ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) --With tensions mounting between police and communities of color, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is convening a Use of Force advisory council to look into Atlanta Police policies.

After CBS46 captured the tasing of two local college students, six officers involved were charged. Four of the officers have been fired.

“Atlanta definitely has some tactics that need to be revised and some tactics that need to be banned,” said Dr. Rashad Richey who was appointed to the council. “We are going to fully look at those and make recommendations very soon.”

The advisory council is comprised of business and community leaders, advocates and professionals who will review APD's use of force policies and offer recommendations for revisions and possible legislative changes.

“This is not about police officers doing policing,” Richey said. “This about police officers using excessive force when doing so or using unnecessary force when doing so."

The committee does have at least one if not more individuals who have a background in policing and executive leadership in policing Richey added.

Vince Champion is the Southeastern Regional Director of The International Brotherhood of Police Officers, the union that represents Atlanta Police officers, he says he wants to see active officers at the table, not just lay persons.

“I’m not as much opposed to that as much as I am who is sitting on the council,” Champion said. “Do we have any APD officers which they are the ones that are going to be primarily affected by this or do we have anybody from APD at all, whether it’s myself and I have not been asked,” Champion added.

Champion who represent some of the terminated APD officers says he wants all sides to be heard.

“They need to open their mind and listen to what we have to deal with on a day to day basis,” the 22- year officer said. “We have to be a teacher, a social worker. We have to arrest people. We may have to be a judge and jury and an unfortunately sometimes an executioner, and we think about that and do all that in three to five seconds. We don’t have time to sit back and think maybe we could have done it this way a lot of time,” he added.

The committee held its first meeting Wednesday. Richey says he plans to go through the policies line by line to look at possible revisions. The group plans to offer recommendations for possible policy and legislative changes in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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