Police union says Atlanta chief acted too quickly in suspending officer

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The national union that represents police officers in Atlanta said Chief Erika Shields jumped the gun by punishing one officer before a review is completed.

The controversy centers on a cell video of a takedown of a man by three officers. There was a total of four officers visible in the video.

Ricky Williams is seen on the ground and Officer Quinton Green punches him several times. In the police report, the officers said Williams, looked at for possible drug use, continued to resist while they attempted to place handcuffs on him. Two attempts to stun Williams using a device did not make him give in, according to the report.

Ken Allen told the city council public safety panel the chief, who made a speedy decision to suspend Green for 20 days, should have allowed an internal review of the incident to go forward before making the ruling.

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Allen said the chief's decision sends the wrong message to rank and file officers who may decide to lay back and not police for fear of being disciplined without a fair hearing.

Shields said the video shows there was no need to wait before letting Green know his punishment. With a total of four officers surrounding the unarmed Williams, Shields said the suspect should have been taken into custody without incident.

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