JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta-area police chief who was criticized for saying on social media that he doesn’t support the Black Lives Matter movement has been placed on leave while his city investigates him.
Johns Creek Police Chief Chris Byers wrote on his personal Facebook page that religious leaders have failed to give enough support to police and that Black Lives Matter as a movement “seems to glorify the killing of my brothers and sisters.”
Since then, Johns Creek City Manager Ed Densmore said he began gathering information from residents, police officers and city employees.
“I am aware of the statement issued on the personal Facebook page of Chief Byers and I am also cognizant of where we are as a nation and as a Johns Creek community," Densmore said in the statement. "With everything that is taking place around the U.S and the world, it’s important that we listen, understand, and make thoughtful decisions that will bring about improvements to everyone’s health, safety, and quality of life. We will conduct a careful review of the content and comments from the posting and explore potential next steps or actions, as appropriate. Equitable treatment and respect for each and every member of our community, including those of the Black Lives Matter movement, is part of our city’s culture.”
But Densmore said the investigation now focuses on other issues related to the chief.
Densmore said he opened an internal investigation into allegations against the chief “unrelated to his social media post.”
He did not specify what those allegations are.
In his Facebook post, Byers said he is supportive of demonstrations for justice and that he supports the lives of all people.
“But I do not support the Black Lives Matter as a movement as it seems to glorify the killing of my brothers and sisters,” he wrote. “It is not what you pastors and religious leaders think it is.”