In response to a recent post on Medium by former President Barack Obama, Atlanta’s mayor on Wednesday established a commission to examine and oversee the city’s use-of-force policies by police.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the commission, which was created via executive order, in a tweet. She said the commission will consist of “stakeholders and organizers” who will “examine (Atlanta’s) use-of-force policies and call upon them to make recommendations accordingly.”
Her tweet also tagged My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which is an initiative of the Obama Foundation that aims to assist boys and young men of color.
The announcement came in the middle of the city’s sixth day of organized protests following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Hours earlier, Minnesota’s attorney general announced that Derek Chauvin, the officer seen on video placing a knee on Floyd’s neck, would face an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, while his fellow three arresting officers would also face charges in Floyd’s death.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, along with the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, protests against police brutality and racism have swept the country and world. Obama’s Medium post, which was published Monday, was his first statement on the protests.
In the post, he emphasized that local elected officials hold the majority of the power over police departments and their policies, pushing for people to vote. He also advocated for the use of police review boards or other independent means to investigate alleged police misconduct, which seems to have struck a chord with Bottoms.
“Every law enforcement agency should have clear policies, including an independent body that conducts investigations of alleged misconduct,” his post said. “Tailoring reforms for each community will require local activists and organizations to do their research and educate fellow citizens in their community on what strategies work best.”
No other details about Bottoms’ executive order were released.
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