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Press Release: Southern Center for Human Rights to Hold Public Community Safety and Police Violence Town Halls

(Atlanta, GA) — The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR), a non-profit public interest law firm, will be holding a series of town halls in August and September concerning policing, violence, and community safety in the city of Atlanta. Each town hall will take place in one of Atlanta’s six policing zones. 

SCHR is launching this initiative in hopes of educating the public about disparities in policing between zones in terms of resource allocation, violence, and presence. The project also seeks to hear from participants about their unique experiences with these issues. Current ‘use of force’ definitions by APD are generally vague when stacked against other metropolitan police departments. Within the past few years, it has come to SCHR’s attention that the Atlanta police department uses a points-based performance evaluation system to incentivize specific types of arrests – arrests of a juvenile credits an officer for 5 points, for example, while responding to calls for service credits the officer .25 points. Despite an increase in police funding and citywide calls for more de-escalation training, there has been a report of more deadly force by APD so far this year, as compared to 2021. 

The goal for these town halls is to equip a diverse swath of community members to make holistic, data-driven policy recommendations to the City of Atlanta.

“Understanding both data and the human stories behind the numbers can help Atlantans better understand why ending police violence is about so much more than tasers and body cameras,” said Tiffany Williams Roberts, Public Policy Director at the Southern Center for Human Rights. 

Atlanta residents interested in attending town halls in their neighborhoods can sign up using this link. Everyone who participates in this initiative will receive compensation for their time and input.