Atlanta Police Chief Georgia Turner, right, says Mayor Kasim Reed must be allowed to use emergency lights and sirens because he has received thousands of threats since his 2010 inauguration, but city officials refused to release documents showing any credible threat. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Mayor Reed complains of AJC's 'personal campaign' against him

This statement from the office of Mayor Kasim Reed was prepared by Tom Sabulis, a member of the mayor's communications team and a former editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

This column marks the 32nd time Bill Torpy has written about Mayor Kasim Reed, a man he has spoken to twice in his career.

» Torpy's column: using blue lights to run red lights

On Nov. 2, 2016, a police report was filed alleging that Mayor Reed’s city vehicle used blue lights and sirens while en route to a radio interview. The accusations contained in the report are false. The Atlanta Police Department reports that the Mayor’s vehicle remained in the steady flow of traffic on the way to this interview and flashed blue lights only momentarily in one instance when warranted.

It is deeply disturbing that both The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB continue to engage in the reckless behavior and, in this instance, false pattern of turning the Mayor’s personal safety into a sensationalized news event during what is clearly an unstable and unpredictable time.

We cannot explain the motivations behind this personal campaign that continues to take issue with the legal, lawfully authorized safety precautions the Mayor’s security team employs to keep him and his family safe.

To be clear, this kind of official travel has been used by every Mayor over the last two decades to meet the safety and scheduling demands that are fundamentally part of running a major American city.

We can only presume that there is a need to justify the extraordinary lengths that have been taken in pursuit of this manufactured controversy, including following the Mayor with a helicopter for a month while he conducted city business.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 16, WSB aired five pieces on this story. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 23, the AJC published five pieces on the same topic.

One has to wonder, when will enough be enough?

After a month of sensationalized reporting that frequently ignores basic facts, AJC and the WSB are the ones who should be called into question about professional standards – those that once governed sacred principles of fair and balanced journalism.

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