Franklin (finally) comments on Atlanta Eagle raid

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imageMayor Shirley Franklin has been so “Tardy for the Party” in the wake of the Atlanta Police Department’s Sept. 10 raid on the Eagle that a reporter resorted to stalking her in Home Depot to get a comment.

For that, we applaud Southern Voice’s Matt Schafer, who apparently while shopping on his lunch break at the Ponce Home Depot, stumbled across the mayor and a great opportunity.

You see, Franklin — seldom at a loss for a quip to a reporter — has ignored repeated requests from SoVo and Project Q Atlanta for a response to the raid, the numerous complaints filed against the police department she oversees, a letter Georgia Equality sent her or even her post-administration vacation plans.

But when confronted by Schafer on Monday, she offered this:

“If there are any allegations about misconduct it’s our intention to investigate them and take the appropriate action. I believe that every person who lives or visits Atlanta should be treated fairly and justly.”

Unfortunately, it seems the mayor hasn’t been tuned into coverage of the raid and the public criticism after it, as it’s been filled with allegations of misconduct. In fact, several of the people arrested during the raid filed formal complaints with the police department’s internal affairs unit. The mayor also tells SoVo that she’s unfamiliar with numerous reports of her police agency not responding to media requests about the raid, despite complaints to her office about just that issue from us.

“Early in the media I recall that there had not been complaints, there had been complaints in the media, but not formal complaints to the Atlanta Police department, so I don’t know what the flow [of information] was. Certainly from my end I expect to see a fair and independent review of any allegations.”

There has been no flow of information from the police department. In fact, they were hounded into trotting out the police chief last week to respond to the growing criticism. Even then, requests and calls to the police department from SoVo and Project Q have gone without a response. Crickets.

But this is not about the media whining about access. That’s what we do, especially when it comes to the Atlanta Police Department. (The AJC devoted a lengthy piece yesterday to just how dysfunctional the agency really is, something reporters experience with regularity.)

Now with Franklin’s comments finally out of the way, that leaves Anne Fauver. The only openly gay member of the Atlanta City Council — and the rep for District 6, where the Eagle sits — has been absent from the rallies and scores of public figures offering statements on the raid. She’s so “Tardy for the Party” that it has some political observers and LGBT activists wondering if Fauver realizes she still has three months left in her term.

Maybe she shops at Lowe’s.


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