#Blueflu: Atlanta PD cops call in sick in protest, Internet slams them saying they should all 'be fired'
The police officers were called out for protesting the charges against their peers by walking out on their job
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced on June 17 that officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan who were at the scene during Rayshard Brooks's killing have been charged in connection with the shooting and assault. Following this, Atlanta Police Department across all the zones witnessed an unusual phenomenon — blue flue — as several police officers began walking off the job or calling in sick in protest of the charges against their fellow officers.
Rolfe, who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, an African-American man, at a Wendy's parking lot, was charged with felony murder on Wednesday, June 17. The other officer on the scene, Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault.
When citizens got a whiff of the 'blue flu', they took to their social media to slam the police department for protesting by walking out of their job, instead of doing its job of keeping the citizens safe. They were unhappy with the blue flu situation at hand. A blue flu is a type of strike action undertaken by police officers in which a large number simultaneously go on sick leave. Police officers in several parts of the country prefer engaging in blue flu as a form of protest since police strikes are prohibited by the law in many parts of the USA.
A user tweeted, "I guess Atlanta PD is protesting for their right to shoot you in the back then kick you while you're dying." Another user wrote, "I guess Atlanta PD is protesting for their right to shoot you in the back then kick you while you're dying."
"Atlanta PD wants you to know that being held accountable for the murder of a black man is so sickening to them that... it made them all physically ill, apparently. Fire them. #BlueFlu #swineflu #DefundThePolice," demanded a user.
As panic began setting in amongst citizens about the absence of police officers on duty, the Atlanta Police Department too took to Twitter to reassure the citizens that they have "enough resources" to maintain their operations. The Atlanta PD tweeted, "Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate. The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call-outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents."
On Friday, June 12, Rolfe and Brosnan responded to a call from the parking lot of a Wendy's in the city. Brooks, 27, was drunk and fell asleep at the food chain’s drive-in. The officers reportedly administered a sobriety test, which he failed. After he resisted arrest, Brooks grabbed a Taser and fled on foot. He then turned back and pointed the Taser at a police officer, at which point he was shot dead. Following the public outcry over this incident, Rolfe was fired and police chief Erika Shields resigned.