Atlanta had recently started a review of all of its police use of force policies when Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police officers in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant last Friday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday.
"We had just embarked upon a review of all of our use of force policies, expecting a report within the next two weeks with final recommendations in 45 days, and then this happened on Friday," Bottoms said on NBC's "Today." "There are some things we know immediately as we await those additional recommendations that needed to happen. We have to make sure that officers intervene in a situation where they see wrongdoing."
President Donald Trump is to announce an executive order on Tuesday, and Senate Republicans are close to introducing an extensive package of policing changes, including restrictions on chokeholds after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But Bottoms said Tuesday that cities can't wait any longer for action.
"We were waiting for two weeks for recommendations and then Mr. Brooks was killed on Friday," Bottoms said. "We don't have another hour to wait in Atlanta."
Bottoms added that when Brooks was shot in the back and killed by police, it was "personal to so many people of color" as it "could have been any one of us ... It could have been any one of our kids or brothers. And in this case, it was. It was someone's father, and it breaks my heart. This interaction with these police officers was such, almost a pleasant interaction. And it did not have to end this way."
Meanwhile, Atlanta Police Chief Erica Shields has resigned, and Bottoms said she has a "great deal of respect for her and her leadership," but at the same time, "there are times you have to pass the baton off for someone else to continue the race."
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