Buckhead has experienced noticeable increases in crime this year, including a 52% increase in aggravated assaults - which is about double the citywide increase. But APD pushed back against what it said were the "blatant falsehoods" in the framing of how officers have responded to crime.
In particular the department objected to the accounting of a January drive-by shooting in Buckhead in an article published in The Daily Mail, as well as a recent drive-by shooting incident of a jogger.
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The article cites the head of a group pushing for Buckhead to split away from Atlanta and form its own city, Bill White, saying officers "did not stop" for the January drive-by shooting, but "did call an ambulance and 'rendered help at the scene.'" Security video from the incident was included in a segment in which Tucker Carlson's Fox News program focused on Buckhead crime, as well.
APD rejected that characterization, calling it self-contradictory and arguing that if officers rendered help at the scene, by definition they stopped.
"In truth, several APD officers were near the incident, heard the shots being fired and immediately reacted," an APD statement said.
One officer, APD explained, did initially bypass a van that had been shot at in the incident, because he "chose to secure the scene and provide a lookout of the suspect vehicle to additional responding officers." APD said that officer then also provided medical care to people who had been wounded.
"Simply because a security camera did not capture all his efforts, a member of the media chose to criticize his efforts and politicize the incident," the police statement said. "It is extremely frustrating to see our efforts minimized and used in the manner they have been."
Defending the city's policy to minimize police chases, the department also said: "The new policy does restrict pursuits to only 'forcible' or violent felonies and requires officers to have knowledge the person being pursued is involved in a violent crime. We do not feel it is in the public’s best interest to chase individuals who have not been involved in a forcible felony and we continue to stand by that decision."
"Our officers take crime in this city personally," a statement said. "We are focused on violent crime issues throughout the city and will continue our work to improve the quality of life for those in our city."