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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Injured cops video Shirley Franklin probably doesn't want you to watch

AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway posted a video this morning I suspect Mayor Shirley Franklin doesn't want you to watch.

The video shows five men and women severely wounded while on duty as Atlanta police officers. Each claims the city is denying them medical benefits they need, and to which they are entitled.

Why do I assume Mayor Franklin doesn't want you to watch it?


Because she's spent the last week dodging questions about the video's subject matter.

During the same week, however, Franklin has somehow found the time to launch an administrative, legal and public relations assault against APD union leader Sgt. Scott Kreher, the man who presented the video the city council.

Admittedly, Kreher made himself an easy target.

While speaking to city council last week about Atlanta's alleged poor treatment of police officers severely wounded while on duty, Kreher said he's so frustrated with Mayor Franklin's intransigence that he feels like hitting her on the head with a baseball bat.

It was an ugly figure of speech for which Kreher apologized. But Franklin won't move on.

She has evidently decided to use Kreher's slip-up to once-and-for-all silence Kreher; one of her most persistent and (until last week) effective critics.

First, Franklin told Fox 5 she interprets Kreher's statement as a literal physical threat meant to intimidate her and her family, even though it clearly an ugly metaphor for extreme frustration. Franklin says she wants a local, state and, FEDERAL investigation into Kreher's comment.

Strange. When Atlanta residents express their fear of actual crimes, the mayor mocks them with cherry-picked stats. Hurt Franklin's feelings, however, and she'll summon federal help.

But wait. There's more.

On Saturday, Franklin's APD toady Chief Richard Pennington suspended Kreher from active-duty pending a psychological examination. Using a mental health bureaucracy and the stigma of mental illness to destroy a political opponent is a time-honored political tactic — in Russia.

Why is Franklin bending over backward to destroy Kreher? My guess is that she's desperately hoping you won't pay attention to his message.

So watch the video.

And if you still feel like blaming someone for drawing attention away from the important issue of benefits for wounded cops, go ahead and blame Kreher or Franklin if you'd like.

But remember, Kreher distracted us by accident. Franklin is doing it on purpose.

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