Despite demands made by ALTisREADY, a group affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement to stop allowing the Atlanta Police Department to train with the Israeli police department, Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed refused, saying US police officers benefit greatly from Israel’s counter-terrorism expertise.
The Mayor of Atlanta on Monday said that Israeli police officers will continue to train the Atlanta police department despite demands made by ALTisREADY, a group affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
“There was a demand that I stop allowing the Atlanta Police Department to train with the Israeli police department,” Mayor Reed said at a press conference.
“I’m not going to do that. I happen to believe that the Israeli police department has some of the best counter-terrorism techniques in the world and it benefits our police department from that long-standing relationship,” he said.
Some BLM protestors, and representatives from NAACP, the Nation of Islam and Southern Christian Leadership Council, as well as others, met with Reed on Monday in a closed door meeting in order to address crimes involving people of color by local police, CBS46 News Atlanta reported.
Other protestor groups were left out of the meeting, including ALTisREADY, but their demands were reviewed by the mayor.
ALTisREADY lists on its website that “the people demand a termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel.”
This is not the first time that the cause of the BLM movement has become conflated with a pro-Palestinian cause. On July 7 the NYU branch of the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) posted on Facebook that “many U.S. police departments train with the Israeli Defense Forces,” and these are “the same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians. The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people.”