June 08, 2020
Early Monday, June 8, The City of Johns Creek became aware of an AJC article referencing a social media post from Police Chief Chris Byers on his personal account. The post included his views on the Black Lives Matter movement.
The City of Johns Creek and the Johns Creek Police Department do not condone or accept any form of racism, hate, brutality, or repression. The City stands against all forms of racism and will continue to work hard to protect the rights of all our citizens regardless of race, color, or creed. The city supports people's right for peaceful protest, demonstration, and the sharing of ideas, because it is through these rights and the sharing of ideas that we can enact proactive and positive change.
“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. With everything that is taking place around the U.S and the world, it’s important that we listen, understand, and make thoughtful decisions which will bring about improvements to everyone’s health, safety and quality of life,” said Ed Densmore City Manager. “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.”
The City of Johns Creek recognizes the importance of seeking to understand all sides of any issue and listen to the voices of our community. For this reason, the city is working on future opportunities for potential Town Hall and/or community discussions to provide a way for residents, community leaders, faith leaders, and organizations to take part in a constructive dialogue on the issues at hand. These discussions will take place as soon as social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 deem it appropriate and safe. The city understands these discussions can and have been taking place virtually during this time but considers in-person meetings to be more impactful for discussions such as these.
“Statements made in private or on a public platform have consequences far beyond the words themselves. When someone holds a public office or public position, those words can have a far-reaching impact," said Mayor Mike Bodker. “I have known Chris Byers for more than a decade, not just as an officer and now Police Chief, but also a person of deep faith who cares strongly about all people as well as his fellow police officers. I know his words were not meant to be divisive, but rather to foster a dialogue among these different groups, including Black Lives Matter, to bring the about tangible and meaningful change many of us would like to see.”
The Johns Creek Police Department and police departments everywhere play a key and vital role in their communities. The majority of women and men within these departments across the world put their lives on the line each day to selflessly support, serve, and protect all the people, in the areas which they live and work.
Click here to view Byers' Facebook post