DeKalb spokesman resigns after calling N.J. cop shooting ‘murder’
By JIM WALLS
DeKalb County’s chief communications officer resigned today, a few days after making news by declaring a police shooting in Newark, N.J., to be “murder.”
In her resignation letter, Shelia Trappier Edwards made no mention of the New Jersey incident. She said she wanted to return to the private sector “and this is an appropriate time for me to pursue new endeavors.”
Last Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Edwards as she went off on deputies in Essex County, N.J., who said Gwinnett County businessman DeFarra “Dean” Gaymon was shot and killed after he attacked an undercover detective. She said Gaymon was a college classmate of hers and that his family members were the ones who characterized the incident as a murder.
Edwards’ statements stirred resentment among some DeKalb police officers who questioned whether she could objectively represent their interests in a police-involved shooting here.
Previously, Edwards was perhaps best known for tangling with WGCL-TV reporter Wendy Saltzman as she tried to do an ambush interview with Edwards’ boss, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Edwards came to work for DeKalb in 2009 after serving with CEO-elect Ellis’ transition team.
Today’s resignation letter made special note of Edwards’ work with DeKalb public safety officials:
DeKalb has some of the finest officers who are well trained and are highly effective in the roles that they perform each day. Our most recent project in conjunction with the Public Safety department, Marquel’s Pledge, promises to be one that will provide DeKalb with state and national attention as a model for reducing celebratory gunfire in local communities.
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