A majority of police “zones” in Atlanta are severely understaffed due to a phenomenon known as the “Blue Flu.” The phrase simply refers to police officers in a particular area all calling off of work at once in protest of the department. It has a cascading effect that causes other officers to stay home because the lack of staff makes it impossible for them to do their jobs safely.
Atlanta is suffering from the Blue Flu for a few reasons. First and foremost, there is an obvious lack of leadership from the Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms. She has thrown police under the bus on numerous occasions. Her name is rumored to be in the hat for a potential VP pick from the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden. If she appears weak on police, that would damage her chances for that role.
The Fulton County district attorney, Paul Howard, is also jockeying for political positioning. He is currently in the middle of a run-off election. If he appears soft on police, that may hurt him as well. Not to mention his prior allegations of misconduct with women and money laundering. This may explain why he announced charges on the officers involved with the shooting of Rayshard Brooks before GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigations) announced any completion of their investigation and also without their knowledge.
Police Are Human Beings
There are some people that argue “Blue Flu” is selfish and leaves citizens in danger due to not having police protection. An argument against that is: without any protest from the police and ensuing action to reform their respective departments, citizens will be in danger anyway. Police are not paid hefty salaries. It’s not as much about the money as it is about service. Good cops, the overwhelming majority, simply want to serve and make a living. If local governments do not have their back, then they cannot do that.
As Atlanta Police Protest, Is “Blue Flu” The Next Pandemic?
From city council to VP contender: The rise of Keisha Lance Bottoms – ABC News
Fulton County DA faces election runoff battle while under state investigation
GBI Says Fulton DA Blindsided Agency Amid Investigation in Brooks Case – AllOnGeorgia
Rayshard Brooks officer charged with murder; Senate Republicans reform