CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts defended his officer's actions after a video of that officer holding several teens at gunpoint sparked outrage and calls for police reform.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference Wednesday the Chief said, "Make no mistake about it, the Clayton County Police Department is very transparent in what we do. We are part of the community; we don't hold the community hostage."
Bystanders recorded Monday's incident. Chief Roberts said the video doesn't tell the whole story. "I believe the officer did an excellent job of talking to the teens and calming them and letting them know he didn't want anyone to get hurt. He wanted everyone to go home."
On Tuesday, the department released 911 recordings, body cam, and store surveillance video, and photos of the bb gun the teens had in their possession when a store clerk called 911 to report the group was fighting in his parking lot and that one of them had a gun.
The teens weren't charged and were turned over to their parents.
The chief insists his officers did everything by the book.
When asked why the officer didn't use a taser to detain the teens, the chief explained that a taser isn't an option when responding to a call of an armed subject, and believes the officer did a great job de-escalating a tense situation.
"There is definitely legitimacy associated with the handling of the call by that police officer."
Chief Robert's response to calls for change in training and practices at the department, "We are committed to partnering with the citizens of Clayton County and to keep them safe. We are committed to discussion and we are committed to partnership and I am always open to dialogue."