The Wright Perspective℠
Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠
A Blog by Gary Wright II
Police Corruption in Atlanta and DeKalb County
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
The following is a letter sent to Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin and Mr. Willis of the Atlanta City Council:
I am human rights activist, and a resident of unincorporated DeKalb county.
I want to make sure that Atlanta doesn't make the same mistakes that DeKalb county has made regarding corruption within the police department.
I believe that almost all of our police officers are honorable people, but the environment they have to work within is making it difficult to stay honest.
To keep the integrity of the department, it must have strong leadership to set the example of conduct, and to enforce zero tolerance of misconduct.
You are already aware of the Derwin Brown assassination that happened in DeKalb. Justice has still never been served, and to this day there is distrust and discontent among the residents of this county.
I think Atlanta and DeKalb county made a huge mistake when choosing the leader of the police department. Mr. Pennington came from New Orleans, which (especially during the hurricane Katrina disaster) has proven to be corrupt at every level. I believe it was a mistake to hire Pennington as a leader in the Atlanta police force.
DeKalb has just made a similar mistake by hiring Mr. Terrell Bolton as county police chief. He came from Dallas, where he proved a lack of leadership. Vernon Jones brought him in with a salary of $145,896. There is no way that the officers are going to respect him. The residents of DeKalb already didn't trust the police department, and the hiring of Mr. Bolton sends the wrong message.
The plea bargain deal that was just made was ridiculous, especially considering the evidence that existed. A mistake was made, but instead of admitting their failure, they tried to cover it up. Those actions are unforgivable and has given the Atlanta police department a black eye that may never heal.
I am disappointed in how the whole situation has been handled, and the only person that I've heard asking the right questions is Mr. Willis.
I hope for all of our sakes, both DeKalb and Atlanta can find strong leadership to work with the public to overcome the nasty reputation that the police have earned. I hope that you will give the police department the support (and pay) that it deserves. I also hope that you publicly make it clear that the corruption that has existed for many years will not be tolerated.
It is no wonder that our residents have adopted the motto "No Justice - Just Us."