Johns Creek police chief who criticized faith leaders over Black Lives Matter response asked to take personal time off

Johns Creek Police Chief Christopher Byers

JOHNS CREEK — A Facebook post written by Johns Creek Police Chief Christopher Byers has landed the embattled chief in hot water and resulted in the city manager asking him to take some time off.

In the social media message which was specifically addressed to pastors and faith leaders, Byers accused faith leaders of abandoning the police officers in their congregations in an effort to be ‘relevant.’

Johns Creek City Manager Ed Densmore, a former police chief himself, announced today that he had asked Byers to take some personal time off and said Byers had agreed to the measure.

Below is Densmore’s letter to city residents in response to the chief’s remarks in its entirety.

As I continue to comprehend all of the events which have transpired within Johns Creek and the nation over the past several weeks, I am reminded that we are a resilient and caring community. I have been listening carefully to the comments, feedback, and reactions related to Police Chief Byers from residents all over our city. Listening is important.
In an effort to address the situation pragmatically, I’ve asked Chief Byers to take some time away from the department – some personal time which he has agreed to take on my request.
As part of my listening and decision making process I am speaking with community members, as well as police officers, so I can best determine the most appropriate course of action. I am seeking a course of action based on sound reasoning, exploration, and valuable discussions. My plan is to come back following these important conversations and share my thoughts and next steps. I am confident that the outcome will help create a stronger and united Johns Creek.
Ed Densmore
City Manager
City of Johns Creek

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