The wife of a suspended north Fulton police chief is accused in a police report of sending a threatening email to Johns Creek City Council members and Mayor Mike Bodker. The email sent on June 12 specifically addressed Councilman Brian Weaver, a former colleague of Chief Chris Byers.
Byers was removed from duty June 15, about a week after he posted a long comment on his personal Facebook page saying he believes the Black Lives Matter movement seems to “glorify the killing” of law enforcement officers. He removed the post hours later and is currently under investigation by the city.
Byers became police chief March 27.
A police report obtained by Channel 2 Action News said Weaver was concerned by the email.
Heather Byers sent the email in response to public criticism towards her husband following his June 7 comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the police report narrative. The email indicated she believed Weaver was leading “a witch hunt.” Byers said she would be “gunning” for anyone who besmirched her husband’s name, said the police report filed the same day the email was sent.
Weaver retired in 2019 from the Johns Creek Police Department after serving in a senior command position. He said he was surprised by Heather Byers’ email.
“Out of an abundance of caution, I filed the police report just to make police aware of the perceived threat,” Weaver said.
Weaver, who is African American, also said he thought the chief’s Facebook comments were “hurtful, divisive and inappropriate and did not represent the officers that he served with.”
Bodker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that numerous allegations unrelated to the social media comments were made against the chief since his Facebook post and the city has an obligation to investigate them.
Bodker said he didn’t personally feel threatened by Heather Byers’ email, acknowledging it was focused on Weaver.
"There have been things I received that I felt as threatening,” he said. “When I read (Byers’ email), as the person who wasn’t named, I took it as ‘I’m going to defend my husband’ — sort of mama bearish.”
Heather and Chris Byers have not responded to emails requesting comment.
Johns Creek resident Angie Ayers Jones, who has been critical of the chief’s Facebook post said Heather Byers’ email is concerning in the current social climate.
“The thing that was shocking to me was that she used the word ‘gun,’” Jones said. “What exactly does that mean? Is she going to shoot all of us that are holding our police accountable for their choice of words?”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.