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East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue resigns | News

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East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue resigns
News, People
East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue resigns

EAST POINT, Ga. -- After two and a half years on the job, East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue resigned without a days notice.

In a letter given to the City Manager on Sunday, Blue resigned for "personal reasons."

The news was so abrupt, many officers had no idea until told by the media, raising questions about whether he was pushed out, or simply felt it was time to go.

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"We're sad a little it because we thought the chief had done a very good job of being transparent," said attorney Chris Stewart, who represents the family of 24 year old Gregory Towns. He died in April during his arrest. His death certificate ruled it a homicide -- an event the GBI is now investigating.

"It was literal torture. His handcuffs were behind his back and he was tortured to death," said Stewart.

In a police report, officers admitted using a taser on Towns at least five times, once in a creek bed, because they couldn't get him to move. The last time, they noticed he had stopped breathing.

Sgt. Marcus Eberhart resigned and Corporal Howard Weemes was fired. Weemes appealed the decision in vain. He can now request a hearing from the Civil Review Board.

Blue also ordered every officer to be retrained on how and when to use a taser. Stewart says the family still plans to file their lawsuit, but they saw Blue as an open, willing partner in their fight for change.

During Blue's tenure, a website also reviewed 2012 FBI data and declared East Point the most dangerous suburb in the nation.

The city says neither incident had anything to do with Blue's departure and that he was never asked to leave.

"We are grateful for the efforts Chief Blue put forth in heading the police department, and we wish him future success," East Point Mayor Jannquell Peters said in a release.

City spokesperson Renita Shelton said Maj. Tommy Gardner, a 26-year veteran of the police department, will serve as interim chief during the search for a replacement.

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