DeKalb County, Ga., Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones met with top DeKalb police officials to map out a plan for the future after the resignation of Chief Louis Graham, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is a fine department,” Jones told about 40 officers crammed into a conference room connected to the chief’s office. “I am not going to let the reputation of the police department be overshadowed by a few.” The police department was jolted Wednesday with the resignation of Graham after less than two years on the job. His resignation came hours after the release of a profanity-laced recording of Graham and his top assistant, R.P. Flemister, who was placed on paid leave while the county reviews the tape.
Graham, 67, told the officers that he resigned because he had become a distraction. Graham, who is black, acknowledges that white officers — whom he referred to at one point as “white boys” — were unhappy because he had promoted several black supervisors. On one tape, Flemister inquires whether an officer in question is black or white and at another point refers to someone as a “white bitch.” Graham became DeKalb County’s police chief in November 2004. Within six months, he made national headlines by announcing a new investigation of the Atlanta “missing and murdered children” cases, some of which occurred in DeKalb. Graham also reassigned many officers and started a procedure demanding that an officer or supervisor respond in person to every 911 call.