APD faces residents following latest police shootings

APD holds town hall amid national tensions

ATLANTA - Wednesday night as violent protests broke out in Charlotte people in Atlanta faced police with their own concerns about shootings by law enforcement.

Inside Israel Baptist Church in Atlanta the Atlanta Police Department held an open mic town hall meeting for citizens.

Wednesday night some of the tensions felt around the country could be felt inside the church as well.

Residents had questions that somewhat reflect the frustrations of people who live in Tulsa and Charlotte in light of two fatal shootings of civilians by police.

Residents weighed in on a number of issues.

One woman spoke, wanting to know specifically how much money is spent on racial bias and mental illness sensitivity training.

“The APD has murdered over 80 black and brown people since 2010 and more than one third of all of those murdered by the APD have documented mental illness,” that woman said.

An Atlanta reverend also spoke about the need for the community to come together but also for police to be policed themselves.  

“We’ve got to start holding them accountable and we have to start utilizing ourselves.”

Another man who spoke during the open mic night talked about being a victim of police brutality and racial bias in Atlanta.

“We won’t have any faith in you guys if you continue to keep killing us,” that man said.

It was also a night for police to respond to concerns and skepticism from the community.

“We have this social media tsunami you can get caught up in that you think that’s going on all over the country especially in your own backyard when factually it is not,” said Major Jeff Glazier, Zone 3 Commander.

Some of what is being felt nationally is being reflected in Atlanta, especially at meetings like the one on Wednesday night.

Residents made it clear they want answers and they want results.

Police also made it clear they are constantly working and evolving and they want a chance to prove themselves to the people they serve. 

(© 2016 WXIA)


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