Atlanta's police chief says persuasion, not detention when enforcing social distancing

The Atlanta police chief says social distancing is not a law enforcement issue. 

Chief Erika Shield made the comment in response to a question from the Atlanta City Council about how police might monitor Memorial Day Weekend activities and crowds.

"Honestly, encouraging people to practice social distancing and good hygiene and all the other things around it, is not a law enforcement function, it's just not," said Erika Shields. "And we are not going to get in the space of arresting people for sitting in a group on a patio."

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The chief said the governor's blueprint for how people should behave amid the concerns over the coronavirus is "by and large not enforceable".

Officers will go out, she said, if called about a large gathering but will try to use persuasion, not detention.

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