Hours after a fired policeman was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting a person within the back,
Atlanta cops aren't responding to calls in three of the department's six zones, multiple sources within the Atlanta local department said.
Though the department denied that was the case, a police union director backed CNN's sources' accounts and said that, in some instances, officers were refusing to go away their precincts unless a fellow policeman required backup. He expects more officers to miss work Thursday, he said.
Fulton County DA Paul Howard Wednesday afternoon announced 11 charges against Garrett Rolfe, who was fired after he shot Rayshard Brooks twice within the back Friday night. a 3rd shot hit a car with three people inside.
The local department said an unusual number of officers working the late shift had called out sick. The mayor said the town would be OK.
"There's tons happening in our cities, and our cops are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly," Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.
The city has shown its commitment to the officers through a pay raise, and "we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities," she said.
However, she thinks morale is down tenfold, she said.
"We do have enough officers to hide us through the night," she said. "Our streets won't be any less safe due to the amount of officers who called out, but it's just my hope again that our officers will remember the commitment that they made once they delayed their hand and that they were sworn in as cops ."
The mayor didn't say what percentage officers had called out.
In its statement, the Atlanta local department said reports that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the work were inaccurate.
"The department is experiencing a better than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. we've enough resources to take care of operations & remain ready to answer incidents," the statement said.
Some officers are staying on shift to form up the difference, Bottoms said, and therefore the city can turn partners in other departments across the metropolitan area if needed.
Vince Champion, the southeast regional director of the International Brother of cops , presented a special account: He received calls throughout the night saying officers were calling out and walking off their shifts.
"Some were just refusing to go away the precincts unless a politician needed help, so it had been various things ," Champion said.
While he did not have hard numbers, he has heard officers also planned calling out Thursday, he said.
"They're just uninterested . I mean, their mayor has begin and said everything that they wont to do with use of force isn't valid -- 'Don't do it' -- so i do not skills we defend ourselves when people want to fight us," he said.
The callouts aren't organized, he said, and he wouldn't consider them a strike. The union had no knowledge of the officers' actions beforehand, he said.
Atlanta cops each patrol one among six zones covering some 500,000 residents who sleep in the town limits. They also cover Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The 11 charges Rolfe faces are felony murder, five counts of assault , four counts of violating his oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.
Devin Brosnan, the opposite officer at the shooting, faces an assault charge for allegedly standing on Brooks within the parking zone . He also faces two counts of violating his oath of office.
Rolfe was a member of a special traffic enforcement unit, which Brosnan requested come to the scene when he suspected Brooks could be intoxicated.
Attorneys for both officers have said they're acquitted .
After some Atlanta cops call out, mayor asks them to honor commitment to community
4/ 5Oleh Salim Salem