Americans have bore witness to some startling scenes from Atlanta, Georgia as of late, spawned by a number of increasingly volatile police-involved incidents.
The first wave of protests came after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Atlanta was one of the first cities to take their demonstrations to the hilt. The CNN center was vandalized, along with several restaurants just a few blocks away, before the organizers of these demonstrations got things back under control.
The death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of Atlanta police, however, kicked things back up a notch, and soon the world was watching the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was shot burn to the ground.
When the officer involved in that incident was hit with eleven charges, including a possible felony murder charge, a portion of the force decided to start calling in sick to work as a form of their own protest.
Much of the nation looked to Atlanta for further chaos, but they found very little. In fact, arrests in the city have dropped dramatically in the wake of these protests.
Records show that in the week starting six days before the Brooks shooting, Atlanta police made just 709 traffic stops citywide.
That’s a drop of 79% from the same week a year ago. And it was more than traffic stops.
Arrests for serious offenses such as rape, armed robbery and murder dropped 64% that week compared to a year earlier.
Total arrests citywide dropped 71%.
Many blamed officers’ fear of being involved in an altercation as a reason for the dramatic drop in arrest, while others, including some within the police force, suspected that COVID-19 also contributed to the diminished numbers.
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