The Atlanta Police Department (APD) refuted a claim reportedly made by the Atlanta Police Foundation that said 19 Atlanta police officers have resigned over the past 10 days.
The department said that only 8 officers have resigned since the start of the month, according to a statement from the APD.
“There has been a claim circulating that 19 Atlanta Police Department officers resigned over the weekend. We have checked with the source of that claim and they are planning to issue a retraction of that statement because it is not correct and was not verified by APD. The information we have is that eight officers have resigned since June 1. Our personnel data indicates that we have had anywhere from two to six officers resign per month in 2020,” the APD confirmed to the Daily Caller.
“We are now going into the third consecutive week of unabated protests in which officers have worked 12-hour shifts seven days per week,” the Atlanta Police Foundation told FOX 5 News in their initial statement Monday afternoon. “As you can imagine, their stress levels are exacerbated by physical and emotional exhaustion.”
The claims about officer resignations are circulating while the department faces controversy over the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot after police responded to a report of him falling asleep in his car at a drive-thru. A video emerged that appeared to show Brooks struggling with police and grabbing an officer’s taser before he was shot.
UPDATE: Atlanta Police now say eight officers have resigned since the beginning of the month, NOT 19. A police spokesperson says the source of the original claim is issuing a ‘retraction.’
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) June 16, 2020
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday after the shooting. The officer who fired the deadly shot, Garrett Rolfe, was fired and could now be facing murder charges, according to the New York Post. (RELATED: Police Officer Dies After Shooting Incident Just Outside Of D.C.)
Protests in Atlanta over Brooks’ death escalated into riots Saturday, resulting in protesters burning down the Wendy’s where the shooting took place. Nationwide protests and riots have been ongoing since the death of George Floyd, who died 3 weeks ago after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms held a press conference Monday before the Atlanta Police Foundation confirmed the resignations. She talked about instituting new rules regarding the use of deadly force, and also mentioned that she knew morale was low within the department, FOX 5 News reported.