WABE: Atlanta police may dump Red Dog Unit

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imageAmid continuing controversy surrounding his Red Dog Unit, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner may act as soon as Monday in an agency shakeup to disband the unit that played a role in the botched raid of the Eagle.

WABE reported the potential shakeup that could mean an end to the paramilitary unit within the Atlanta Police Department. The unit comprises about 30 officers in a force of more than 1,700, but it has garnered attention for its role in the September 2009 raid of the gay bar as well as new allegations of strip searching and fondling men during traffic stops. Two of the three Red Dog officers named in the recent allegations also took part in the Eagle raid.

APD spokesman Sgt. Curtis Davenport Friday evening called the information a “rumor”; however, Chief George Turner has said he will hold officers accountable for any misconduct.

An announcement could come as soon as Monday.

Disbanding the Red Dog Unit wouldn’t be without precedent. Atlanta police disbanded and later launched a reorganized Narcotics Unit in the wake of the November 2006 killing of Kathryn Johnston during an illegal raid of her home by police.

Last August, Turner (second photo) ousted the commander of the agency’s internal affairs unit. When he was appointed interim chief in January 2010, Turner announced a sweeping reorganization of the department that included putting in place a new commander of the unit that oversees Red Dog.


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