ATLANTA - It is the photo that churned comment on social media and was picked up in news broadcasts across the country.
The photo was taken a week ago and on the surface, the police chief of Atlanta finds a number of reasons to be critical. A young woman is sitting on the back of a squad car with all the requisite markings. In the same photo, partially you can see an officer who has admitted he gave consent.
The police union, which represented the unidentified officer at a disciplinary hearing, offered another take on how the image was snapped. In a downtown party district where the officer was working off duty, the young woman insisted on having a picture taken with the officer. Before he knew it, according to the union representative, the woman hopped up on the trunk.
Vince Champion, the local union director, said the officer asked the young lady repeatedly to get down. She would not.
Champion said the cop had the option of physically removing her, but thought better of it. In an effort to diffuse the situation, the officer agreed to one photo, but only put one arm in the shot. Then he did something else, he flashed a fraternity symbol with one hand.
The union director acknowledges it would have been better if the officer had called a supervisor to the scene to deal with the persistent young lady.