Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says that she is making changes to use of force policies and is calling for a comprehensive look at how we police in Atlanta

(Photo Credit: Office of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms)

Mayor Bottoms Changes Use of Force Policies

Calls for comprehensive look at policing

Maria Boynton
June 16, 2020 - 4:15 pm

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says “we are taking a top to bottom review of how we police in Atlanta.” As a follow up to Monday’s announcement, Tuesday Bottoms released details of the Executive Orders she has signed.

This change in policing follows the death of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by Atlanta police on Friday, June 12th.  Erika Shields resigned as APD chief the following day.

Bottoms said in a statement, “These Administrative Orders will help accelerate our efforts to transform public safety within our city.”

In addition to the new Orders, Bottoms’ office says that she recently issued an Administrative Order to convene an Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to examine the City’s use of force policies and procedures. The Advisory Council will make recommendations for operational and/or legislative changes to the City’s existing use of force policies.

Here are the new Orders:

Administrative Order 2020-18 directs the Interim Chief of Police to immediately adopt and implement changes to the standard operating procedures and work rules of the Atlanta Police Department concerning their use of force. The immediate reforms include:

  1. Intervening in unreasonable use of deadly force: requiring officers to intervene when seeing another officer using force that is beyond what is reasonable under the circumstances, and reporting deadly use of force to the on-duty supervisor;
  2. Shooting at moving vehicles: provide lawful restrictions on when an officer may use deadly force at a suspect who is in a moving motor vehicle;
  3. Addressing officers’ response to resistance: apply de-escalation techniques to gain voluntary compliance and use only the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary to successfully protect themselves or others during an arrest or to bring an incident under control when dealing with members of the community, suspects, and detainees; and
  4. Reporting deadly use of force: require the reporting of all uses of deadly force by a police officer to the Citizens Review Board.

Administrative Order 2020-19 directs the Chief Operating Officer to coordinate with the Interim Chief Procurement Officer to engage professional service providers and organizations that are experts in modern police techniques to provide Mayor Bottoms with a comprehensive set of recommendations concerning how policing should be handled in the City of Atlanta. Expert providers will examine subjects such as what situations are appropriate for police to respond to, how police officers are trained, and how to reduce unnecessary interactions with the police.