Macon Police Chief Mike Burns this week discussed a fatal police shooting with a U.S. Department of Justice group that specializes in defusing racial tensions and civil disorders.
That's according to police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet.
She says Burns invited the agency's Community Services Division to town Thursday to discuss the December shooting of Sammie Davis Jr. by a Macon police officer.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the Dec. 21 shooting outside a Macon Kroger.
According to the Telegraph, Burns said he invited the group to town to discuss the shooting in case "things get out of hand" after the GBI releases its report.
By email, Gaudet said she was not present during Burns interview with the Telegraph and could not confirm that.
The officer involved in the shooting, Clayton Sutton, has been on administrative leave while the GBI investigates. That's normal procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.
Sutton is white; Davis was black.
Friday afternoon, Gaudet released this statement from Burns:
"The group that visited Macon is from the DOJ Community Services Division. I asked them to visit Macon to help the MPD address the concerns expressed by local citizens. As I've mentioned, the MPD is complying with Bibb County D. A. David's Cooke's request to refrain from comment during the investigation. However, afterward I want to be responsive to the citizens personally, and want our department to listen to their concerns. I plan to meet and dialogue with our Neighborhood Watch groups, and other groups to discuss and resolve as many issues as possible."
According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, the Community Relations Service is the department's "peacemaker" for "community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin"
They say the group's goal is "preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony."
Burns did not return our phone calls and Mayor Robert Reichert said he was not sure of the reason for the meeting. The Community Relations Service office in Atlanta also did not return our phone calls.