ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- An Atlanta City Council ordinance addressing the ways in which the Atlanta Police Department can amend its use of force policies has been met with a letter of veto by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Ordinance 20-O-1449 states the killing of unarmed Black men by police, protests demanding change, and civil unrest each back the need for certain use of force methods to be evaluated.
Also cited in the ordinance is the "8 Can Wait" campaign. The campaign suggests eight procedural changes that have resulted in less police killings.
- Banning chokeholds and strangleholds
- Requiring deescalation strategies
- Requiring warning before shooting
- Exhausting all alternatives before shooting
- Duty to intervene (from other officers)
- Banning shooting at moving vehicles
- Requiring use of force continuum
- Requiring comprehensive reporting (involving use of force against civilians)
On Wednesday, Mayor Bottoms issued the letter of veto for the "procedurally defective ordinance." Her reasoning: to ensure the ordinance was in compliance with the state constitution.
“As the City evaluates and implements use of force reform, we must do so in a deliberate manner devoid of constitutional controversy,” said Mayor Bottoms. “This Administration has taken a series of swift yet thoughtful actions to modernize our law enforcement policies and procedures. This veto is not against the spirit of the Ordinance, but rather a needed measure to prevent the City from taking actions that are already underway and enacting laws that are subject to unnecessary legal challenge.”
In June, Fulton County commissioners approved legislation restricting the use of chokeholds by police, U.S. Marshals and the sheriff's office.
"Recent events in our nation as well as right here in our community have highlighted the need to provide clear guidelines to our officers about the behavior we expect from them during the course of their jobs,” said District 5 Commissioner and Fulton County Commission Vice-Chairman Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. “While we need police to protect and defend our communities, we also insist upon accountability on those who take the oath to protect and serve.”