Atlanta police chief steps into the crowd to listen to protesters

Erika Shields showed courage and class yesterday as she walked up to a crowd of angry protesters to listen to their grievances. She said she understood the anger of African American communities across the US over the repeated deaths of black men at the hands of police forces.

“Whether it’s by police or other individuals, the reality is we’ve diminished the value on their life,” Erika Shields said.

Before joining the Atlanta Police as a patrol officer in 1995, Chief Shields worked as a stockbroker in Boston. She is the second woman to lead the Atlanta Police Department, and the first openly gay person to do so.

Shields has a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Webster University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University.

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