Georgia police chief under fire for Black Lives Matter comments resigns

Johns Creek Police Chief Christopher Byers

JOHNS CREEK — Just five months after naming a new police chief, the city of Johns Creek has accepted his resignation.

Police Chief Chris Byers’ time in Johns Creek was almost instantly marked with controversy. Byers was named chief March 27 and within three months came under fire for comments he made on Facebook accusing faith leaders of abandoning police officers during the Black Lives Matter protests.

Shortly after the comments were made public, Byers was asked to take personal time off. Last night, the Johns Creek City Council approved a settlement with Byers and accepted his resignation.

The resignation and confidential settlement agreement went into effect today.

“I have the utmost confidence in the men and women of the Johns Creek Police Department and in their continued service to our entire community,” said City Manager Ed Densmore. “At the present time, Major Roland Castro will continue to serve as Interim Police Chief. As we begin the search process, my objective is to ensure we appoint a new Police Chief based on gathering input and feedback from our community, from the men and women of our Police Department, and from our Council Members. Together we will determine a path forward to fill the Police Chief position with a highly qualified, experienced, and admirable candidate.”

The city cannot discuss the confidential details of the settlement agreement and the events leading up to Byers’ separation and resignation.

“Based on extensive and careful consideration of everything that has occurred within our city over the past few months, we have come to the conclusion that it is in the city’s best interests to part ways with our Police Chief,” said Mayor Mike Bodker. “Our City Council discussed and voted to approve a settlement agreement with Police Chief Chris Byers. As we move forward, our next step is to begin the search process to fill the Police Chief position with a highly qualified candidate who embodies the heart and soul of our community. The ideal candidate will inspire confidence in the men and women of the Police Department and uphold the respect of our residents.”