BREAKING: Atlanta Police Officers Are Calling Out, Not Working: ‘If You Want A Society Without Police We’ll Give You One’

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On Wednesday evening, a “higher than usual” number of Atlanta police officers reportedly called in sick for their shifts and ultimately did not show.

The coordinated call-outs, now being referred to as the “Blue Flu,” are connected to legal charges announced against the police officers responsible for the death of Rayshard Brooks, Officers Garrett Wolfe and Devin Brosnan.

Earlier on Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges against Wolfe, who has since been fired, which include felony murder. Brosnan also faces charges of aggravated assault and violating his oath of office, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.

National Review reports Atlanta police union spokesman Vince Champion said the officers were walking off the job and remaining silent on radios to protest the decision to charge the Rolfe and Brosnan.

“This is not an organized thing, it’s not a blue flu, it’s not a strike, it’s nothing like that. What it actually is, is officers protesting that they’ve had enough and they don’t want to deal with it any longer,” he said per the report.

Here’s more on the “Blue Flu” from Forbes:

Wednesday night’s protest by the officers was sudden, but not unexpected. Amidst numerous social media reports that an unconfirmed number of Atlanta police officers were walking off their jobs, Vince Champion, Southeast regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the protest was taking place.

“There are officers walking off,” Champion told the AJC Wednesday evening. “There are officers saying they are not going to leave the precinct unless to help another officer. Some are walking off and sitting in their personal vehicles.”

Atlanta’s Police Department, for its part, responded to the reports by minimizing the scale of the protest. “Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate,” the Atlanta Police Department tweeted. “The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.”

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said morale among the police officers is down “ten-fold.”

“This has been a very tough few weeks in Atlanta and with the tragedy of Mr. Brooks, and then on top of that the excessive force charges that were brought against the officers involved with the college students,” she said via the National Review. “There’s a lot happening in our city, and the police officers are receiving the brunt of it quite frankly.”

The Georgia Law Enforcement Facebook, an unofficial group, posted the following in response to the call-outs/walk-outs:

BREAKINGIt is being reported that multiple shifts within the Atlanta Police Department have walked off the job tonight, calls are pending, and the PD is begging surrounding agencies for help.

Posted by Georgia Law Enforcement on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The head of Atlanta’s police union confirmed Wednesday that officers from the Atlanta Police Department in Zones 3 and 6…

Posted by Georgia Law Enforcement on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

And, here’s how some other people responded via BizPac Review: