Atlanta Mayor Orders Reforms in Police Use of Force Policies After Rayshard Brooks' Death

New rules ordered by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms include de-escalation measures prior to using physical force and must get reported to the city's citizen review board

A series of administrative orders was announced by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday, mainly on the usage of force policies after a black man was shot dead last week by police, which led to a new wave of protests in the city. Bottoms told the media that the new rules would require officers to implement de-escalation measures prior to using physical force, while all incidents of deadly force must get reported to the city's citizen review board.

Further measures include convening a body to propose solutions related to police misconduct on state grievances, at the same time it will require officers to intervene upon seeing another officer using inappropriate force. The officers shall also report such incidents to a supervisor.

'Great Deal Of Work'

Rayshard Brooks taking a sobriety test
Rayshard Brooks taking a sobriety test before he was fatally shot by an Atlanta PD officer near Wendy's

Bottoms said that it was the start of a "great deal of work" to do everything in order to protect the communities. "It is very clear our police officers should be guardians and not warriors within our communities," he added. These measures came a few days after the Atlanta police shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, yet another black man who died after George Floyd leading to a worldwide movement. The incident took place on Friday, also led to the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields.

After the incident, Bottoms said that there was indeed a need to take "an immediate look" at the training policies, Brooks incident on Friday night, said the mayor, "angered me and it saddened me beyond words."

The autopsy report found that Brooks had suffered two gunshot wounds in his back. Medical Examiners also ruled his death a homicide. Officer Garrett Rolfe who shot Brooks has not been charged in his death but was fired from the force on Sunday.

Alternative That Could Have Been Taken

Rayshard Brooks shooting death
Rayshard Brooks shooting death

Cedric Alexander, the former public safety director of Dekalb County, Georgia, now working as a police consultant, told the Associated Press that the officers could have defused the situation. Either by giving Brooks a ride home, or even by called an Uber, and let him sleep it off, as opposed to arresting him.

He questioned, "Are there other protocols that police could have taken?". Six officers from the incident are criminally charged. Recognizing this, Bottoms said that the morale in the city's police department was low.