*It’s hard out here for a mayor. Just ask NYC’s Bill de Blasio and now the ATL’s Kasim Reed.
Reed, like de Blasio, finds himself in hot water with his police force. They are objecting to a photo the mayor took.
So what about the pic is upsetting the folks in blue? Well, in the picture, Reed, along with several celebrities, has his hands raised in the symbolic “hands up, don’t shoot” pose, which became a symbol following the decision not to indict a police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Of course the police and its union, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, don’t have a problem with Mayor Reed exercising his First Amendment rights, according to union pres. Ken Allen. But as far as the cops are concerned, Reed’s participation in the pic sends a mixed message to Atlanta’s police force and its citizens.
“Having the mayor of our city participate in what can only be described as ‘controversial support’ can easily be misinterpreted and conclusions drawn that police brutality is a problem in the Atlanta Police Department,” Allen said. “Such conclusions are dangerous for the citizens, the officers and counterproductive to our great city.”
In response to the union’s concerns, Mayor Reed’s office issued a statement saying the mayor’s commitment and support of his officers is “unquestionable.” The statement cites the mayor’s recruitment of more than 900 new officers and creation of several task forces as evidence of Reed’s support.
“His participation in the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ photo addresses his disagreement with the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson,” said Reed spokeswoman Anne Torres.
Torres also notes while Reed has spoken several times on Ferguson, he repeatedly expresses his appreciation of APD officers.