Complaints are closed in one of four different ways:
Sustained - The complaint was found to be true.
Not Sustained - There was not enough information to prove or disprove the complaint.
Unfounded - The complaint was not found to be true.
Exonerated - The officer did commit the act that he or she was accused of, however, their actions were justified by the situation.
Other cases are listed as "No Action Taken." This means the case has not been closed due to the fact the complainant has not followed through with the complaint.
See Complaints Breakdown
Making a Complaint
YOUR RIGHTS AS A COMPLAINANT
At the MARTA Police Department, we encourage the filing of legitimate complaints against employees as a means by which they can be held accountable for their actions with the public. The department also seeks to hold members of the public responsible for filing false and malicious allegations against police personnel.
Filing Your Complaint
Complaints will be accepted from any source, whether made in person, by mail, by telephone or anonymously. Individuals are encouraged to submit their complaints in person in order to obtain a complete and accurate report as soon as possible of the incident.
Complaints will be accepted from juveniles and persons under arrest in police custody so long as the complaint contains sufficient factual information to warrant an investigation. Agency personnel may visit the individual at their home, place of business or hospital in order to complete the complaint if it cannot be filed in person.
Field Investigation or Internal Affairs Investigation
Complaints of harassment, demeanor and minor rule infractions will be investigated by the employee's supervisor or that person designated by the Precinct Commander.
Complaints alleging major violations will be handled by the Internal Affairs Unit for investigation. Major violations include but are not limited to the following:
- A violation of a Federal, State, County or Municipal statute or ordinance defining unlawful behavior or acts.
- Any allegation of unnecessary or excessive use of force.
- Use of abusive or insulting language or conduct degrading a person's race, religion, lifestyle, sex, national origin, or any other act or omission which could be the basis for loss of rank, termination, or prosecution in any court.
- All incidents where an officer has discharged a firearm, whether accidental or intentional.
Any other reason deemed necessary by the Chief of Police.
All internal affairs investigations will be completed within 45 days of initiation unless extenuating circumstances exist. The investigator assigned to an Internal Affairs complaint will acknowledge receipt of that complaint by communicating directly with the complainant either by written correspondence, telephone, or in person. If the investigation extends beyond 45 days, the investigator will inform the complainant of the case progress. When the case is closed, the investigator will notify the complainant in writing and inform them that appropriate administrative action has been taken.
Conclusion of Fact
Each investigator, (Internal Affairs Investigator or Field Supervisor) shall consider all relevant documents, testimony and evidence in order to determine what actually happened. At the end of the report, the investigator shall state a conclusion of fact for each allegation of misconduct.