The Southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood Of Police Officers Vincent Champion criticized the legal prosecution Thursday that has charged former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe with murder.
“We believe that the officer has not been given his due process. We believe this is nothing more but a political move by the district attorney,” Vincent Champion told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Rolfe was fired and charged following the lethal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed after police found him asleep in his car. The conversation between Brooks and the police began in a civil tone but a video appeared to show Brooks taking the officer’s taser. (RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Says Police Morale Is ‘Down Ten-Fold’: Police Department Denies Rumours Of Officers Calling Sick)
Champion said he has never seen anyone charged with murder “without a full investigation.”
“The police officers are definitely scared … they are afraid to do their job at this point, not because they are afraid of how to do it. They’ve been trained to do that. They know what they’re doing,” Champion said.
“The problem is, they’ve been betrayed and backstabbed by their own mayor, the DA and now everybody’s thinking if they go out and do their job the way they were trained unlawfully, we still could be terminated because the mayor of the city doesn’t like the way it looked on video.”
Champion noted that “95% of all videos” depicting police officers doing their jobs “don’t look good. If that’s the standard we’re going to go by, that’s a terrible standard.”
When asked if there are “politicians in Atlanta who don’t want police officers to enforce the law,” Champion said elected officials are increasingly listening to the “rioters” who claim the city doesn’t need a police department “and that’s the worst decision they could ever make.” (RELATED: Atlanta Police Department Says 8 Officers Have Left Since Beginning Of Month)
Champion pointed to the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” in Seattle and said people may decide to abolish the police but that doesn’t mean they can abolish authority. “Somebody will eventually take up arms and say they are the law there which is what has happened already,” he said, adding that those who seize control “are going to decide what they want to do when they are going to do it and they are going to kill or hurt whoever they decide … ”
The Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was shot was set on fire Saturday by protesters and rioters. Protests have continued in Atlanta and other American cities since the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police.