state and from the county and from other jurisdictions,” she said. “So we will be fine.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges against former officer Garrett Rolfe, who was fired after he shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks twice in the back on Friday night. A third shot hit a car with three people inside.

The Atlanta Police Department said on Monday that eight of its officers have resigned since June 1. 

Brooks’s death comes on the heels of massive demonstrations protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

The night after Brooks died, protesters took to the streets of Atlanta and shutdown an interstate. 

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