ATL PD cop quits ‘mafia system’ gentrification bomb on blacks
Atlanta Police Officer Tom Gissler quit his job to protest gentrification arrests when he said he learned the Atlanta Police Department was working with local real estate developers to arrest and evict residents black.
Gissler, 49, white, worked in the department for three years. Gissler described how he was tasked with heavily guarding an apartment complex in the Old Fourth Ward section of town, where residents are predominantly black, according to an essay in Mother Jones.
“At my pace they started to say to me, ‘We really want you to start watching this section of Boulevard and Avenue Ponce de Leon – basically the Bedford Pines apartments,” said Gissler, who has left the department in July. He said his superiors told him to tow cars, do background checks and arrest people, The Grio reported.
Gissler said he was told, “We think there are dope boys in there. We think there is a lot of illegal activity and we really want to focus on that. So we’re going to put up signs that say you can’t park on the street. I want you to go write tickets on every car that’s on the street and I want you to get those cars out of there. If they don’t move, tow them. I want you to start checking everyone on the street. If they have warrants, I want you to lock them up.
Gissler, who was himself a resident of the area, said he spoke to residents after receiving explicit directions. What he learned from residents is that the owners of the complex reportedly wanted to demolish the building in accordance with plans for gentrification of the area. The owners of the resort were apparently unable to price residents by raising rents. Getting their tenants arrested was Plan B, Gissler said.
The first phase of an 80-unit senior housing development, City Lights, was built down the street from Bedford Pine Apartments in 2017, according to Atlanta braked. Apartments are always advertised on Apartmentfinder.com, Yahoo reported. Apartments are listed from $ 1,000 and up. A second development – Station 464 – is under construction next to City Lights with 96 units for families.
Gentrification has long been an issue in Atlanta, but it has intensified in the last few years.
“An owner in the area was very candid with me,” said Gissler. “He said the owners of Bedford Pines received their tax bill last year and their taxes have been assessed based on all the gentrification that is happening in the area. And so they wanted to get everybody out of these apartments and demolish them and rebuild these beautiful expensive apartments and the government said no. And so they said, “Well, it’s okay, we’re just going to raise the rent.” “
When the owners of the complex learned that they could not increase the rents of the residents of the units in Section 8, they realized that “the only way to evict a person is to be convicted of a felony. . », Reported the Grio.
Gissler said he could no longer work under these conditions. He said he had already made it clear that he would not lock people up for minor drug-related stuff. The experience opened his eyes to the realization that law enforcement is a “crappy mafia system,” he said.
He added: “I am not even a political activist. But something about it smacks of institutional racism, right? I mean, there was no white in this whole complex. Most of the tenants were single black girls just trying to, you know, make their way around the world. There was something about it that got me thinking now, when I get down to business, I don’t do any good. I really do wrong.
Gissler said allegations of child abuse and animal abuse were brought against him in retaliation, Yahoo reported.
The Atlanta Police Department told the Grio that the area near the Bedford Pine apartments was strictly targeted for its escalation in crime.
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“The 600 block of Parkway (near the apartment complex) has been a well-known area for the sale of narcotics and other crimes to include several shootings over the past year,” the statement said. “Officers were able to identify a large number of vehicles parked on the roadway outside the complex as a base of operations for drug sales and other incidents. To combat this, APD, in conjunction with the City of Atlanta, has designated the area as a no-parking zone. Several “No parking” signs were put in place well before any application, with the date and time of entry into force of the new rules on each sign. ”
The statement continued, “It was only after that that parking tickets were issued or vehicles impounded. In addition, we have partnered with on-site private security to issue criminal trespass orders to non-residents suspected of being involved in the aforementioned crime. No orders have been given to arrest citizens and to check the background of anyone standing on the sidewalks. “
Gissler said he left Atlanta.