When asked if she was concerned about the possibility of a lawsuit, Bottoms said: “I’m not concerned about that at all ... I will put our policies up against anyone, any day of the week.”
Bottoms said she is concerned about the “alarming rise” in COVID-19 numbers, saying 116 city employees have had the disease and two have died. Bottoms announced July 6 that she and some of her family members have tested positive for the virus.
Because of the increasing number of cases, Bottoms a week ago rolled the city back to Phase 1 restrictions on what people in the city can and should do.
Bottoms also acknowledged during the briefing that there has been a surge in violent crimes, including homicides and aggravated assaults, in the past 28 days. But she said police are focusing their resources appropriately.
The mayor also reviewed her police reform initiatives but didn’t mention that earlier in the week she vetoed eight measures passed by the Atlanta City Council on July 6, following the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks by a police officer on June 12.
Bottoms didn’t explain her veto during the livestream, but said Wednesday that she did so because of procedural issues.
“As the City evaluates and implements use of force reform, we must do so in a deliberate manner devoid of constitutional controversy,” she said in a written statement Wednesday.
The set of eight measures passed by the city council included bans on chokeholds and shooting at moving vehicles, along with comprehensive reporting when officers use their weapons.
The ordinance draws on the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign, which has spread on social media as a solution to national policing problem even though some activists say the changes don’t go far enough.
She summed up her vision for how police and neighborhoods should interact: “We all want the safe thing, and that’s to be safe in our communities.”