JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Days after the Johns Creek Police Chief opened up about religion, racism and the death of George Floyd on social media, he is being asked to take time away from the department.
In an effort to "address the situation pragmatically," Johns Creek City Manager Ed Densmore asked Chief Chris Byers to take some "personal time," and Byers agreed.
The chief called out the religious community on his personal Facebook page and said he doesn't support the Black Lives Matter movement, saying "it seems to glorify the killing of my brothers and sisters."
Byers said many pastors and those in the religious community have "abandoned" law enforcement officers, leaving them to question their place in congregations.
"It is not what you pastors and religious leaders think it is. Stop trying to be relevant and look deeper into what you are saying, posting, and tagging before you do it. But please ... never give up the fight against racism," the post reads.
City Manager Densmore said he plans to listen to the community while he works to comprehend everything.
"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," he said in a statement. "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."
Densmore said he will share his thoughts and next steps in the near future.
"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," he said. "I am seeking a course of action based on sound reasoning, exploration, and valuable discussions."
Densmore is "confident that the outcome will help create a stronger and united Johns Creek."
To read the full social media post, see the 11Alive report here.