News Briefs: APD prepares for Chauvin verdict; city visionary Leon Eplan dies; Buckhead ‘public safety investigator’

APD Chief Rodney Bryant discusses preparation for the Derek Chauvin verdict.

Chief Rodney Bryant said the Atlanta Police Department is prepared to handle demonstrations and protests prompted by the verdict in the police killing of George Floyd. A jury is currently deliberating the fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and a decision could come as early as Tuesday, April 20. Bryant said in a Monday afternoon news conference that he has been in constant communication with the Georgia State Patrol, Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies. “Right now there are no perceived threats of serious concerns as it relates to the trial,” Bryant said. “I would imagine there would be outcries if the case goes in either direction, so we’re preparing for whatever may happen.” Last summer’s demonstrations after Floyd’s death turned into civil unrest with millions of dollars in property damage stretching from Downtown to Buckhead.

Leon Eplan

Leon Eplan, the city planner who established Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) system, died April 15 at the age of 92. In his long career, Eplan was appointed Commissioner for the Department of Budget and Planning in 1974, was involved in the planning of the MARTA rail system, and came back to work for the city to assist in the planning of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Eplan was also known for his job resolving a dispute between Intown neighborhoods and the Georgia Department of Transportation over the building of what is now John Lewis Freedom Parkway. The Atlanta native lived with his late wife, Madelyn, in Ansley Park. Eplan is also credited with reviving that neighborhood in the 1960s when it had fallen into decline. Using that knowledge helped guide him in the creation of the NPU system, which gives neighborhoods a say in the development of their community. You can read Eplan’s full obituary at this link.

In a quest for more details on high-profile crimes and alcohol-licensing questions, Atlanta City Councilmembers J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook have hired a “public safety investigator” who had previously filed to run for Shook’s seat this fall. Jamie Christy is a Buckhead resident and lawyer who has worked both as a criminal defense attorney and as a member of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, according to a City Council press release. Late last year, Christy filed paperwork declaring an intent to raise money for a campaign for the North Buckhead District 7 council seat that Shook holds. Shook said he and Matzigkeit are paying Christy $25 an hour on an ad hoc basis, with the cost split between their council discretionary funds. According to a press release, Christy will “investigate and report on the post-arrest outcomes of high-profile Buckhead felonies, as well as provide the due diligence needed to confirm that alcohol licensees are operating appropriately.” Read more at Reporter Newspapers.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.