GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — As the nation takes in former police Officer Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in the George Floyd case, one metro district attorney is facing criticism for a social media post she made about police and community relations.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson shared a political cartoon on social media of an officer and a child sitting at a counter.
The officer asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The boy responds, “Alive.”
The DA calls the post a conversation starter. Many police told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas that it’s biased.
Lawrenceville Police Chief Tim Wallis, who heads the Gwinnett Police Chiefs Association, said he started getting calls right after Austin-Gatson shared this post.
“It was a little disconcerting,” Wallis said.
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After a meeting with community activists and police on Wednesday to look ahead following the verdict, Austin-Gatson stood her ground.
“I think a lot of people felt where I was coming from with that,” Austin-Gatson said.
“How do you respond to the officers who are upset about your posts in light of you are probably going to make decisions about their futures?” Thomas asked Austin-Gatson.
“I’m already making decisions that concerns what officers do. I’ve always been fair and upfront,” Austin-Gatson said.
“Are you satisfied with her response?” Thomas asked Wallis.
“I am. She can have her opinions,” Wallis said.
As for the guilty verdict for Chauvin, the DA and police chief are split on what impacts it might have here.
Wallis is more concerned about the reaction to local cases. Austin-Gatson believes the Minnesota verdict will help things here.
“We don’t want that here, and we need to be proactive. This is something I promised,” Austin-Gatson said.
Thomas asked Austin-Gatson if she regrets sharing the post. She told him that she has no regrets because people are having discussions, and that’s a good thing.
Cox Media Group