Community leaders react to drop charges against APD officers in Rayshard Brooks case

ATLANTA — Atlanta community leaders told Channel 2 Action News they are not happy with the decision not to move forward with the criminal case against two Atlanta police officers charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks.

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“Respectively disagree with the decision of this prosecutor,” said Gerald Griggs, president of the Georgia NAACP.

“As the cradle of civil rights, as the oldest civil rights organization, we want civil rights to mean something in this town and 2020 was a racial awakening, so we need to continue that and address the issue. The issue is police accountability.”


The special prosecutor announced Tuesday that both officers were justified in the use of deadly force and committed no crimes.

“We’re totally against any court of law saying they’re not going to pursue these officers,” Dr. Charles Steele Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said.

He wants to see more transparency and accountability.

“You don’t go after and shoot down a person, particularly a young man asleep in his car, and assume you can shoot him down like an animal in the back.”

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Both leaders say the decision will further divide the community, but urged any demonstration, rallies or protests stay peaceful and nonviolent.

“The message is, even though people are upset, we are the birthplace and the cradle of civil rights.”

“We know how to handle this type of thing, so we will respond in a peaceful, nonviolent fashion, continue to uplift the values that made this city great, but know this decision made today did not reflect the will of this city or the county,” said Griggs.