Local Atlanta outlet, WSB-TV, has reported that all crime in Atlanta has dropped significantly leading up to and following the death of Rayshard Brooks.
During the week prior to to Brooks’ death, the Atlanta Police Department made 709 traffic stops citywide. That is a 79% drop from the same week in 2019. Furthermore, serious crimes such as rape, armed robbery and murder have dropped 64% from that week to the same week in 2019. Overall, the number of citywide arrests has dropped by 71%
WSB-TV has hinted that the cause could be related to the number of officers calling in sick. Meanwhile, Vince Champion of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers believes that it could be the result of fear.
“It’s a reflection of the officers’ nervousness or, you know, hesitation to be the next officer that’s put in jail,” Champion said.
Champion believes that this apprehension will ultimately hurt citizens more than help them in the long run.
“Those officers who would’ve been pulling over the suspicious vehicles, patrolling the neighborhoods, getting out with people at two or three o’clock in the morning wandering in yards and things like that, so we might be able to do proactive and stop that. I don’t know that that’s being done as much as it used to,” Champion added.
While the police debate the relationship between cautiousness and arrest tactics, members of the city government hint that the drop in crime is cause in part by COVID-19,” a city spokesperson told WSB-TV.