Friday morning Will Johnson of Unite America First and Ben Bergquam of America’s Voice gathered in a conference room in Tulsa, OK to meet with their team to head out to the Trump rally area to interview rally goers. They were suppose to have a security guard with them but he got a call to go to Atlanta, GA to help support the police department because they are still experiencing a high number of call outs.
Fox News reported:
Interim Chief Rodney Bryant told The Associated Press in an interview that the sick calls continued Thursday, but said the department had sufficient staff to protect the city. It’s not clear how many officers called out.
“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this space. Some may feel abandoned,” Bryant said of the officers. “But we are there to assure them that we will continue to move forward and get through this.”
In 911 audio obtained by 11Alive, there were long periods of silence on Atlanta police radio Wednesday night.
In one exchange after midnight, an officer can be heard saying: “We’re having our unit(s) come back to the main. We are not answering 911 calls right now due to personnel issues. If you can reach out to other zones, or I will have them assist with our pending.”
The police chief did not comment on how they were filling in the gaps from all the officers calling in, but we now know there is a call across the country for reinforcements to come help.
In the midst of America is trying to recover from the George Floyd riots and the calls to defund or dismantle police departments, Atlanta is faced with another challenge in these times. How do interpret what police can and can’t do.
Many police are trying to figure out what to do next.
The Washington Post spoke with the Atlanta police union which said this is not the “blue flu”. In fact, he said it’s not an organized thing at all.
A spokesman for the city’s police union also denied reports of a “blue flu,” a de facto police strike when many cops call in sick at the same time, but confirmed that the actions were in protest of the charges against Rolfe and a second Atlanta police officer, Devin Brosnan.
“This is not an organized thing,” Vince Champion, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, told NBC News. “What it actually is is officers protesting that they’ve had enough and they don’t want to deal with it any longer.”
The city of Atlanta has tried to compensate the city police officers by giving them each a $500 bonus. But is it insulting to think that money can fix this?
City police officers have been peacefully protesting the murder charge against Ex-Officer Rolfe for days now. They have not come out and given any statements, but I’m sure they rather have support from the police union, police chief, the mayor, and citizens more than a $500 bonus check.