Channel 2 Investigates

Atlanta mayor's vehicle involved in injury accident while driving with blue lights

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has uncovered a police report showing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's vehicle has been involved in an injury accident while being driven with blue lights flashing and a siren blaring.

Discovery of the report comes just days after a Channel 2 Action News investigation examining the mayor's trips in his city-provided SUV with flashing blue lights  -- a procedure that law enforcement officials say is a clear violation of the law.

The accident injured the driver of another car who was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Channel 2's Lori Geary spoke with Atlanta police Chief George Turner about the accident. She obtained the  report from Cobb County police through an open records request and a second through a source in the Atlanta Police Department.

The report shows on Sept. 9, at the intersection of Paces Ferry Road and Cumberland Parkway, the SUV assigned to Reed was being driven with emergency lights and sirens on when it hit a vehicle, causing it to spin.

Mohammed Kasim Reed is listed as a passenger in the Cobb County police report but not in the Atlanta police report.

"I don't know why that was done," Turner told Geary.

Geary asked Turner if it is standard protocol for a police officer to not list passengers in a traffic accident but he replied that he could not answer that question.

"That's not his jurisdiction, why are you running lights and sirens outside your jurisdiction?" asked Vincent Champion the southeast regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

"Who's paying for the damage, not only for the accident but for the damage to all the vehicles? Taxpayers, of course," Champion said.

A Channel 2 Action News investigation looks into the mayor's use of blue lights and sirens.

Turner says he has given all seven police officers assigned to protect the mayor and his family the authority to use lights and sirens at their discretion because the mayor has received thousands of threats.

He says all seven officers are deputized through the Fulton County Sheriff's Office giving them the authority to be peace officers through the entire state.

"They've been assigned to protect our mayor, (we're) right at seven years, and one minor accident doing this work is exemplary," Turner said.

They found Reed rushed to non-emergency events as though someone's life was on the line.

Geary got a tip from a source in state law enforcement asking her to look into Reed's practice of rushing to events with lights and sirens blaring.

The Mayor's Office says he is allowed to drive with flashing blue lights for security purposes.

"I'm confident in the people that are assigned to this detail and the reasons that they've used to be able to use the blue lights to move our mayor," Turner said in an earlier interview.