Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Statement of Mayor Kasim Reed on Calhoun Settlement

On behalf of the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta City Council, and the Atlanta Police Department, I am pleased to announce that our settlement with the Plaintiffs in the Atlanta Eagle lawsuit has been approved by the Federal Court.

The allegations made by the Plaintiffs, that certain Atlanta Police officers engaged in inappropriate conduct at the Atlanta Eagle on September 10, 2009, have been a matter of serious concern to me for some time.

I believe that what occurred that evening should not have happened and should not happen again. As Mayor of Atlanta, I feel pain for anyone mistreated in our city and apologize to each Plaintiff in the Calhoun case.

This week’s settlement agreement is a step forward, and I hope, the beginning of a healing process, part of a number of steps I’ve taken since becoming Mayor of the City of Atlanta. The Plaintiffs and the City of Atlanta, as part of the settlement agreement, have agreed upon clear steps which will strengthen and improve our law enforcement capabilities and help ensure that an incident such as this will not happen again in our city. These reforms include training, education, and revising applicable policies and procedures.

I believe that the lessons learned here, and the resulting reforms, will have a positive impact on future relations between the Atlanta Police Department, the LGBT community and the residents of the City of Atlanta, and that the rights of all of our citizens will be better safeguarded as a result.

I would like to acknowledge the members of the Blue Ribbon Commission who counseled me and volunteered their time to assist with the mediation process: Lawrie Demorest, Burt Tillman, Jeremy Burnette, Lee Schreter and Lawrence Ashe. Thank you for your service and commitment to the City of Atlanta.

I also want to express my personal appreciation to our City Attorney, Cathy Hampton, whose leadership was instrumental in settling this case.

Our diversity is our strength. As Mayor, I look forward to working with our entire community to ensure we are a more caring and compassionate city.

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